And Another Thing

Author: Janine

Fandom: Birds of Prey (tv-verse)

Rating: R (for language and sexual situation)

Pairing: Helena (Huntress)/Barbara (Batgirl/Oracle)

Summary: The reasons for the tension in Helena and Barbara's relationship are revealed after a dangerous situation puts one of their lives in danger.

Disclaimers: I do not own the characters of Helena, Barbara, Dinah, Batman, and Catwoman etc. They are the property of DC comics and I suppose the WB network and the creators of Smallville or whatever. I'm just borrowing them for a short period of time.

Prologue

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Legend tells of a love between the caped crusader and a beautiful adversary. However, their passion was destined for tragedy and with all lost the hero vanished.

But, Batman and Catwoman left behind something extraordinary. A daughter. The child of two legends.

Helena Kyle, the Huntress.

A new protector for a city in chaos joined in the struggle by the woman once known as Batgirl. Who in one instant lost her identity as Batgirl to a bullet, leaving her no choice but to begin a new one.

Barbara Gordon, the Oracle.

Two women united in justice. To be joined by another chosen by destiny. The missing key to a new alliance. A lost girl, blessed with the power to see the future.

Dinah Lance, the Seer.

Together they are the guardians of New Gotham. The cities last great hope against criminal masterminds.

Reluctant heroes for a new era.

They are the Birds of Prey.

---

Part 1

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Helena quietly slipped into the observation area above the gymnasium, her head bowed as she quickly made her way to the edge of the large glass window that looked down onto the gym below. Perching herself on the edge of the windowsill in a position that would have been precarious for anyone but herself, she rested her head against the cool glass and allowed her eyes to start roaming the floor beneath.

Once looking it only took her a moment to locate the head of flaming red hair she had been searching for. Straightening her back a little now that she had located her prey, Helena watched as Barbara expertly dodged her way between the other occupants of the gym and settled herself below a metal bar. And she continued to watch, her eyes hooding slightly, as Barbara reached up and grasped the bar above her pulling herself upwards gracefully, her muscles tensing as her chin rose above the bar.

As Barbara continued with her workout Helena allowed her eyes to lazily drift up and down the redhead's body taking in every inch of Barbara's taunt, sweaty body with a precision that only she could manage, her eyes moving up lean legs and a taunt stomach before focusing on gently swaying wisps of red hair blown about as Barbara exhaled. And she continued this study of the other woman until Barbara finally dropped back into the wheelchair waiting for her below the bar, and began to wheel towards the locker room.

Screwing her eyes tightly shut, Helena shook her head and then stood up, releasing a long-suffering sigh along the way before heading for the door.

---

Part 2

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Barbara glanced up from the small face towel thrown across her lap, her brows coming together as she felt a familiar presence in the room with her. Turning her head to the side, she felt a smile begin to tug at her lips as she spotted a familiar figure lounging on the bench. Surprised but pleased to see Helena's sleek form, Barbara rotated her chair so that she was facing Helena and started towards her.

"This is a surprise," she commented coming to a stop beside Helena who slowly turned her head to face the other woman. "You haven't killed anyone have you?" Barbara continued raising a teasing eyebrow and earning a small, mischievous grin from Helena.

"Not yet," the dark-haired woman responded slowly, eyeing Barbara pointedly before smiling and sitting up.

"That's funny," Barbara responded reaching for her lock, her hand jerking back slightly when the metal door swung open from her light touch. "Do you really need the practice?" the redhead asked a moment later returning her gaze to Helena.

The brunette simply shrugged, her face staid as she gazed at the other woman.

"Seriously though," Barbara started a moment later, not really sure what to make of Helena's presence, or her mood. "Nothing's wrong is it?"

"Maybe I just wanted to see you," Helena replied her eyes trained on the side of Barbara's face, gently caressing the lines of her profile. "I mean, maybe I was just in the area and wanted to say hi."

"In the area?" Barbara asked grinning turning around to face Helena. "Of course you were in the area, I live down the street," she went on turning back towards the locker and removing a shirt and a pair of pants from within. "I hope you're in the mood for pasta. Dinah insisted on cooking and it's the only weapon in her arsenal," she finished shaking her head as she thought about the teenage girl that she had recently taken in semi-voluntarily.

"Actually," Helena said coughing a little as she straightened her posture. "I … I can't make it tonight," she continued her eyes drifting around the locker room. "I forgot," she continued a few moments later when Barbara failed to verbally respond to her statement, though she was absolutely certain the other woman was looking at her with sad puppy eyes. "I have an appointment … with Dr. Quinzel. I forgot about it, you know, when I said I could come," she finished finally returning her eyes to Barbara, who then looked away almost immediately.

"Some other time then," Barbara said trying to keep the disappointment she felt out of her voice. If Helena had an appointment with her therapist there was really nothing that could be done about it. The sessions were by court order after Helena had been found destroying public property while carrying out a case they had been working on. That made it somewhat as much her fault as Helena's that the brunette had to go to therapy and consequently that another get together between them had been cancelled. However that logical explanation for why she shouldn't be upset over what was happening didn't quite seem to take, because she was still extremely disappointed and trying not to show it. The truth of the situation was that she felt like she was losing Helena and the thought of that wounded her even more deeply than she had thought it would. Over the past few months they had been fighting more than Barbara could remember, and Helena rarely came by unless it was to find out if there were any asses in New Gotham that needed a good beating. That being the case, Barbara couldn't help but wonder if Helena's minor oversight was one.

"Yeah. Definitely," Helena said standing up, her eyes focused on Barbara's hands as the redhead reached for the hem of her shirt. "I'll, you know," she continued waving her hand carelessly in the air as she took a step away from the bench, "be around."

Honestly not so certain if the other woman really meant that anymore Barbara turned around to respond, but when she swiveled around Helena had already disappeared. "I hate it when she does that," the redhead then muttered to herself before continuing to change.

---

Part 3

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The Clocktower Later that night…

Barbara reached for her glasses, placing them on her lap before pinching the bridge of her nose and squeezing her eyes tightly shut. Her heart rate had been steadily climbing for the past couple of minutes and though she couldn't be certain she was relatively sure that her palms were sweating.

"What about now?" she said in a strained voice, turning her head to the side so that she was facing the young blonde seated at the other end of the desk.

"Still no answer from Huntress," Dinah responded her eyes never leaving the screen for fear of missing something. "I'm still not getting any bio readings either. I don't think she has it with her," the young blonde continued. 'Or she turned it off' she added to herself ruefully having noticed the strained relationship between two other women since she had moved in with Barbara.

"You're right," Barbara said straightening in her chair. "She would have responded by now if she was getting the signal," she went on. "Grab the kit."

"Yeah," Dinah agreed. "What?" she then asked as the last part of Barbara's response finally registered with her.

"Grab the kit," Barbara repeated her eyes searching the apartment though for what Dinah didn't know.

"Why?" the blonde asked. Standing nonetheless she moved to pick up the metal case Barbara had prepared after receiving some information she had been waiting on for days from her informant shortly after they had finished dinner. A dinner she now really wished Helena had made it too, even though the brunette usually spent most of her time harassing her and ruffling her hair just to bug her.

