Poetry Feelings

Author: Janine

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 and Tollin/Robbins (geez, this is beginning to feel like an Oscar speech) etcetera, etcetera. I'm just borrowing them for a short period of time.

Fandom: Birds of Prey (WB)

Rating: R (for language and sexual situations)

Pairing: Helena/Barbara

Summary: A moment of indiscretion … months of indecision … time to make a choice.

Prologue

Four Months B.D. (Before Dinah) – Clock tower training room …

Helena could feel Barbara's eyes on her as she went through her workout routine. Felt Barbara's green eyes following every push up and lunge and kick she made. She had noticed the redhead looking at her more and more over the past month or so, and was secretly pleased with it though she'd made no comment on it to Barbara. She knew that if Barbara was aware of the fact that she was aware of the fact that she had been staring at her, she would make a concerted effort to stop and Helena didn't necessarily want that. She liked the flirting, she was good at the flirting, and she liked being watched.

Lifting her hand up to her head, Helena brushed a few strands of wet hair out of her face and grinned at Barbara, before strutting her way over to the other woman and sitting down cross legged in front to her.

"Well?" she asked, a teasing grin gracing her features as she looked up into Barbara's eyes.

"Well what?" Barbara asked somewhat distractedly, her eyes focused on a bead of sweat that was dripping down Helena's neck, slowly making its way to her chest, before disappearing between her breasts.

"Any helpful tips, or are my ass kicking skills still in top form?" Helena asked noticing the distraction in Barbara's voice and where her eyes were focused. For her part, as she asked the question her eyes were focused on Barbara's lips, watching intently as the redhead's tongue slipped out from behind their protective wall to lick at them unconsciously. It was sexy. It was very sexy. "You have been looking at my form right?" Helena continued as Barbara seemed to consider her question, her eyes roaming the redhead's body. She was keyed up. She was very keyed up.

"Are we still talking about your workout?" Barbara asked finally, her words catching in her throat a bit, as she noticed how Helena was looking at her. Her lips were upturned impishly, and her eyes focused on her with a startling intensity, and yet twinkling naughtily. Barbara swallowed audibly and shifted in her seat. She was beginning to feel as hot as Helena looked.

"I know I'm not," Helena replied noticing Barbara's reaction to her and having it fuel her fire even more. Raising herself up and tucking her legs underneath Helena placed her hands on Barbara's denim clad legs and slowly rubbed them up and down, her eyes on Barbara's all the while. She knew the redhead wouldn't be able to feel it per say, but that wasn't the point, it was the reaction to what the motion implied that she was interested in. So when Barbara's breath hitched in her throat and her lips parted allowing a small sigh to be released, Helena smiled and pushed upwards so that she was kneeling in front of Barbara bringing them almost eye-to-eye.

Slowly sliding her hands up to Barbara's waist, Helena leaned into the other woman so that the lower parts of their bodies were in contact - Barbara's knees bumping against her thighs – but so that there was still space between them. She felt Barbara's hand come to rest on her cheek, the redhead's thumb brushing against her lips, tracing them slowly. She tilted her head into the contact, finding the familiarity of the gesture almost unbearably erotic.

Looking up into Barbara's eyes, Helena placed her hand lightly on Barbara's wrist and dipped her head forward, drawing Barbara's thumb into her mouth, her lips slowly sliding down the length of the digit and back up again, licking and sucking as her eyes drifted close.

Barbara watched as Helena's eyes darkened and then hooded, there was something primal in the brunette's look and touch that excited her beyond belief. Helena's touch was soft, but Barbara could feel a tenseness in the brunette's body, she could feel how it was coiled ready to spring into action at any moment.

The truth was she was surprised by the overtness of Helena's actions. It had been clear to both of them, especially in the past month or so that a mutual attraction existed between them, and while she knew that she would have been interested in exploring it, Helena had seemed content to merely flirt, tossing out suggestive comments almost leering at her one moment, and then she would seem utterly uninterested the next.

The truth of the matter was that Helena would flirt with just about anyone, the brunette could just be staring at a potted plant and make it look sexy. So Barbara didn't dare to think that she was more than a passing thought that sometimes tickled the brunette's fancy. And while that thought saddened her somewhat, she was also kind of relieved by it, because as amazing as they could potentially be together, there was also the potential of a spectacular explosion.

But she had never worried about having to make a choice about whether to risk it or not, because she had never truly believed it was a possibility. In fact, knowing Helena as she did, she wasn't even entirely certain that it was a possibility now. After all, the brunette was the person who had once commented; 'just cause I might wanna fuck somebody doesn't mean I want to go to Christmas dinner at the folks'.

But before she could think about it anymore, she felt Helena's lips brush against hers, and she could feel the heat radiating off of the brunette's body, seeping into her, as Helena entered her mouth. And suddenly, she wasn't thinking so much.

Helena moaned as she felt Barbara's lips part allowing her to deepen the kiss. Her heart was thundering in her chest, and her head pounding exhilaratingly as her blood rushed through her veins so rapidly she thought that she could hear it. She wanted Barbara badly; she wanted her that moment, right there … repeatedly. She wanted to make her buck, and scream and moan. She wanted to see Barbara's head tilted back, her body overcome with pleasure as her name was raggedly torn from Barbara's kissed bruised lips, reverberating off of the walls around them. And then …

Her hand slipped under Barbara's shirt, caressing the heated skin she found there …

And then, what?

…She kissed her way down Barbara's neck hungrily, her left hand trailing up the redhead's torso to cup her breast through her bra, her thumb roughly rubbing across the material as Barbara grasped the back of her head by her hair and pulled Helena closer to her.

… What afterwards?

She could feel Barbara's free hand on her waist as they leaned into each other, kissing hungrily, almost desperately, Barbara brusquely tugging at her tank top successfully pulling it out of the waistband of her pants. And while Barbara's hand slipped underneath her own shirt, her nails dragging deliciously up and across the flesh she found there, Helena explored as much as the redhead's skin as she could underneath the confines of her shirt.

… And then what? Afterwards, as they lay together in a sweaty tangle, she'd extract herself and get dressed, say she'd call and go home never to be seen or heard from again? No, that wouldn't work this time. It was Barbara after all, her friend, her partner, her confidant, and family. It was Barbara. She couldn't get some and get lost with Barbara, she'd have to stick around and talk about her emotions … she would have to … could she even … did she even want to … what if she couldn't … maybe this wasn't such a good…

Suddenly Helena pulled away, her hand slipped out from underneath Barbara's shirt and she and leaned back onto her hunches causing Barbara's hands to fall away from her as she sat there, her chest rising and falling rapidly her heart pounding and her blood still racing through her veins, her eyes wide and panicky.