"It still has to be done," the redhead said softly, her voice confident and steady. "I'm going to need your help," she continued trying not to think about the days when she wore a costume of her own and a task like this would have been as close to a cake walk as a break and enter ever was. When they called her Batgirl instead of Oracle, before the Joker shot her and took away the use of her legs.

"You have it," Dinah responded practically hopping over to the redhead, her body flooded with adrenaline and excitement.

"This isn't a field trip," Barbara told her seriously, unconsciously echoing the same words Batman had once spoken to her, both admiring and weary of the girl's youthful exuberance.

"I know," Dinah responded bouncing on the balls of her feet lightly nonetheless. "I got the memo," she added shooting Barbara a mildly disgruntled look.

"Alright, let's go," Barbara replied shaking her head. "And take your jacket."

---

Part 4

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"You're surlier than usual," Dr. Harleen Quinzel commented with a sly little smile as Helena Kyle paced in front of her restlessly.

"Is that even a real degree?" Helena responded with irritation, her head whipping around to shoot the brunette doctor a withering look.

"Of course it is," Dr. Quinzel replied non-pulsed by Helena's hostile response.

"Is it yours?" Helena shot back immediately.

Dr. Quinzel merely smiled enigmatically.

"Why don't you sit down Helena?" Quinzel finally suggested in a mild tone. She was getting bored of watching the other woman pace. Everything's was an opera with Helena and she preferred comedies to melodrama.

Helena glanced at her after that, studying her while continuing to pace before finally perching herself on the edge of the couch located across from Dr. Quinzel's chair. Really she was all for people keeping things to themselves, having secrets and keeping them secrets. She wasn't a sharer and hugging person, she had her emotional island and she preferred to live there. And yet, as she sat there quietly looking at the immaculately dressed woman opposite her she was overtaken by an intense desire to just actually tell her what was bothering her. After all, that was why she was there. Maybe her emotional issues really were making her slightly angrier than was called for. Maybe talking really would make her feel better, she had never really tried it before. It could work. Maybe … "I love Barbara," she blurted, blinking in surprise as she actually heard the words come out of her mouth.

"Of course you do," Dr. Quinzel started, her expression inscrutable as she stared at Helena. "The two of you have been through a lot together, haven't you?" she asked, her voice soft and full of understanding.

"No," Helena responded wondering if this sharing thing had been such a good idea, not that she had really decided to go with it before her stupid mouth made the decision for her. "I mean yes, we have overcome and all that, but that's not what I meant ... and you know it," she continued her tone bordering on sulky as she stood up again and walked over to Dr. Quinzel's window to peer down out into Gotham Park.

"You mean you're in love with Ms. Gordon?" Dr. Quinzel asked in a way that left Helena uncertain whether she was genuinely asking or being sarcastic - which she often seemed to be.

"Yes, I'm in love with Ms. Gordon," the young brunette finally responded her hands coming up in the air and her face raising as she repeated Dr. Quinzel's words mockingly, before resting her back against the window and shifting her weight onto one foot, her stance making her look as if she were challenging the doctor to 'take it outside'.

"Well, what seems to be the problem then?" Dr. Quinzel asked ignoring Helena's posturing. "Surely your not bothered by the fact that you're in love with a woman," she continued her eyes never leaving Helena's. "You rebel you," she added with a small, knowing smirk.

"Did you take a class on pretentious affectation or were you just born sneering?" Helena asked pushing off of the windowsill and stalking towards the other woman. "Cause I've about had it," she continued bending down so that she and Quinzel were almost face-to-face.

"Well," Dr. Quinzel started, her tone breezy after a moment of silence. "At least you're not brooding anymore."

"I want my money back," Helena muttered backing away from Quinzel but sitting back down on the couch opposite her nonetheless.

"That hurt," Dr. Quinzel responded placing her hand over her heart. "But you still haven't told me why being in love with Barbara is a problem. After all, love is a miraculous thing is it not?" she continued, her voice cracking momentarily as her thoughts drifted bringing up memories of her Puddin' and how that nasty flying rodent chased him away.

"It certainly is not," Helena answered with a certainness that broke Quinzel out of her revere. There was a darkness in Helena, a sometimes vicious anger at the injustice that took her mother away from her. There was an emptiness within her that became more palpable to Quinzel every time that she saw the other woman. It was what she liked about the brunette, her promising capacity for darkness.

"Besides," Helena continued oblivious to her therapists musings, "it could never work. I could never even get the point where it couldn't work."

"You don't think that Barbara loves you?" Dr. Quinzel asked the tip of her pen doting her note pad idly.

"She loves me," Helena said her tone somewhat bitter. "Sure she loves me," she continued, the acidity audible in her previous statement now replaced with a quiet anguish. "Like a mother loves her emotionally troubled, yet sensitive and uniquely talented daughter."

"You think of Barbara like a mother?" the doctor asked, leaning forward slightly, her pen stilling as she suddenly became interested in Helena's meandering once more.

"Certainly not," Helena responded immediately, a wicked almost predatory smile briefly fluttering across her features before being replaced with her usual mask of indifference. "Most definitely not, so don't think about trying any of that Oedipus shit on me," she added running an agitated hand through her hair.

"Certainly not," Dr. Quinzel responded making a conscious effort not to smile as she leaned back once more. "Do you think Barbara sees herself as providing a motherly role for you?"

"More like an adult role," Helena responded running a hand through her already tussled hair as she flung herself back down onto the couch. Her mind drifting back to the night Barbara had shown up at the condo she and her mother had shared, to find her curled up on her mother's bed staring out of the window into the darkness of the night. She had felt half crazy at the time and Barbara had taken care of her while she pulled herself back together.

"You are an adult," Dr. Quinzel pointed out.

"Sometimes I don't think she sees it," Helena said shaking her head. "Sometimes I think she never will."

"So?" Quinzel prompted, Helena's melancholy starting to bore her once again.

"What do you mean so?" Helena asked sharply, her eyes narrowing as caught Quinzel straightening in her chair as if her question had woken the doctor up from a particularly satisfying nap.

"What are you going to do about how you feel?" Quinzel asked forcing a look of interest and concern onto her features.

"I thought you were suppose to be giving me answers," Helena muttered lying back on the couch. "So why am I answering all the questions?"

"Ah, evasion," Dr. Quinzel said knowingly. "You're quite good at that aren't you? A family trait I believe. Are you going to run away too, Helena?"

"Fuck you," Helena muttered standing up and heading for the door.

"We've still got ten more minutes," Dr. Quinzel called after her. "And while I'm flattered by the offer it's recently come to my attention that your heart lies elsewhere," she went on, smirking once more as the door to her office slammed shut. Oh well, some you win some you lose.

---

Part 5

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Dinah stood up brushing her hands off on her jeans as she looked down at her handy work. Cocking her head to the side, she thought back to the instructions Barbara had given her and made a mental checklist, ticking off every point as she surveyed her work to make sure she had spliced the wires and attached the clamps in the exact way Barbara had specified.

Finally, rubbing her hands together and releasing a breath she turned around and stepped up onto the ladder that would lead her up to the second floor of the abandoned warehouse Barbara was setting up shop in.

"All done," Dinah called out leaning over the handrail and craning her head to the side so that she could see Barbara.

"Great," the older woman called back. "So far so good," she said returning her attention to the computer screen in front of her. "Stay up there and keep your eyes open," she added already typing away. "We always have to be prepared for trouble."

"Will do," Dinah called down to her before resting her elbows on the railing and letting her eyes roam around the building.

"Good," Barbara replied softly her concentration now on the screen in front of her. She wanted to get this hack and crash job over and done with as soon as possible. The syndicate that had stolen the medical supplies from Gotham General had installed a monstrous firewall to protect them from outside hacks, which meant that in order to get onto their network it was necessary to physically link her computer to their network. And even though they had managed a smooth run so far, it made Barbara very uneasy to be literally across the alleyway from the syndicates Gotham warehouse trying to hack into their files. If she tripped anything during her search they'd be onto them before she could cover her tracks, and without Helena with them that was a truly disturbing proposition.

---

Barbara's head snapped to the side, her eyes widening in alarm before turning to look up at Dinah. Quickly she motioned for the girl to go, her attention only returning towards the source of the noise that had captured her attention once she lost Dinah in the shadows. Returning her attention to the keyboard she was oddly calm as she continued to type.

"You're really gonna wanna take your hands off the fucking keyboard Sweetie," came the low, deep tones from a mountain of a man standing to Barbara's left. "Now," he continued raising the pistol in his hand and aiming it at her head.

Barbara wheeled backwards then lifted her hands up as the little red button on the bottom of her screen blinked madly. She was done with it anyway.

---

Part 6

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Helena stared at the keypad in front of her for a moment her hand outstretched and hovering before it anxiously. Then reaching out before she could talk herself out of it, she extended her hand and keyed in the access code breezing into the clocktower apartment with an affected calm.

"If late breakfasts are brunches, and late lunches become dinners, what exactly do you call late dinners?" she began striding through the living room and towards the kitchen as she tried valiantly to ignore the fact that her insides seemed to be trying to jump out of her body. "Anyone? Bueller?" she asked tilting her head to side unconsciously as she searched for any signs of life within the apartment and finding none. "Hmm," she thought to herself beginning to head back out into the main room when she heard the front door open.

Hearing the intruders breathing practically beside her, Helena spun around the corner and grasped them around the neck, sweeping their legs out from underneath them and dragging them around the front of her body, where she held them in a chokehold.

"Gretuffufmah," Helena's prisoner mumbled into her hand as they thrashed around in her arms.

Looking down for the first time Helena spotted the golden blonde hair on top of the head cradled in her arms and swore to herself softly as she let go of what she recognized to be Dinah's struggling form.

As Helena's arms loosened around from around her body and throat Dinah pushed forward her elbow moving backwards knocking Helena back somewhat as she scrambled to her feet and spun around to face the other woman.

"Where were you!" Dinah yelled rubbing her throat unconsciously as she glared at Helena.

"Out," Helena responded not really liking the thought that she was about to be dressed down by a high school student. "Where's Red?" she continued changing the subject preferring to be yelled at by Barbara if she had to choose one.

"Suddenly you're so concerned," Dinah responded harshly trying to calm herself. Getting pissy with Helena wasn't going to do anything, she just had to get herself under control. Hysteria was nobody's friend, she just needed to calm down and find her spine and get help. She just needed to … "She's in trouble. Big trouble," Dinah heard herself saying a moment later.

"How big?" Helena asked, her body tensing and her eyes narrowing.

"Like she could already be dead, big," Dinah responded noting the change in Helena's demeanor and really wishing that she could see the how badly Helena was going to kick those guys asses when she found them if even one of Barbara's hairs was out of place.

"Where?" Helena asked her heart pumping twice as fast as normal and her mind clouding over with a barely restrained rage. Fuck therapy, and fuck anger management. She wanted to be really fucking mad when she got her hands on these sons of bitches.

"43rd and Lincoln. Carter's abandoned warehouse, bottom floo…" Dinah said trailing off as Helena practically vanished the moment the address had left her lips. "I love it when she does that."

---

Part 7

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"Fucking BITCH!" yelled Sasha as he raised his hand up to his wounded cheek. "You wanna play?" he yelled returning his attention to Barbara who lay prone on the floor a meter away from him. "We'll fucking play … you can be the piñata," he continued taking a step forward before kicking his leg out and catching the redhead in the ribs.

"Still no candy," he commented lashing out again this time catching her under the chin causing her to fall onto her back. "Not so fucking funny is it now," he asked smugly as he saw Barbara cough and watched as blood tickled from her lip onto the cool pavement of the floor beneath her. "Not so tough without your flying saucers," he continued wincing at the memory of the batarang she had flung at him moments before nearly taking his eye out. "Are you?" he continued bending down in front of her only to end up rearing back in surprise when Barbara smiled and started to laugh at him. "What's so fucking funny?" he asked reaching out and slapping her across the face.

"I just didn't realize," Barbara sputtered softly as she forced herself up onto her elbow. "That beating on cripples had become," she continued ignoring the coppery taste of her blood as she swallowed. "The epitome of machismo," she finished her eyes never leaving his even as his arm rose to deliver another blow.

"Leave her Sasha," called out a tall man in a nice suit as his shoes clicked impressively against the floor. "We can hardly torture her for information if you beat her unconscious," he continued coming to a stop in front of Barbara and bending down. "At least it wouldn't be nearly as fun," he said with a smile as he reached out for her face, his smile only growing when she jerked her head out of his reach. "It is a shame though," he continued raking his eyes up and down Barbara's body before standing up and casually nudging Barbara's legs with his foot, frowning as he felt no resistance. "I hate it so much when my options are limited. Then again," he said brightening. "Maybe working with a half a canvas will stimulate me. My creativity too," he finished grinning broadly at the man beside him, quickly sobering when he realized that the walking mountain they called Sasha seemed not understand his joke.

Slowly taking off his jacket and folding it carefully over his arm, the tall man returned his attention to the woman on the floor. "I don't suppose you'd just like to tell me what it is you infected our system with and how to reverse it?" he asked with a frown.

Barbara remained silent.

"Not even if I told you that if you don't cooperate by this time tomorrow both of your kidney's will be in Algeria though you certainly won't?" he asked in an almost contemplative tone.

"Parts of me have been working far too hard, a vacation might not be so bad," Barbara replied her lips twitching though she couldn't quite manage a swaggering grin under the circumstances.

The tall man laughed in response and shook his head. "I'm going to enjoy you," he told her still smiling. "And you can take that anyway you want," he went on his eyes narrowing though the smile remained on his face. "I certainly will."

Making a motion behind him, the tall man then called out, "Scott, take the computer over to Lars and see if there's anything he can do with it."

"Now," he said drawing Barbara's attention away from the young man stalking determinedly towards her computer. "What do you say we make you more comfortable?"