"I'm sorry," she mumbled suddenly, blinking rapidly as she stood up. "I shouldn't have done that. I…" she continued bouncing on her feet lightly. She still wanted to, so badly. Barbara wanted it too, she could just … but Barbara, Barbara liked the talking and the relationship stuff and she wasn't so good with that and … "with the workout, things were flowing and … I got a little… sorry. Just, sorry," she finished looking at Barbara as she tugged at the bottom of her shirt trying to straighten it out, make it look presentable, even though it was fine.

"Helena," Barbara started to say, not sure exactly what had freaked the other woman out. Sure she hadn't said, 'Helena please come ravage me', but she hadn't resisted, not even close, she wasn't even on the same continent as resistance. She didn't understand why Helena would think that she didn't want …

"No," Helena said firmly, looking Barbara in the eye. She wasn't going to do this; she wasn't going to hurt Barbara by fucking her and then fucking it up. Not Barbara. "I shouldn't have done that," she continued running her hand through her hair. Her body was still humming with excitement but she had managed to get her voice and speech under control again. "I can't … I'm sorry. I should go," she finished starting towards the door.

"Helena," Barbara said protesting. Dammit, she couldn't think properly, her body was all flushed and her mind hazy. She couldn't follow what was going on, only that Helena was going, abruptly, and that wasn't a good thing. "Helena wait …" she called out again starting after the brunette who had not stopped moving.

"I'll call you," Helena said turning around to face Barbara briefly before looking away again and wincing. "I mean I'll be by tomorrow, there's the park thing you know," she continued trying to undo the damage of the kiss of death, 'I'll call you' comment. There was going to be a huge concert at New Gotham Park the next night, and Barbara had gotten some troubling reports about something big and of the bad variety going down there. She was supposed to check it out. She had to come back tomorrow they worked together. "Tomorrow," she went on stepping into the elevator. "I'll bring dinner," and with that the elevator door closed leaving Barbara staring at it helplessly.

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Part 1

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Barbara listened quietly as Helena chattered on about how much of an ordeal it had been to pick up dinner; she'd hit every red light, the restaurant she was going to go to was closed, her foot itched but she couldn't take it off of the pedal, did Barbara know that dogs could walk on their hind legs for a good thirty seconds? She couldn't remember if it was sesame seeds Barbara was allergic to so she got both kinds of chicken, it was unseasonably warm outside wasn't it? …

"Helena," Barbara said finally cutting into the brunette's endless dialogue. It wasn't that Helena didn't spin an amusing tale. In fact she usually enjoyed it immensely when the brunette was in such a talkative mood. She could catch up on month's worth of conversation in one sitting. It was very economical. But she wasn't in the mood for that at the moment; they had more important things to discuss.

"Right, breathe," Helena said looking over at Barbara, her head nodding and her eyebrows raising as if to say 'silly me'. "Anyway, you enjoy, I'm going to head over to the park," she continued with a little wave before heading for the exit.

"You're going?" Barbara asked not even trying to hide her exasperation. Helena had been there for the egregiously long period of maybe fifteen minutes.

"To the park," Helena returned pretending not to notice Barbara's cross tone. "Go on, eat up. I'll sign on when I get there," and before Barbara could argue with her and insist that they needed to talk again, Helena was in the elevator and on her way out.

---

"Gerbils. Genetically engineered killer gerbils. Really, could you think of anything more terrifying? Could there be an easier way to infiltrate the homes of patriotic unsuspecting Americans? I don't think so," Helena said into the transceivers with a mockingly serious tone. "Look into it," she went on, her eyes scanning the park as she dodged the occasional burning piles of … clothes?

Helena looked up just in time to see a topless woman walk by her and twirl around to wink at Helena as she went past, holding the brunette's eyes for a moment before turning back around and continuing on her way. Helena smiled; maybe it wouldn't be so bad to be on duty tonight after all. Tilting her head in the direction the woman had gone Helena caught her still staring at her. She was definitely going to have to start going to more concerts.

Helena smiled again and took a step forward.

"Do you think you could be serious, for like, just a moment longer than it takes your cells to divide," Barbara said her voice filling the transceivers making Helena's step falter. See, this was just her point. She couldn't be going and thinking, and planning to do stupid, sluttish things like she was just going to do if she was with Barbara. The redhead would frown on that, and then probably beat her with a big, hard stick. It was just that she couldn't help herself; she was like a slave to the music … only not so much music. She just wasn't relationship material.

She was a huntress.

"How long does that take? Cause if it's longer than like nanoseconds, I don't know if I'm equipped for such a long term commitment," Helena replied, her words carrying a kind of double meaning that wasn't lost on her.

"So this is how it's going to be?" Barbara asked, her voice soft and ragged as she struggled to keep her emotions in check. She didn't know why she was surprised, this was how Helena was, and it was why she had never entertained the thought of being with the brunette in the near future. She may have loved Helena – including everything from her emotional issues to the fact that if it was cold outside the brunette would take her jacket off and drape it over Barbara's shoulders without a word – but Helena wasn't yet ready to be loved in return. Barbara wondered if she ever would be, if she could wait for her to be.

"Looks like," Helena responded. She wasn't an idiot or clueless. She could hear the pain in Barbara's voice, but she also understood that sometimes pain was inevitable. That being said she was going to do whatever she could to minimize the pain she had to inflict upon Barbara. She knew the other woman, and she knew that she couldn't give her what she needed. Barbara was always about having more than a good time and she … well she was all about having a good time and the climbing out the window before the clean up the next day. It was better this way, she'd stick to her nocturnal distractions, and Barbara could go back to dating unsuccessfully, and they'd stay up and eat ice cream together. Everything would be fine.

The other end of the transceiver was quiet for a long moment, and then Helena heard a soft click in her ear. "Check over by the rec center, if they're actually moving contraband they've got to be moving it from somewhere," she said her voice a bit flatter than usual but otherwise unremarkable, the soft sound of typing filtering into Helena's head through the small device attached to her ear.

"And that would be what way?" Helena asked relieved to see that Barbara was willing to drop it. "With all the people out here it's like the Great Wall of Gotham," she continued smiling. That was a pretty good one … she waited expectantly for the sound of Barbara's laughter through the transceiver.

It never came.

"Just a second, I'm checking the satellite link up," Barbara said by way of response, her voice distant and dull.

Helena bit her lip thoughtfully. Maybe … no, no things would work out alright, Barbara was just feeling a bit rejected, that was all. They were a duo. A dynamite duo if she did say so herself. And duos by definition consisted of two people. She was a key component of this duo. Really she was the thing separating it from being an uno. Besides, she'd done lots of stupid things since she'd known Barbara and she and the redhead had always been fine in the end. And this time …

"Right," Barbara said a second later disrupting Helena's thoughts.