---

"Scream for me," Helena heard a male voice urging as she slipped in through the skylight of the building. "Come on, nice and throaty. I wanna feel it," he continued as Helena soundlessly made her way through the building towards the voice, her senses on full alert for any other occupants the building may've contained.

"Auh," Barbara groaned her eyes screwing tightly shut as the pain in her temples increased. It felt like someone was drilling a hole through her skull and chasing it with tequila.

"That's it baby, work it," the tall man encouraged as he upped the voltage on the wires attached to Barbara's temples. "Feel it!"

"AHHHHHHH!" Barbara cried out a moment later, her back arching and her head falling back in pain as the current ripped through her head making it feel as if metal spikes were being stabbed into every available inch of her head.

Helena flung herself over the railing the moment Barbara's tortured screams reached her ears, hurling herself towards Barbara's location the second her feet landed on the floor. She had no plan, no carefully plotted strategy, what she had was determination and rage, and as she grabbed the back of the tall man's head and flung him into his partner it became apparent to all of them that those were the only things she needed.

---

Helena dropped to her knees extending her hand as she fell before shakily pressing two of her fingers to Barbara's neck. The redhead was lying on the floor, her body completely still and as Helena checked for a pulse not sure what she would do if hers fears came true. She had been in a position like this before, on a dark, rainy night in Gotham. She had lain in the streets her head pressed to her mother's chest as the life slowly left Selina Kyle's body, and she didn't know if she could do it again. She didn't want to find out.

Beat … beat … … beat …

Helena's eyes closed with relief before she carefully leaned forward and gathered Barbara tenderly into her arms. Settling the redhead's head comfortably on her shoulder, Helena turned around surveying the scene in the warehouse once more before heading for the exit. Once again she'd wrapped up and delivered some of New Gotham's baddest for the police, and once again she was sure that there would be no thank you. But she was okay with that, the only thing she wanted was now held securely in her arms safe and relatively sound, and that was all that she needed.

---

Part 8

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Helena lazily tilted her head to the side as she heard the door to Barbara's bedroom creak open. Seeing Dinah softly walk into the room Helena then returned her attention to the sleeping body on the bed and closed her eyes tightly shut - as she had so many times since finally delivering Barbara to the safety of her own bed. Every time she thought about how close she had come to losing the other woman it made her want to yell and curl up in a ball and never straighten out and throw things and fall to her knees in thanks.

"Is she alright?" Dinah asked softly as if afraid to break the silence that blanketed the room. Helena had walked in with Barbara over a half hour before and carried her silently into her room, and there the two of them had remained ever since. Barbara hadn't been moving when they had come in, and Helena's mood had been grim as she silently made her way through the apartment, leaving Dinah with no idea what condition Barbara was in.

"Yeah," Helena responded her eyes never leaving Barbara's slightly swollen face. "Bruised … but she'll be okay," she continued softly. "She just needs some rest."

"Good," Dinah said the relief clear in her voice. "I …" she started to say stopping only when she saw Helena drop her head into her hands wearily, "I'll just go," she continued realizing that Helena needed to be alone with Barbara at the moment.

When she had touched Helena the first night they met, her powers had allowed her to see more than the access codes to the clocktower and Helena's secret identity as the Huntress. And when Helena had held her earlier in the evening, her feelings for Barbara had once again come through very clearly.

"Dinah," Helena called out as the young blonde reached for the door to close it. "Could you do me a favor?"

"Yeah, anything," Dinah responded right away still hovering by the doorway.

"Call Alfred, have him bring over one of her spare chairs … please?" Helena asked rubbing tiredly at her eyes with the ball of her hand.

"Sure," Dinah responded, but even before the word had left her mouth Helena had returned to vigil at Barbara's side, her eyes focused on the slumbering woman and only the slumbering woman. "No problem," Dinah finished softly before pulling the door shut behind her.

---

Barbara began to open her eyes before quickly fastening them shut as soon as the suns first rays started to hit her retina's thereby reintroducing her to the fact that she'd just gotten her ass kicked. Wincing as she turned her head to the side she forced her eyes open once more and was rewarded with a sight that more than made up for the dizziness and nausea the movement had caused. Helena was seated in a chair next to her bed slumped over slightly with her head dangling and tilted off to the side. It looked painfully uncomfortable, but Barbara thought that it was perhaps the single greatest thing she had ever seen.

"Hel…" Barbara managed to choke out softly before her body was overcome with coughs.

"Sssh," Helena said instantly awake and kneeling by the side of Barbara's bed taking the redhead's hand into hers. "Don't … you shouldn't try to talk. The bruises on your ribs have bruises."

"It feels like someone dropped a 2000 lbs. anvil on top of my head," Barbara said wincing. "And then beat me with a stick when I was down."

"I told you not to talk ," Helena responded softly her eyes trained on Barbara. "But that about sums it up. You'll be fine though, lucky for us you're thick headed," she continued a moment later, reaching up and brushing a few stray strands of hair off of Barbara's face.

"Is that your expert opinion?" Barbara asked closing her eyes at the feel of Helena's knuckles gently brushing against her forehead, her bruises and her bruises bruises momentarily forgotten under Helena's tender care.

"Yeah," Helena responded allowing her other hand to fall and cover the one that had Barbara's hand safely tucked inside of it. "Now will you listen to me just once and please shut the hell up," she continued blinking rapidly, Barbara's weak hold on her hand bringing back memories of the night before and how close a call it had been.

"Hele…" Barbara started to say, but before she could even get the brunette's name out her body was once again ceased by a fit of coughs.

"Just stay still, please," Helena said looking down at the other woman pleadingly as she stood up letting Barbara's hand fall out of hers reluctantly. "I'll go get you some water or lozenges … or something," she said spinning around to face the door before spinning back around to face Barbara and then back towards the door again. "Yeah," she continued her hand rising to her ear agitatedly before dropping again. "I'll be right back," and with that she headed towards the door, stopping every few steps to look back at Barbara before finally exiting the room.

---

"I didn't pour it," Dinah announced walking into the room a couple minutes later, a glass of water firmly ensconced in her hand. "But I'll take the adulation," she finished placing the glass on Barbara's bedside table before flinging herself carelessly into the chair Helena had been occupying earlier.

Barbara smiled softly and thanked the blonde, then opened her mouth as if to say something else but Dinah interrupted her.

"She's in the living room. When she saw the chair Alfred brought by last night she said that it was wrong and started poking at it. Apparently in an attempt to get it 'how you like it'," the blonde said studying Barbara carefully. The bruising on her face looked worse in the daylight, but her eyes were sharp and alert and though her movements were a bit stiff she seemed able to move all right.

"Oh," Barbara said simply, her brows drawing together slightly. She hadn't thought that Helena had noticed the small changes she'd made to her previous chair over the years. And, hearing that she had warmed Barbara's heart and gave her hope that perhaps the divide that had begun to form between Helena and herself could be bridged afterall.

"I'm glad you're okay," Dinah continued breaking Barbara out of her thoughts. "I was so scared that I wouldn't find Helena … and you know I just got to know you and kinda want you to stick around for a while, and Helena was … I mean I don't know how to describe it but it was as far away from good as humanly possible without actually being dead … and … it's just good to have you back," she finished sucking in a deep breath.

Barbara turned her head to face Dinah, her lips curving upwards slightly as she began to respond, but she was once again interrupted. This time by Helena kicking the door further open with her foot before wheeling Barbara's chair into the room.

"Are you sure," Helena started parking beside the bed, "that you don't want to go with the sports package?"

Barbara smiled widely in response before jerking her thumb to the side indicating for Helena to get out of her chair.

"What do you have against blow horns anyway?" Helena asked smiling as well as she stepped out of the chair and shifted it into the position Barbara would need to get into it.

"I'm not three," Barbara responded dryly, propping herself upright as she began to move so that she could slide off the bed into the chair.

"Blowing's fun at any age," Helena responded, her mouth right next to Barbara's ear causing the other woman to jump slightly. Helena chuckled softly at the response before sliding one of her hands around Barbara's waist and the other one under her legs, drawing the redhead tightly into her body as she prepared to lift her up.

"You don't have to," Barbara breathed out softly, her head practically resting on Helena's shoulder.

"I know," Helena responded in an equally quiet tone, her head turning to face Barbara but finding the other woman's lips mere inches away from her own quickly causing her to turn her head back again. "But really, it's the only way to travel."

"Says who?" Barbara asked as Helena lifted her up, holding her for a moment before lowering her down gently to rest in the chair.

"Let's just say you didn't complain last night," Helena responded winking at Barbara.

"Hmm, somebody's being a naughty girl," Barbara responded something compelling her to not only go along with Helena's suggestive conversation but to hold her gaze while doing it.

'And somebody wishes they'd left after delivering the water,' Dinah thought to herself cautiously standing up and making her way to the door. "Never thought I'd be thankful to actually have homework … a room … with the … destroy some … free therapy," she continued to mutter to herself quietly before pulling the door shut behind her absolutely certain that the other two women didn't even notice that she had gone.

---

Part 9

-------

Later that month …

Barbara sighed and stopped her chair as she felt a familiar presence hovering around her yet out of sight once again. It had become a usual occurrence since the night in the warehouse for her get the feeling that she was being watched only to see a shadow dancing away from her moments later, though the feeling never quite left. She was certain that it had been and now was Helena, watching her, trying to protect her in her own way, but it was starting to wear on her nerves. The whole situation was wearing on her nerves.

She knew that Helena was blaming herself for what had happened, she said as much that morning as she had paced at the foot of Barbara's bed. She had tried to convince her at the time that she was fine, but Helena had looked over at her for a long moment, her eyes shinning from barely restrained tears, before bowing her head so that her hair obscured her face and mumbling, "I was ... distracted. It almost killed you. It won't happen again."

Helena had stayed at the clocktower a while longer after that, but there was a distance in her eyes, a determination that Barbara was still struggling to understand. It had now been over two weeks since she had awoken to the sight of Helena slumped over in the chair next to her bed, and it had been over two weeks since she had actually seen the brunette. It had been over two weeks since she first sensed a shadow following her in the night. The extreme dichotomy between Helena's seeming concern for her and the brunette's inability to be in the same room as her, hurting and confusing her terribly.

"I know you're there," Barbara said into the darkness, craning her neck around to look behind her and seeing nothing, as she had expected. "Helena, just …" Barbara continued, but before she could complete the sentence, she felt the now familiar shift in the air that announced her shadows retreat.

Letting out a frustrated breath, Barbara started towards home once more knowing that Helena wouldn't reveal herself, and thinking that it was probably for the best since she wasn't certain how she should react if the brunette actually did show up in front of her.

---

Part 10

-------

Two Weeks Later …

Barbara ran her finger idly along the rim of the glass sitting her front of her, her attention focused on the dark, slender figure moving expertly behind the bar. It always amazed her how effortlessly graceful Helena was, gliding around completely unaware of her elegance, her beauty. She had never mentioned it to Helena, but one of Barbara's favorite things in the entire world was just watching her in all her sleek, predatory majesty.

Restlessly trailing her finger up the side of the glass, disturbing the condensation that had settled on the outside of the glass, Barbara sighed her eyes closing momentarily. She didn't even know why she was there, skulking in the shadows watching Helena hoping she would come over when it should have been obvious to her that the friendship they had previously had had become tiresome to Helena, let alone any possibility of anything more becoming a reality. It was becoming pathetic. It was pathetic. It was beyond pathetic. Pathetic had made a down payment and was building a nice summer home.

Letting out a short bark of dark laughter, Barbara picked up her glass and downed the golden brown liquid within in one gulp, closing her eyes and shaking her head as she lowered it back down to the table. Then not bothering to look up she lazily raised her hand, flickering her wrist upwards nonverbally calling for another.

"How long've you been pounding 'em down like that?" Helena said conversationally as she plopped herself into the chair opposite where Barbara was sitting, sliding another glass along the tabletop as she did.

Barbara tipped her head up and gazed at the brunette sitting across from her for a moment, feeling a familiar warmth spread through her body that had nothing to do with the alcohol she had been consuming. Reaching out, she grasped the glass Helena had brought with her and tipped that one down her throat too, mumbling, "not nearly long enough" with a grimace before lowering the glass back down to the table.

"Are you drunk?" Helena asked watching Barbara carefully. She couldn't recall a time that she had seen the redhead quite like this. She'd seen her upset, she'd seen her angry, she'd seen her happy, she'd seen her brooding, but she'd never seen her sulky and drunk, at least not in that combination.

"What's it to you?" Barbara replied lifting her head up and leaning against the back of her chair so that she could glare at Helena.

"Well, if you were I'd have to get the kid down here with the video camera so we could ask you embarrassing questions like 'where did you lose your virginity' and then play the tape every Christmas," Helena responded her lips curving up saucily.

"Every?" Barbara asked leaning forward and resting her elbows on the table, her head falling into her hand so that she was looking at Helena almost sideways. "That's a lot of Christmas's."

"Not really," Helena responded leaning forward slightly as well, Barbara's drunk melancholy starting to rub off on her. "Odds are I'll die young."

"Why would you say something like that?" Barbara asked immediately, lifting her head out of her hand and focusing on Helena intently, the brunette's statement viciously cutting through the thin alcoholic haze that had begun to form over her.

"It's the truth," Helena responded calmly. "Remember that? It's the thing that hurts."

"Right," Barbara replied her eyes meeting Helena's and holding them. "It's the one spelt with a couple of f's and a u. Makes up charming little truisms like 'drugs are bad' and 'you can't out run bullets'," Barbara continued rubbing at her eyes tiredly. "I'd forgotten that one. Maybe I am drunk. Think I'll walk it off," she continued bracing her hands on the side of her chair pushing herself up, her tone now a mockery of sarcasm. "Shit," she said falling back down into the seat a moment later. "Now I'm paralyzed and sober," she continued leaning back.