"Thanks," Helena replied. She never said thanks. She usually just grunted some reply and ran off. Barbara would like that, that she said thanks.

The other end of the transceiver remained quiet.

"Well, I'm going then. Right," Helena continued slightly alarmed by the fact that she missed the sound of Barbara endlessly chatting into her ear. If she was speaking with someone, or saving them the redhead was usually quiet just listening to her do her thing, but otherwise it was like an exercise in stream of consciousness. She actually found it kind of amusing and interesting, since even though she was usually privy to practically every step of Barbara's thought process, she usually still couldn't follow where the redhead pulled most her conclusions from.

"Okay," came Barbara's response. This was followed by more silence.

Helena sighed. This was just great. She was being treated like someone who didn't call and she didn't even get to have any sex. There was no justice in the world. But then again, she supposed, that's why you're out here isn't it?

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Part 2

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Six Months Later …

"What're ya doin'?" Helena asked playfully sidling up behind Barbara, her head already tilting to the side so that she could see over the redhead's shoulder.

"Grading papers," Barbara responded mockingly though she smiled as she turned to face Helena. "Just like I was five minutes ago, and five minutes before that, and five minutes before that," she continued pausing momentarily to suck in a breath. "And five minutes before that, and five minutes before that, and …"

"Are you trying to tell me something?" Helena asked grinning back at her knowingly. She'd already been through the entire Ikea catalogue, and an issue of People, and Teen People, and shown Dinah how to bust a perp's nose in one easy motion. She was bored. No, she Bored. And there was no cure for boredom like bothering Barbara. Actually Barbara was a pretty good cure for just about anything.

"No," Barbara said shaking her head, "never," she went on sarcastically as she returned her attention to the paper resting in front of her.

"Let's go out," Helena said shimmying her way in between Barbara and the desk, promptly setting her ass on the paper the redhead had been looking at. "We never go any place nice anymore? Has the romance died?" she continued laughing as Barbara pushed on her thighs trying to get her to move. "That kinda tickles … do it again," she went on as one of Barbara's hands slipped dangerously close to her posterior end in an attempt to move her.

The moment the words had come out of her mouth, Helena wished she could shove them back in, but they were out there now and she knew that it was inevitable that Barbara would immediately withdraw her hands and place a respectable distance between them. Sexual innuendo wasn't so much appreciated around the clock tower anymore. It was the one thing that had seemed to be irreconcilably changed between the two of them. Looking and touching were a-okay; they were just not to be talked about under any circumstances whatsoever.

"That's because you've been banned from anyplace classy enough to have those 'no shoes, no shirt, no service' signs," Barbara said her voice a little less playful than before but still friendly and conversational. Moving her chair back a bit she then looked up and over at Helena cocking her head to the side indicting that the brunette really should get her ass of her desk.

"There's been a lot of construction in the city, I'm sure we can find someplace that hasn't heard about me yet," Helena replied finally relenting and standing up, allowing Barbara back at her homework. "Come on, nothing is going on," she continued waving absently at all of the non-flashing computer monitors in the loft, "and you're the teacher, you don't have to hand things back on time. It's your prerogative. Prerogative," she emphasized.

"I need to get these back before midterms," Barbara replied, though she set the paper she was looking at back down nonetheless and looked over at Helena, her face inscrutable. "Besides, if things stay so slow …" she went on looking at the blank screens for a moment, her voice trailing off.

"Sentence fragments are nobody's friend Barbara. There was, you know, an end to that wasn't there?" Helena asked smiling widely when Barbara turned back around to face her and rolled her eyes. The fact was that if there was one thing cuter in the entire world than Barbara's 'so deep in thought the coast guard is looking for me' face, it was her 'I'm trying to look annoyed even though I'm actually amused' face.

"Wade asked me up north for the weekend, if things stay slow I was thinking of going," Barbara replied, her eyes back on the essay in front of her.

"Wade? For the weekend?" Helena asked incredulously. The truth was going away for the weekend didn't sound like a bad idea, in fact it sounded like a great idea. Fresh air, nature, blackened marshmallows, and warm, fluffy blankets were all ingredients for good times. Away for the weekend with Wade, however, was an entirely different story. Barbara never went away, getting Barbara to go to the grocery store was like an epic fucking battle, and she was going to go away for the weekend with Wade? Wade!

"Yeah, just an hour or so out of city. There's a Bed and Breakfast … apparently," Barbara responded not sure what to make of the expression on Helena's face. She thought the brunette looked somewhat confused and horrified.

"A Bed and Breakfast? You're gonna go to a Bed and Breakfast?" Helena asked blinking rapidly as she looked at Barbara. What was this the fucking Twilight Zone? Barbara was going to ditch her to go 'up north' with some guy named Wade who was surprised by the fact tragedies were depressing? Barbara was taking vacations with stupid people now?

"Yes," Barbara responded slowly as Helena pushed away from her desk and walked a few steps before spinning around to face her once more.

"You can't be serious?" Helena asked though it sounded more like declaration. "Are you stupid?" she continued her hand making emphatic gestures. She was feeling kind of hot all over, and had a slightly nauseous feeling in her stomach. Maybe she was sick. She didn't feel well. Why the hell hadn't she thought to ask Barbara to go up north for the weekend? Then she realized that it was because she wasn't dating Barbara, but that only seemed to make her more agitated.

"I'm gonna ignore the last part of that for health reasons … yours," Barbara said looking at Helena pointedly, her tone not at all amused, "and say that, yes, I am serious."

"This is retarded," Helena exclaimed completely missing Barbara's expression and tone. "Why are you wasting so much time with him?" she asked sounding perplexed and exasperated. Barbara was always talking to Wade and going out in public with him. It wasn't at all necessary. "You're just fucking him right?"

Stony silence met her query and finally, Helena focused on Barbara and saw her expression.

"Sorry, you don't like that word," she continued in a conciliatory tone noting how very unimpressed with her Barbara looked. "What I meant was, you're not serious about him are you? It's like biological right?"

"Tact is a completely foreign concept to you isn't it?" Barbara asked, her expression staid and her tone dry as she watched Helena. Truthfully she wondered why the hell Helena cared, she'd been a staunch supporter of her going out and getting some, practically trying to pimp her to Wade, and now she was getting all pissy. The brunette was infuriating. She was rude, and unpredictable, and rude, and moody, and rude … and Barbara wanted to grab her and kiss her senseless.

"I'm a firm believer in the 'tell it like it is' approach to interpersonal relations," Helena responded. "Well? Are you?" she continued wanting to get back to the matter at hand.

Barbara stared at her for a moment after that, her eyes burning into Helena's, before she lowered her gaze and bent over the paper she had been marking before once again. She was pretty sure that if she stared at the paper and sung a show tune - or maybe a catchy jingle - to herself inside of her head, she'd be able to effectively ignore Helena.