"I didn't mean it like that," Helena responded, turning her head to the side awkwardly before looking back over at Barbara surreptitiously.

"Do you ever mean it like that?" Barbara asked her eyes drifting around the bar, looking everywhere and anywhere but at Helena.

"Is that a real question?" Helena asked looking confused and slightly irritated. "Am I supposed to answer that?" she continued staring at the side of Barbara's face trying to get the redhead to look at her and failing miserably. "Or is it like random philosophy from drunks?"

"I'm going home," was Barbara's response, her head still turned away from Helena.

"Like that?" Helena asked not so certain whether Barbara was drunk or not, but not liking her mood whatever it was.

"What am I naked? Yes, like this," Barbara responded rolling her eyes and backing away from the table.

"Barbara," Helena said standing up as the redhead began to roll away from the table.

Barbara stopped moving but didn't turn around.

"I'll walk you," Helena continued coming up behind her and placing her hand lightly on the redhead's shoulder. She couldn't quite explain it, but there was something very different and wrong about this encounter between the two of them. It wasn't as if she and Barbara never fought, they fought all the time, but at the end it things always went back to normal. She offer up a half assed apology though her eyes showed Barbara that she actually meant it, and Barbara would glare at her for a moment and then smile. And then she would smile back and things between them would be back to normal. But this fight was different, and if it ended badly she knew that things would never be normal again.

"What about your shift?" Barbara asked refusing to look up at the brunette.

"Fuck it," Helena responded shrugging.

"Won't they fire you?" Barbara asked finally turning her head to look at the other woman.

"Probably," Helena responded seeming unperturbed.

"Are you hungry?" Barbara asked a moment later, smiling despite herself.

"That depends, are you buying?" Helena asked starting forward, nudging the occupants of crowded bar out of her way as she cleared a path for Barbara.

"Microwaving actually," Barbara responded as they stepped out into the cool night air.

"You mean you actually went grocery shopping?" Helena asked tilting her head to the side.

"Oh that's funny," Barbara commented not really sounding all that amused.

"Michelina's?" Helena asked hopefully, ignoring the redhead's retort as they started down the dark street.

"Lean Cuisine," Barbara replied trying to hide her smile.

"God dammit Barbara," Helena declared jabbing at the ground lightly with her foot. "How many times do I have to tell you that calories are tasty?"

"One more," Barbara responded seriously.

"Really?" Helena asked looking over at her.

"No," Barbara replied shaking her head.

"You have any KD?" Helena asked ignoring Barbara's response.

"Let me guess, artificial flavouring and preservatives are tasty too," the redhead responded.

"You sound like my mother," Helena responded, taking a step closer to Barbara as they continued walking nonetheless.

"No I don't," Barbara responded. "You're mother thought icing should have its own food group."

"You mean it doesn't?" Helena asked feigning surprise.

"Fortunately there are still just the four," was Barbara's reply.

---

Part 11

-------

Helena hoped up onto the kitchen counter silently watching Barbara move deftly around the kitchen. After their initial exit from the bar they hadn't spoken much, and Helena found herself feeling rather anxious. It wasn't a feeling that she was used to, and she wasn't really a fan of it. Her senses were tingling like they did as they picked up movement behind her moments before a fight began, and her brain had that light, slightly heady sensation that she usually experienced during and just after a fight as her blood pumped furiously through her body. But her palms were also sweating lightly, and her stomach was bunching painfully. She was certain that she was having a panic attack, accept that she didn't panic so that couldn't have been it.

"You're quiet," Barbara commented, causing Helena to look over at her suddenly as she was jolted out of her revere.

"Thinking," Helena responded softly, shaking her head slightly. "For once."

"Would you tell me if I asked you what about?" Barbara asked looking up at Helena questioningly through her eyelashes.

Helena was still for a moment, every part of her body paused including her breathing, and then she jumped down off of the counter and began to pace around the kitchen tensely.

"No," she muttered finally, glancing over at Barbara as the words left her lips and then quickly looking away before she could see the other woman's response.

"Is this how you want things to be?" Barbara asked quietly a moment later, her eyes tracking Helena's movements.

"Is what how I want things to be?" Helena asked stopping and turning to face Barbara.

"I don't know, just business," Barbara said her voice confused, and exasperated, and frustrated and hurt. "I mean, I was thinking about what you said. When Dinah first showed up," Barbara continued looking away from Helena. "And you were right, you didn't ask me to take you in. I wanted to and I thought you did too … and I suppose I kind of foisted a relationship upon you … and if it's not what you want then …"

"You didn't 'foist' anything on me," Helena said stalking across the kitchen until she was standing in front of Barbara. "If I didn't want to stay with you I would've left."

"You did," Barbara pointed out her voice barely a whisper.

"I didn't 'leave' leave," Helena responded obviously thrown by the redhead's comment. "I just left a little. I just left down the street. You know, I …" she continued trailing off as she realized she was moving into babbling idiot territory. "I mean I want it … you … it … … I …" she finished running a hand through her hair and looking away as it became clear to her that she had invaded babbling idiot territory and been made queen.

"Well I," Barbara started shaking her head ruefully. "I don't know what the hell is going on. I don't," she went on throwing her hands up in the air helplessly. "I wouldn't even know where to buy a clue … you just … I mean, what do you want Hel? Do you want anything? I …" Barbara finished shaking her head.

"You," Helena said honestly looking over at Barbara meeting the redhead's questioning gaze. "And a pair of nunchucks," she added not quite able to leave her previous statement hovering in the air like that. Fearing that it would somehow get kicked around like a mugger meeting her for the first time.

Barbara let out a deep sigh upon hearing that and pinched the bridge of her nose wearily before making her way over to the microwave and removing the small container inside of it, bringing it over to the table and speaking only when Helena had taken a seat.

"Sometimes I feel like I'm nothing but an irritation to you," she began ignoring Helena's sharp glance upwards at her. "And other times it's completely different, like … I don't know. It sometimes seems like the only thing that I'm sure of is that … is that I miss you."

"I've …" Helena started her fork hovering uncertainly over her plate.

"Been busy?" Barbara guessed. "I know what that means. It's like writing 'have a nice summer' in someone's yearbook. The polite version of 'see ya wouldn't wanna be ya'," she continued shaking her head. "I've been too busy to see Wade for half a year," she went on her eyes trained on her lap so that she missed the way Helena's face twitched at the mention of Wade's name. "Essentially it means I'd rather stick acid laced q-tips in my ears than have coffee with him. Would you rather stick acid laced q-tips in your ears than talk to me?" Barbara finished.

"Did it ever occur to you that maybe it really is just me?" Helena asked softly, fully realizing for the first time that her behavior had been affecting Barbara in a very real way. "I mean, I've got issues. I probably should've been in therapy long before the court ordered it."

"Talk to me," Barbara implored.

"I can't," Helena said, picking up her fork again and doing her best to ignore the feeling of Barbara's eyes on her.

"Why?" Barbara asked knowing that she was close to something, something important and not willing to let it slide. Not with Helena.

Helena was quiet for a moment after Barbara spoke, her whole body tensing and then holding as if she had stressed herself so much she had strained something.

"Maybe I'm scared," she declared a second later, looking up to meet Barbara's gaze, her fork falling out of her now loose hand and dropping to the table. "I am," she continued more certainly. "Okay? Happy now?" she asked looking away again, suddenly deflated, her untouched food forgotten.

"Of what?" Barbara asked genuinely surprised by Helena's response. "Of me?" she continued confused thinking that she really wasn't much to be afraid of anymore.

"No," Helena said standing up swaying back and forth slightly as if not sure what to do with herself. She wanted to run, she wanted to just bolt like she'd done so many times before. Dr. Quinzel was right, she was good at it, too good, it had to be genetic. She wanted to run so badly she could taste it, and yet something held her back. Knowledge. The knowledge that if she left now that she could come back again, but that things would never be quite right again. Because if she ran then, then she would always run and nothing would change. She would never have Barbara, not in any way ever again. But if she stayed, if she told, then maybe …

"Of this," Helena said finally bringing her hand up to her chest her placing it over her heart. "Fucking quivering mass of flesh making me a goddamn basket-case," she continued her hand dropping back down to her side.

"I don't," Barbara began to say, but before she could finish composing her thoughts let alone speak them, Helena was kneeling in front of her, and then leaning into her bringing their lips together tenderly, but firmly, her hand winding its way up behind Barbara's head holding her in place.

And then as suddenly as it had happened, Helena took her lips away leaving Barbara breathless, speechless and more than a little dumbstruck.

"Well?" Helena asked a moment later as Barbara continued to just look at her with a glassy expression in her eyes. "Aren't you going to say something, do something? Slap me?" she rambled feeling that panicky, nauseous feeling starting to come back as she realized what she had done. "You know, cough twice for get out of my house or …" but before she could finish that thought, Barbara leaned forward capturing Helena's lips with her own, pressing them tightly together as Helena opened her mouth to her, a small moan escaping her lips.

Finally after long moments Barbara pulled her mouth away from Helena's the need for oxygen becoming overpowering, yet neither of them wanting to part even a little. So there they sat nose to nose, mouths slightly parted for long moments before Helena closed the small distance that remained between their mouths once more, passionately kissing Barbara, leaning her body into the redhead's heatedly as if afraid that if she didn't taste every inch of Barbara's mouth right that minute that she might never get a chance to.

"Hel," Barbara whispered, her voice low and husky as they finally parted. "I really want to say something meaningful and poignant … but …" she said trailing off as her eyes focused on Helena's red, slightly bruised lips. "But I …" she started to say, the rest of her statement getting swallowed up by Helena's lips as Barbara leaned forward kissing her again, and again and again.

---

Helena's left hand slid under Barbara's chin gently pushing the redhead's head back as she attached her lips to Barbara's neck. Eagerly sucking and licking at the soft skin revealed to her, she held Barbara's head steady as the other woman pushed against her hand and arched into her, a series of guttural moans escaping from her lips as Helena continued to caress her skin with her lips.

Sliding her hands down Barbara's side, Helena grasped the material of the other woman's shirt and tugged it out of her pants, her hands immediately working their way underneath to massage Barbara's rapidly flushing skin.

Barbara bent her head down watching Helena as the brunette watched herself slowly push the material of her shirt upwards, revealing more and more of her skin, her breath hitching slightly when she saw Helena unconsciously lick her lips before biting her bottom lip as she pushed Barbara's shirt up over her chest.

---

Barbara's eyes were trained on Helena, who was now equally as naked as herself, as the brunette spread Barbara's legs and rested her body in-between them, before kissing a feathery trail up Barbara's torso and through the valley of her breasts before bringing their lips together once more. Their erect nipples brushing against each other as their tongues battled each other and their hands roamed. Helena's right hand running up and down Barbara's leg, her nails trailing along the pale flesh.

Dropping her head down and tilting it slightly to the side so that she could see what she was doing, Helena watched her hand moving for a moment before turning a pair of suddenly questioning eyes on Barbara who had been silently watching her.

"Can you feel that?" Helena asked softly, her hand still moving along the flesh in question, completely captivated by the silky smooth skin beneath her fingertips.

"No," Barbara responded, her voice a low whisper as she watched Helena.

"Oh," Helena said, her hand stilling on Barbara's leg. "Right."

"That doesn't mean you have to stop," Barbara replied placing her hand over Helena's drawing the brunette's eyes to hers. "When I see you, I feel like I can feel it," she continued her hand moving Helena's, which lay underneath it. "And it feels good."

"Oh," Helena said again her hand sliding out from under Barbara's and trailing lazily up the curve of the redhead's hips and then further still, entranced once more by the rise and fall of Barbara's chest, her head dropping down to taste the salty smooth skin there.

"What about …" Helena asked a few minutes later, finishing her question by merely raising a curious eyebrow at Barbara.

"Oh," Barbara responded, her lips curving up licentiously as she realized what Helena was getting at.

"Never mind," Helena whispered a moment later, her hand dropping down to Barbara's waist and then further south still. A positively indecent smile appearing on her face as she heard the redhead gasp and watched as her eyes fluttered shut and her head tipped back, as she bit her lip and thrust her hips forward.

"Helena," Barbara managed to choke out a moment later her voice low and breathy as her body moved in time with Helena's wonderfully teasing hand. "I …"

"Yeah," Helena interjected softly, sliding her body up along Barbara's creating a pleasant friction between their bodies. "Me too." And with that she brought their lips together once again, her lips crashing against Barbara's passionately as the redhead brought her hand up behind Helena's neck holding her in place, as the brunette plunged inside her once again.

---

Part 12

---------

Barbara's eyes slowly fluttered open as she became aware of a weight on her chest. Turning her head away from the rays of sunlight streaming through her bedroom window, she found Helena's head resting tucked between her neck and her shoulder, the brunette's arm thrown across her body with her left leg draped over Barbara's pressing her body up against the redheads.

Reaching over Barbara gently brushed a few arrant strands of Helena's hair off of her forehead so that she could see the brunette's face. She looked so peaceful asleep; so heartbreakingly beautiful that Barbara almost couldn't take it.

Tilting her head to the side, Barbara softly pressed her lips to Helena's forehead, her eyes closing as she savored the perfectness of the moment.

When she opened them again she found a pair of blue eyes staring up at her sleepily, blinking as she raised her hand to stroke the still drowsy Helena's cheek.

"Morning," Barbara said softly, Helena's eyes starting to focus as she fully awoke.

"A good one," Helena responded watching Barbara for a second longer before pushing up a little and brushing her lips against the redheads.

"Hmm," Barbara mumbled against Helena's lips, her hand sneaking around to the back of Helena's head, deepening their kiss. "I'm glad you stuck around," she continued placing another brief kiss on Helena's lips before they pulled away from each other.

Helena looked a Barbara for a moment after the redhead spoke, her face serious as she considered Barbara's words. "You didn't think I would?" she asked quietly, unconsciously caressing Barbara's side lightly as she spoke.