"It won't work out," Helena went on when Barbara ignored her. She knew that she should shut up, really she did. She knew that she was acting like an ass, a big, stupid ass. She knew that what she was saying was completely inappropriate - especially considering the shaky ground they'd been on only months before - and that she should just stop talking. But she couldn't. She just couldn't. It was just that … the whole thing was just … "He doesn't even know you!" she exclaimed loudly, her hand moving wildly.

"And what?" Barbara asked angrily, after Helena totally shit on her brilliant 'ignoring plan'. "If he did he couldn't possibly want to be with me. Is that it?" Barbara asked turning on Helena again. Her voice was rough with emotion and with hurt, and she was forced to turn away from Helena and back to her work as soon as she'd caught a glimpse of the brunette.

Coming from Helena - with what had happened between them before, or more precisely with what hadn't happened before, and since - the conversation, if it could be called that, was almost too much for her. If Helena didn't want to be with her that was one thing, she'd certainly had enough opportunities too rectify the situation since the day they had kissed if she'd wanted to, but yelling about how nobody else should either was really too much.

"I didn't say that," Helena replied softly though her eyes refused to meet Barbara's. That couldn't have been farther from the truth, from what she was thinking and feeling. The more you knew about Barbara the more you couldn't help but love her. Barbara's layers were what made her so … so! Without knowing those layers Wade couldn't deserve her, because he couldn't know her. Could he? No. Barbara wouldn't let him. Would she? No. No. He could never know her, not really. So he could never deserve her, he would never be good enough. Barbara deserved better, the best, to be loved completely, she deserved …

"What are you saying?" Barbara asked removing her glasses with a slightly shaking hand. She felt like throwing them at Helena … and then maybe a monitor or two.

"Just that …" Helena started, stopping momentarily to sigh. "This whole fucking Wade thing is a waste of time. I mean what the hell comes next? Is he gonna move into the loft and bake muffins tops with us?" she asked derisively, mocking the cover story about an on-line baking business that Barbara had been using to explain her frequent absences to Wade. "Is he gonna go on donut runs when we're burning the midnight batter? Keep a pot of coffee on for fudge emergencies?" she asked pacing in circles. "You're the one that's always going on about this secret identity, it's a legacy, we're duty bound, you can run but you'll always come back, sanctimonious bullshit and now you're gonna what? You're gonna drop it all for a roll in the hay and some apple cider?" she went on contemptuously rounding on Barbara. "Dad would be so proud of you, following in his footsteps all the way. You'll write though, won't you?" she finished finally stopping her cycle of pacing.

Barbara stared at Helena for a long moment after the brunette had finished her little tirade, not even knowing where to begin tackling how wrong, and insulting, and wrong, and self-pitying, and wrong, reckless, and wrong, and hurtful, and WRONG what had just been said was.

She did know one thing though she was pissed off. Irrationally, inordinately, violently, exceedingly, exceptionally pissed off.

"Go," Barbara said her voice hard as she calmly replaced her glasses. "Sweep, home … I don't really care. Just go. Now," she continued her voice flinty and resolute, her back turned to Helena as she leaned over her desk once more. She was not making a request. Helena would go. Immediately.

Helena stood there for a moment longer looking at Barbara after the redhead had dismissed her. Screwing her eyes shut, she sighed and turned around. She'd managed to fuck that up spectacularly. She didn't know why she was surprised though, that's what she seemed to be best at, fucking things up. Maybe she'd discovered another super power, the ability to never do anything remotely important to her right.

"You're such an ass."

Helena looked up as she neared the door to see Dinah standing in the doorway of the kitchen, glaring at her, arms folded across her chest.

"I just wanted to go out for dinner," Helena muttered rather pathetically, knowing that she was indeed an ass.

"Why can't you just be happy for her?" Dinah responded, her head turning to look over in Barbara's direction before turning back to shoot death rays at Helena. She had an idea what Helena's little tirade was all about, but it just made her think Helena was an even bigger ass since she'd been the one pushing Barbara to go out with him in the first place.

"I …" Helena began to respond before promptly stopping. Why couldn't she just be happy for her? She didn't know. "Whatever," she finally grumbled in Dinah's direction before escaping into the elevator.

She hated domestic issues. They were always so messy.

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Part 3

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Later that night…

Helena stared in front of her, her head languidly resting against the wall behind her as she looked into the darkness of the room. She knew that she shouldn't be there, but now that she was she couldn't seem to make herself move. Her chest just rose and fell as she breathed silently as she remained a statue of flesh and blood.

"I thought you had gone," Barbara said into the darkness of her bedroom, her eyes focused just to the left of her doorframe though nothing seemed to be there.

Helena blinked upon hearing the redhead's voice. Her mind had drifted so far that she hadn't realized Barbara had woken up.

"I had," Helena replied softly, her voice emanating from the exact spot Barbara was staring at. "I forgot something. Had to come back. To get it," she continued, the shadows shifting slightly as she took a step forwards so that Barbara could actually make out her form.

"What are you doing in here?" Barbara asked pointedly shifting upwards so that her arms supported her as she looked at Helena.

Helena laughed awkwardly in response to the question, shifting her weight uncomfortably from foot to foot before edging back towards the darkness near the door. She hadn't counted on Barbara waking up and actually having to talk to her. "I just … wanted to ask you something," she finally responded, rushing her words as her eyes traced the lines of the hardwood of the floor beneath her feet.

The truth was she hadn't been able to get their previous argument, and the reason for it, out of her mind, and somewhere after her tenth complementary shot, she'd become convinced that if she could just see Barbara she'd be able to figure out what the fuck had happened earlier and figure out how to make it better.

However, as she stood there looking at the other woman she had to wonder why the hell she had thought that. Being there was only making it worse. Not only did she not feel better about the situation, she was beginning to feel violent about it. She didn't just want to curse Wade out anymore, she wanted to run off and beat on him. He just didn't … Barbara was so … and he was so not …and…

"What?" Barbara asked somewhat tersely though she rolled her head to the side to look at Helena nonetheless. She was torn between telling Helena to shove it where the sun didn't shine and going back to sleep, and wondering what could possibly be so important that Helena had felt the need to creep into her bedroom in the middle of the night after she had kicked her out only hours before.

"I … can't remember now," Helena said lamely, her head lifting up once again to look over at Barbara, her gaze intense and focused. She had no trouble making out even the minutest detail about the redhead in the darkness of the room. She looked so soft, so vulnerable lying there in the darkness, her blanket pooling seductively at her waist. "Wasn't important," she continued her gaze drifting towards the door as her voice trailed off pensively.