"No," Barbara said her tone unassuming as she studied Helena. "I didn't. But I've never been happier to be wrong," she finished smiling at the brunette, her hand running up and down the arm Helena was using to support herself as she leaned over Barbara.

"I …" Helena started to say her eyes fluttering away from Barbara. "I know that," she began again before stopping once more, her eyes blinking rapidly as she tried to contain the tears that were threatening to fall. "I love you," she said finally, simply, looking back up at Barbara, her eyes shimmering with unshed tears. "I do. I love you," she continued her eyes focused on Barbara's, her expression both wondrous and scared. "I'm sticking around … I'm stuck," she finished, meaning every word of it.

"Crazy glued?" Barbara asked her hand trailing up to Helena's face and gently turning it back to face her.

"Cemented," Helena responded leaning down and bringing their lips together once more, and then again, and again and again. She had recently discovered that kissing Barbara was the absolute best thing in the entire world, and she was now shamelessly addicted to it.

"Groovy," Barbara exhaled, her eyes still closed as Helena finally pulled away from her.

"Groovy?" the brunette asked looking at Barbara, a wide grin spreading across her lips as the redhead slowly opened her eyes.

"Shut up," Barbara said her cheeks colouring as Helena smiled down at her. "Blood's not exactly rushing to my brain right now," she continued turning her face away from Helena, giving the other woman the perfect opportunity to lean down and kiss her neck.

"Really?" Helena mumbled against the skin of Barbara's neck before her lips and tongue continued their exploration. "Cause ... ah," she continued lowering her body so that more of it was resting against Barbara's. "I could probably make that worse for you."

"You'd do that, just for me?" Barbara asked smiling as Helena started placing tiny kisses along her jawbone.

"I think we could work out an arrangement," Helena responded before closing the small distance between her lips and Barbara's, gently capturing the redhead's bottom lip between her teeth and tugging slightly before pressing their lips together, moaning as Barbara opened her mouth to her.

---

"Alright, just hear me out," Dinah said flinging Barbara's door open and breezing in as she concentrated on remembering her speech. "You, me, breakfast Krispy Kreme. The perfect start to a hopefully …" she continued looking up. "Perfect day …" she went on trailing off, her mouth hanging open slightly as saw what was happening on the bed for the first time. "Oh. My. God," she exclaimed, her eyes trained on Helena's exposed back as she straddled Barbara's hips. "Oh. My. God," she exclaimed again, in a louder and more traumatized voice as she finally managed to tear her eyes away from the scene in front of her.

"This isn't exactly a spectator sport," Helena commented lightly, turning her head to the side so that she could see Dinah, but not shifting her position so as to remain shielding Barbara from the teenagers view.

"Oh," Dinah responded still slightly dazed. "Right," she continued catching Helena's drift and a whole lot of her skin. "I'm just going to go … away … now," she went on backing out of the room forcing her eyes to remain on the floor. "Bye," and with that she closed the door letting out a deep sigh the moment it clicked shut. "I'm gonna have to start knocking," she muttered to herself as she headed away from the door. "And carrying pepper spray … to use on myself," she went on heading into the kitchen. "Water, definitely a time for water."

"This is not funny," Barbara said glaring at Helena as the brunette laughed above her, her eyes watering from the apparent hilarity of it all.

"You didn't see her face," Helena responded rolling off of the other woman having finally gotten tired of Barbara pushing at her. "I never believed it before, but truly some things are priceless," she continued still laughing.

"She's probably traumatized," Barbara muttered turning her head to look at Helena's still laughing form.

"Oh come on, you've got satellite TV," Helena responded her laughing fits finally subsiding as she turned to meet Barbara's gaze. "You do realize what this means though don't you?"

"What?" Barbara asked her mind drifting towards what was sure to be an awkward trip to school with Dinah.

"You're having Krispy Kreme for breakfast," Helena responded seriously.

Barbara rolled her eyes, her hand reaching up and grabbing her underwear off of the bed head shaking her head as she did so but deciding not to ask. "I'm taking a shower."

"Right," Helena said luxuriating on the bed once Barbara had gotten out, her toes wiggling as she watched the other woman head towards the bathroom. "I forgot. You still have a job."

---

Part 13 - Epilogue

-----------------------

Helena looked over Barbara's shoulders to the computer screen once more, her shoulders held tensely as she clenched and unclenched her fists. Releasing a frustrated sigh she turned away from the screen once more and began to pace.

"No, no, NO," she muttered turning to face Barbara. "If the Sweepers catch your hack before I have a chance to …"

"The Sweepers are NOT going to catch the hack," Barbara interjected momentarily silencing the brunette. "No hack means security is operational. Security systems operational means on site security locks the place down before even you can make it halfway to the lab. That," Barbara continued stressing the word, "is a bad thing."

"Condescension?" Helena asked raising her hand to her ear. "Is that you? I'm telling you that there's another way into the building. Your own schematics show it," she continued waving her hand at the screen. "Look," she said pointing. "It."

"They're still upgrading, if they've extended the perimeter of the surveillance grid you could be vulnerable. It's …"

"Just as great a risk as you hacking the system," Helena said interrupting Barbara.

"It isn't," Barbara said forcefully. "If they catch the hack, which they WON'T, you'll have time to get out of there before they lock down. If they catch you, that's it. These are NOT people you want holding you hostage."

"Are any of them?" Helena asked sarcastically, perching herself on the edge of Barbara's desk.

"Oh, is it comedy hour, now?" Barbara asked watching as Helena settled herself on her desk.

"There's a manned security booth outside of gates right, about a mile out of the forest?" Helena asked looking over at Barbara for confirmation.

"Yeah," Barbara responded, her head turning to glance at the screen momentarily to confirm her answer.

"Alright, I'll take the kid with me. We'll get the guard, she'll do her voodoo and I'll make sure he has a real nice nap. If he tells us they've modified the system I'll radio you and you do the hack. If he says no, we do it my way. Yes?" Helena asked raising her eyebrow at Barbara questioningly.

"Yeah," Barbara responded, a small smile spreading across her face. "That's fine."

"Good," Helena replied easing off of the desk and stepping towards Barbara. Crouching down once she reached the redhead she rested her hand on Barbara's thigh and leaned forward brushing her lips against the other woman's. "We'll be careful," she whispered standing up once they parted. "I promise."

Barbara nodded but remained silent, watching instead as Helena turned around to face Dinah, flinging a backpack at the younger woman as she stalked towards her.

"I'm driving," Dinah said snatching the keys up off of the kitchen counter as they headed towards the door.

"Backseat, yeah," Helena replied easily stealing them from the blonde.

"Why do you always get to drive?" Dinah groused shooting Helena an irritated look.

"Because I can beat you up, now shut it," Helena replied opening the door politely for the blonde nonetheless.

Barbara shook her head as soon as the door closed, smiling despite herself before turning back towards the screen.

She had a city to protect after all, and more importantly two exceptional women to look out for.

The End.

Comments are always greatly welcomed and HUGELY appreciated, so pretty please (with cherries and whipped cream and sprinkles and bananas and little umbrellas) drop me a line.