"Are you sure?" Barbara asked her gaze now intensely focused on Helena's body, though she couldn't make out as much in the way of details as Helena could. She remembered what had happened earlier, but she was too tired to be confrontational. "I'm up now, so …" she continued, shaking her head absently to try and remove a stray strand of hair that had fallen into her face, her hands were otherwise occupied with the whole keeping her upright thing.

"Yeah," Helena responded as crossed the distance from her spot by the door to the bed in a flash, her hand reaching out to gently brush the hair off of Barbara's face, her fingers lingering for a long moment by the redhead's jaw once she was done before she drew it back into her body and stepped back. "I'm okay," she continued moving further back, into the shadows once again. "I'm sorry I woke you," she went on, a soft exhalation following before she added, "I'm sorry about earlier too," she continued her face screwing up at the memory of it. "I'll just … let you get back to sleep then," she finished her voice hesitant as if leaving was the last thing she wanted to do, though she would do it anyway.

"Hel…" Barbara started to say, intrigued by Helena's tone despite herself. She couldn't quite decipher the brunette's mood, but she knew that whatever had brought Helena to her this late and drove her to speak as she had been, wasn't nothing. It was something, something Barbara wanted to find out. But, before she could get the rest of the other woman's name out of her mouth the door to her bedroom had closed and she was alone again.

Sighing, Barbara dropped back down onto the bed her head turning towards the door once it had hit the pillow.

She remained staring at the door contemplatively for long moments, before finally shaking her head. The skin of her cheek still burned with remembrance of the brunette's gentle touch.

She shook her head again, sighing wearily. She hated it when she had absolutely no idea what was going on.

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Part 4

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Helena leaned over the clock tower railing, her eyes scanning the bright lights of the city below, a weary sigh escaping from her lips. She felt like repeatedly bashing her head against some hard, blunt object. The scent of Barbara's shampoo was still tickling her olfactory senses, and her fingertips tingled with remembrance of the texture of Barbara's hair as she had slid it off of the redhead's face. She felt something powerful, and tender inside as she thought about it, about how Barbara had looked in peaceful slumber before she had sensed Helena's presence and awoken. She didn't feel like she had control over the feelings that were swelling inside of her, she was beginning to feel like a pebble swept away by the tide, drowned out by the sheer volume of her emotions. She hadn't wanted to remove her hand from Barbara's face, or step away from the redhead or leave the room. She had wanted to stay right where she was, with Barbara.

She was starting to freak out.

It was Barbara. She was having all of these Shakespearian poetry feelings and they were about Barbara. She didn't want Shakespearian poetry feelings, not about anyone. She was fiercely opposed to Shakespearian poetry feelings, there was always blood, and angst, and lots of death. She knew about blood, and angst, and lots of death and she wasn't about to be signing up for more of that shit voluntarily.

She was perfectly happy being her own island. 'Get it and get out' was her motto. As evidence of this being her creed she only had to consider Reese and how she was well on her way to those ends with him - she chose not to think about why she hadn't actually done more than flirt with him even though she had had ample opportunities to take it further.

The point was that she just didn't need this poetry shit in her life!

But there it was, Barbara and metaphors about flowers, and springs, and gentle summer breezes. She was getting the urge to cuddle and have conversations with her. Barbara's lips now needed to be described as luscious and luxurious. And that smile, that fucking gorgeous smile. She wanted to go out into the night and buy every Galaxy chocolate bar in the city, because they were Barbara's favorite and leave them around the loft as surprises. Not for any reason, but just because.

But that didn't mean … did it? No … but … it did! Oh, for fuck's sake!

She was in love. She was in love with Barbara, and redhead was about to be going off to a Bed and Breakfast with some jackass named after a type of pool, because it'd taken her too long to realize it. Because she'd been scared to commit, to actually admit that she might need someone in her life, that maybe she wasn't an island after all.

She'd had her chance with Barbara. She realized that now. That day in the training room, as she had gone through her routine and Barbara had watched. Barbara had been scared like her, but had also been willing open up to her in that last way. And she'd tested the water and decided not to swim. She'd been convinced at the time that it wouldn't work, that they would've slept together that afternoon and then afterwards she'd have done some insensitive, jackass thing and ruined everything. She'd been convinced that she wasn't ready for it to work.

But she'd come around now, she'd grown up, she understood. She was ready to be with Barbara now, to be good with her and for her.

Helena slumped down onto the ground and dropped her head into her hands. Why did everything have be so fucked up just when she'd figured it all out?

---

Part 5

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Two days later …

Helena remained where she stood, in front of Barbara's desk her hand resting on a small package, as she heard the door to the clock tower swoosh open. She could tell from the moment it opened that it was Dinah, probably just arriving home from school. She ran her finger along the package, staring at it knowing there was no need to call out to Dinah, the blonde would come down to bother her soon enough.

"She's still at school," Dinah said coming up behind Helena, her tone disapproving. She was still mad about the other day. If Helena had been in a better mood she might have found the girl's protectiveness of Barbara's well being charming. However, as things stood she just didn't have enough reserves left to deal with it.

"I know," Helena replied softly turning around, leaning against the desk so that she could languidly look at Dinah, she sighed. "I was just dropping this off."

"What is it?" Dinah asked noticing the small package on the desk for the first time. Some of her anger at Helena was fading now that she'd gotten a good look at the brunette. Her posture was bad, and not in her usual purposeful 'I'm a rebel' way, she just seemed exhausted. And the dark bags under her eyes, and her tussled hair only added to the picture.

"A gift," Helena replied lifting up her hand to rub at her eyes. "I'm not good with apologies. Credit though, I'm all over that," she continued cracking a little smile at Dinah, shrugging when the blonde merely looked at her.

"She's been really upset, and worried," Dinah responded not quite willing to forgive Helena yet for what she had said - and then for disappearing for a two days without a word - even though it looked to her like Helena was beating herself up about it as much as Dinah was. The thing was Barbara had been good to her, had given her a home and taken care of her when everyone else in the entire world had treated her like a freak, and made her feel ashamed of who and what she was. They might only have know each other for a short amount of time, but Dinah cared greatly about the older woman, and would do anything to protect her. Apparently, loyalty was one of her virtues; she'd just never gotten a chance to find out before.

"Listen," Helena said pushing off of the desk. "This angry terrier routine is great, really it is. But what's going on with me and Barbara, is between me and Barbara," she went on. "You don't know, so just stay out of it."

"I know more than you think," Dinah replied as Helena brushed by her. "I know if you blow it again, you're not gonna get another chance," she continued her eyes focused on Helena's back. Someone had to say it, and well, she was the only other person there.

From the first day she'd arrived she'd sensed something going on between Helena and Barbara, something just below the surface scratching to get out, something that only became more obvious to her on the astral plane inside of Helena's head. That something was love. And for those first couple of days she had known them the idea that they weren't a couple hadn't even entered her mind, the fact that she hadn't seen any overt displays of affection not concerning her in the least. She'd assumed that Helena always leaning all over Barbara, and the small intimate gestures the bestowed upon each other – like Barbara resting her hand on the small of Helena's back when emphasizing a point – and their shared glances, was just their way being discreet for her benefit.

And then when 'Liquid Guy' had started to make trouble she'd learned about Barbara's first date with Wade, and had heard Helena flirting with Reese over the transceivers, and had been completely disillusioned. She'd thought that she was just wrong about the vibes she'd been getting from them, or that maybe it was some kind of elaborate rouse. But as the weeks had gone by she'd learned that Barbara really was dating Wade, and Helena was up to who knew what with Reese, and yet they still looked at each for too long, touched each other too much, and generally got on too much like a married couple, for it to actually be nothing.

She just couldn't figure it out.

But then, after the incident a few days ago, after Helena had left she'd seen Barbara been looking particularly torn up and had gone over to her and squeezed her shoulder in a sign of support. She hadn't known what was going on really, but that shoulder-squeezing support couldn't possibly have hurt, but when she had touched the older woman a flood of images and feeling had flooded into her mind from Barbara's. And she understood.

She knew what the deal was now, and that Helena was screwing up again, even though she genuinely seemed to be trying this time.

"What's that suppose to mean?" Helena asked rounding on her angrily. "Have you been in my head?" she continued her eyes narrowing into catlike slits.

"No," Dinah said immediately, her hands rising defensively as she stepped back. "I haven't been in your head I swear. I just … I mean the way you look at each other, it's pretty obvious," she went on relaxing somewhat as Helena's eyes returned to normal. It wasn't really a lie either, she hadn't been in Helena's head at all, and she had already pretty much figured it out before the incident with Barbara. It was white, very white, almost translucent really.

"I don't know what you're talking about," Helena said averting her eyes from Dinah.

"Yes you do, and that's the attitude that got you in trouble in the first place," the blonde responded not buying Helena's act. The more she talked to the brunette and spent time around her, the better she had gotten at understanding her moods and behavior. She'd realized that despite what Helena tried to project she was actually very sensitive, and vulnerable, and when the brunette began to feel that way she'd get all defensive and bitchy to try and hide it. It wasn't exactly her most charming personality trait, but Dinah understood it. "You still have a chance, if you don't go all 'angry, bitter, never was' on her."

"She's with Wade," Helena replied sullenly. "They're going to a Bed and Breakfast. They're going to pick apples and do the crossword together, and get married and…" she began to rant, her hand raising her face once more to rub at her eyes. Great, she thought to herself, her fingers were wet. She was starting to cry. This stupid kid was making her cry.

"Oh spare me," Dinah interjected halting Helena's speech even though she was surprised and moved to see the tears forming in Helena's eyes as she spoke. She didn't think she had ever seen the brunette cry in the real world. "If that's what you think, if you're not even willing to make the attempt, then I hope she and Wade do end up happily ever after, and get married and do crosswords or whatever, because you totally wouldn't deserve her," Dinah continued shaking her head at Helena. "And I know you can beat me into a paste for saying all of this, but you need to hear it so I'm going to say it anyway. Suck. It. Up. Just. Suck. It. Up."

Helena looked over at Dinah, her head tilting to the side as she bit her lip. "I'm …"

"Scared?" Dinah supplied knowingly.

"She's never shown this much interest in anyone before, I mean what if she doesn't want me an …" Helena began, not quite able to get over the Bed and Breakfast thing.

"How long did you expect her to wait for you? At least she knew where he stood," Dinah interjected once again. She couldn't be sure, but as far as she could figure Helena and Barbara's kiss/groping session had happened about four months before she'd arrived. Which meant that Helena had had about five months, give or take, to act on her feelings for Barbara – or at least figure them out. But apparently she'd decided that avoidance and snappy repartee would be more conductive and had let it slide. But now that she realized that there was a possibility that other fish might leap into Barbara's emotional sea she was getting worried that her position would be usurped and her chance would die. And she was right, because there was no way in hell that Barbara could have any idea that Helena wanted to be with her when until the other day Helena hadn't even really known herself.

Helena sighed. "Have I been dawdling?"

"Just a little," Dinah replied her tone friendlier now that Helena seemed to realize that she was behaving like an idiot.

"I didn't want to hurt her," Helena continued making her way over to the couch and flopping down onto it.

"You won't," Dinah replied closing the distance between them some, but not getting too close to Helena. The brunette had a thing about her personal space – with everyone but Barbara – and she didn't want to ruin their talk by getting to close and creeping Helena out.

"How can you be so sure?" Helena asked with a snort. Sure she'd taken responsibility for her assholeosity and continued therapy even though she hadn't had to, and she'd searched her soul and found love and all that, but she still wasn't sure how much she'd actually grown as an individual. She still had her abandonment complex, and daddy issues, and anger issues, and a persecution complex and probably a host of other problems that her therapy sessions hadn't given cute little names to.

"Because you're in love with her," Dinah responded simply, looking at Helena like she was a complete tool for not knowing that.

"Love doesn't always conquer all," Helena replied, her gaze on her shoes. See, there she went again with the issues from her childhood.

"It doesn't need to," Dinah replied. "She knows you, and loves you, psychosis's and all. I think she knows that your package isn't all pretty eyes and nice hair."

"You think I have pretty eyes?" Helena asked looking up at Dinah finally, a smile tugging at her lips.

"Shut up," Dinah responded averting her eyes from Helena's, a slight blush creeping up to her cheeks. Her little infatuation with Helena had been short-lived, ending around the first time the brunette had tried to kill her, which meant her second day at the clock tower.

Still she did have pretty eyes.

"What else have you been looking at?" Helena asked teasingly. She was clearly able to make out the flush on Dinah's skin.

"I'm going to my room," Dinah declared knowing that Helena was just going to tease her if she stayed in the room. Harassing her seemed to be one of the brunette's favorite pastimes. "And you're still an ass," she added as she heard Helena chuckling behind her.

---

Part 6

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"This new hobby of yours, skulking in the shadows … I'm not really a fan," Barbara said as she entered the apartment. She couldn't see anyone, but she could feel a presence, Helena. The brunette was somewhere in the room hiding.

"I'm not skulking," Helena replied exiting from the small crevice by the window that she'd tucked herself into. She'd really just been looking out at the city. It was always so beautiful after the sunset.

"I forgot, you like the dark," Barbara said stopping in the middle of her work platform, looking over at Helena. "I didn't think I'd see you."

"Yeah, about that, I'm sorry," Helena admitted crossing the loft. She'd just had some things she needed to work out in her head before she could see Barbara again. And maybe she'd screwed up again by not calling, but she'd screwed up with the very best intentions, and apparently that's the best she could do. "Here," she said holding out the small package she'd placed on Barbara's desk earlier. She'd reclaimed it deciding to give it to the redhead herself after her talk with Dinah. "A token … but I am sorry, about a lot of things."

Barbara reached out for the package grasping it though her gaze never left Helena's. "You didn't have to do this," she said carefully watching the brunette.

"I know, I wanted to," Helena replied, smiling a bit. "Open it."

Barbara smiled back at her, unable to help herself, the openness of Helena's expression charming her despite herself. She supposed she shouldn't have been surprised, she found it extremely difficult to stay mad at the brunette. Not even when she deserved it.

"Tulips & Chimneys," Barbara breathed out her fingers running across the old cover of the book of poems. "My god, is this …" Barbara continued her words choking in her throat as she looked up at Helena.

"Yeah," Helena responded softly, her eyes tracing Barbara's delighted features as she gazed at the book in her hands. "1st edition, very rare … procured legally I'd like to add," she continued smiling as Barbara glanced up at her. There were those poetry feelings again, it was kind of comforting.

"Helena, this is too much … I …" Barbara started to say shaking her head as she struggled to find the right words. The gift was perfect, beyond perfect, she had no idea how Helena had managed to get her hands on it, especially legally, and she was amazingly touched by the thought that went into selecting it as a gift, but she didn't want it out of guilt, as penance.

"I know what you're thinking … and this isn't what I've been doing for the past two days," Helena responded taking a deep breath. She was about to get all emotional in a moment, it was going to take a lot out of her, and she needed to ready herself. "I've had it, for a while … was saving it. For a special occasion, I guess … and I know what you're thinking. What's so special about tonight? And there's an answer to that … I just need to get around to it."

"Get around to what?" Barbara asked looking at Helena. She was shaking. "Helena?" she asked a touch of concern coming into her voice.

"See I was confused before," Helena started to say, allowing Barbara's hand to rest on her arm for a moment before backing away and starting to pace. "I was like a pebble … I was on the shore, you know, just hanging out, tanning … every once in a while I'd dip my feet in. Figuratively speaking, cause you know, I'm a pebble. And then it was like the tide came in and picked me up, and I'm like this pebble in the middle of the ocean. Which is like, you know, pretty big. And I'm sinking, I'm this little pebble sinking in the huge ocean, and I'm scared as all hell, but then I start to realize that it's not so bad really. I kind of like the ocean. So I start to think that maybe there's a reason the tide picked me … out of all the pebbles. That maybe I'm suppose to drown," she finished, her rushing words slowing as she neared the end until they were coming out in a low drawl when she was done, her eyes finally returning to Barbara's.

"You're a pebble?" Barbara asked looking at her with genuine confusion. She didn't have the slightest idea what Helena was talking about but despite that she felt herself tearing up because of emotion in the other woman's voice. "I don't understand. Are you a happy pebble?"

Helena looked at her for a moment after that, then let out a derisive burst of laughter before crossing the small distance that separated her and Barbara.

"That didn't make any sense did it?" she asked contritely.

"When you put it that way … no, not really," Barbara replied, amused because Helena was amused, but having no idea what they were amused about.

"I'm not good with the metaphors and analogies … the whole 'tell it like it is' approach to interpersonal relations doesn't have a chapter on that … I just, yeah," Helena responded rather shakily. "Please don't be mad."

And with that, before she could talk herself out of it, she bent down slightly and leaned forward bringing her lips to Barbara's, gently brushing them against the redhead's.

"You see," she continued softly, pulling away from Barbara a moment later. "You're the ocean," she went on watching as Barbara's eyes fluttered open.

Barbara stared at Helena for a long moment after that, her mind racing with thoughts swirling through her brain almost as quickly as her heart was beating. She could still feel the gentle press of Helena's lips against her own, her nose still tickled by the scent of lotion the brunette used, Helena's soft voice driving her to distraction. She had convinced herself that this would never happen again, that perhaps it should never happen again. She had finally exorcised the previous memories to the back of her mind and was moving on only for Helena to now drag them out and bring some friends along for the ride.

She blinked and then averted her eyes from the brunette's intense gaze.

"What is this?" she asked, her eyes focused on some distant corner of the loft. She would admit it she was scared. She loved Helena of that she was no longer in doubt. And she had resigned herself to it being unrequited, or at least unrealized. And that was fine, they said that to love was a grand thing and she was not arrogant enough to demand that it be returned. Helena's presence in her life was what truly mattered to her. What she wouldn't be able to withstand would be to have Helena but not entirely, to be in her bed, but not in her heart. That was the truly unbearable thought. And as difficult as it had been that first time they'd kissed, to let go of what it might have led to, there was a part of her that was grateful to Helena for understanding what she needed and that she couldn't give it to her.

And now there was a second kiss.

But what was the purpose?

Had anything changed accept for her availability?

"I wanna spoon with you," Helena replied quietly, her mouth parting to speak again when Barbara interrupted.

"What?" Barbara interjected.

"I said I wanna …" Helena began.

"I heard you, it's just … what?" Barbara cut in once more.

"I don't do that," Helena answered thoughtfully. "I don't, like, care and stuff. I don't send flowers, or buy gifts, or ask about people's day. I couldn't give a shit about where someone grew up, or how many cats they have. I don't do poetic imagery," she continued. "Only apparently I do," she went on sounding rather amazed, her eyes focused on Barbara's, holding the redhead's gaze. "With you."

"What are you saying?" Barbara asked not even daring to think about what might come out of Helena's mouth.

"I'm in love with you," Helena replied decisively. "Heart palpitating, bad poetry in love with you," she went on blinking rapidly. She knew she was going to get all emotional. "And I'm not gonna lie, I don't know if I'm gonna be any good at it, if I'm even capable of being any good at it … but I do love you … and if I could be good at it for anyone I could be good at it for you," she continued stepping towards Barbara and grasping her hand. "I want to spoon with you, and make floral arrangements, and buy you pretty things that make you smile, and say things 'like Billy did what?' when you talk about your day. I think I'd even like to learn how to cook," she went on sounding rather pleased and alarmed. "I'm ready to need … and be needed," she continued in a rush, pausing momentarily before looking back over at Barbara, suddenly worried. "If you still … cause, you probably don't even … Wade probably isn't emotionally stunted, and now things are gonna be even weirder between us and…"

"Hel," Barbara said reaching out for the brunette, her hand coming to rest on her hip. "Helena," she repeated drawing the other woman's panicked eyes back to hers. "Just shut up and kiss me," she continued. Her hand was shaking slightly, but her voice was calm. If Helena was willing to risk it, she was too. She had to.

Immediately Helena leaned forward again, bending down to fulfill Barbara's request. Bracing her hands on the armrests of Barbara's chair Helena brushed her lips against Barbara's once again, her tongue sneaking out of her mouth to lick the redhead's bottom lip before entering Barbara's mouth when the redhead's lips parted, her body pressing forward seeking more contact with Barbara's body.

It was even better than she remembered.

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

As her right hand slipped underneath Barbara's shirt and stroked her stomach, the rest of her weight still being supported by her braced left hand, Helena lowered her lips to Barbara's neck, licking and sucking lightly at the skin she found there, intoxicated by the taste of the other woman, of the feel of Barbara's hands on her hips and … of a slight clanging in the background.

"It's probably just a robbery or something," Helena mumbled against Barbara's neck. "Nothing to worry about," she went on desperately even as Barbara pulled back from her a bit and turned her head to look at the flashing plasma screen monitor to her right.

"That's strange," Barbara muttered looking at the screen.

"No, it's not," Helena replied not quite ready to let go of the hope that they could get back to what they were doing before. "Hands up, empty the register pretty routine stuff. I bet the police are already there. It's all good. Good and completely unexceptional," she went on sighing when Barbara gently removed her arm and headed over to the closest terminal.

"A man was electrocuted in Wellington field," Barbara said feeling Helena come up behind her and wrap her arms around her waist as she hugged the back of the chair, her chin laying on Barbara's shoulder.

"That's a shame, but permanent. We should go into the bedroom," Helena replied, her hand starting to sneak under Barbara's shirt.

"With an attitude like that, you're not going to get into the bedroom for a long, long time," Barbara replied, her fingers flying over the keyboard as she spoke, a small smile coming onto her face as she heard Helena sigh.

"If I get beat up, I want a massage," Helena said finally straightening up and perching herself on the edge of the desk a respectable distance from Barbara, but close enough that she could see the monitor. "And why is this something for us to investigate?"

"It's a field," Barbara replied. "On a clear night," she went on. "How does someone get electrocuted in a field on a clear night?"

"Maybe he was dumped there," Helena suggested reasonably. She was still kind of hoping to make it into the bedroom.

"Scorch marks," Barbara replied, "under the body. And I'm betting that there's going to be a residual electrical disturbance in the ground around the corpse," she went on moving over to the other side of her workstation. "That's where you come in. With a little help from this," she said handing Helena a plastic hand held device. "If there is, we'll know that the discharge happened where …" Barbara stopped turning her head to the side hearing the clock tower door slid open, "the body was found."

"What body?" Dinah asked dropping her bag by the door, her eyes already scanning the large screen hanging from the ceiling.

"And where were you?" Barbara asked frowning slightly as she looked at Dinah. She hadn't even noticed the blonde wasn't there.

"You didn't tell her?" Dinah accused turning to look at Helena, her arms folded across her chest crossly.

"Dinah went to the movies with a friend from school, she'll be back later," Helena replied turning to face Barbara. "There," she added looking back over at Dinah with a big smile.

Dinah glared at her.

"Do I know this friend?" Barbara asked after looking at Helena and shaking her head. The brunette could be a real punk sometimes. Barbara thought it was kind of cute. Helena was lucky to have her.

"Alexa," Dinah responded sounding rather pleased with herself.

"Really?" Barbara asked, actually turning away from the computer for a moment. "Were you able to get a word in?" she asked her mind wandering to consider New Gotham High's latest transfer student. She'd had her eye on the girl since she'd swept into her classroom. There was just something about her that girl that grabbed her attention. There was something potent under her privileged surface. Something that had apparently been interpreted as 'mysterious and intriguing' by Dinah. Why didn't that surprise her?

"Yeah. Well not a lot. Or even in complete sentences most of the time. But yeah," Dinah responded. "She showed me how to jimmy a car door," she went on clearly excited. "It was her car," she added when Barbara looked distinctly unimpressed. "Helena taught me how to kill someone by jamming cartilage up into their brain," she went on trying to take some of the heat off of Alexa when Barbara still failed to look impressed.

"Hey, that's weird," Dinah commented a second later, moving closer to the screen. And she wasn't just trying to distract Barbara either she'd really noticed something.

"What is?" Barbara asked, her attention back on the matter at hand.

"Well, there's a streamer," Dinah said pointing to a spot on the screen a meter or so away from the body. "Like this," she said glancing down at herself and picking one off the bottom of her shoe, extending her hand to give it to Helena.

"Hey watch where you're putting that thing," Helena replied dodging the sticky piece of plastic. Nowhere in her job description did it say she had to touch things found on the bottom of somebody's shoe.

"They were dropping them from the top of building on 34th street, to celebrate the store opening," Dinah went on rolling her eyes at Helena. "Whoever killed that guy could have been over there tonight."

"Good catch," Barbara replied nodding, turning her head to smile encouragingly at Dinah, her smile growing as the blonde beamed back at her. "You can go with Helena, it'll be good for you to see a crime scene," she continued without a trace of irony. Helena smirked. Dinah smiled.

"Cool," Dinah responded bouncing on her feet with anticipation. This was the first time Barbara had suggested she go out into the field.

"I need to change," Helena said pushing off of the desk, Dinah following behind her. "Despite what you may have heard, I've actually been changing on my own for quite a few years now. Not that I don't appreciate the thought," she continued looking back at the blonde pointedly.

"I just thought …" Dinah started.

"Thought what?" Helena asked looking at her expectantly.

"Don't I get an outfit? Oooh, and a codename?" she asked looking between the other two women.

"No," Helena responded after a moment. "Across the board."

"Can't I at least have a codename?" Dinah asked pleadingly looking at Barbara now knowing that the redhead was a way easier mark than Helena. "I could be … Psyche. It'd go with the whole Greek, Oracle/Delphi thing. Plus, you know, psychic."

Barbara looked over at Helena shrugging.

Helena sighed. "Whatever … Psyche. Just don't touch the radio," she continued opening the door to her old room. Psyche, she thought to herself shaking her head as she reached for her leathers. What a stupid codename. Huntress was way better … wasn't it?

---

Epilogue

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Barbara's finger softly traced her bottom lip, as she looked down at the page in front her, a content smile gracing her features as her eyes scanned the page. It was strange, she felt suffused with a nervous energy, sometimes practically shaking with the excess trying to liberate itself. And at the same time, she felt a deep calm within her, a peacefulness and tranquility that she could barely remember. Her body was a mess of contradictions, her mind fevered and unfocused, her heart full and her soul free. She smiled wider and shook her head at herself, she was being ridiculous and she wouldn't have had it any other way.

Turning her head to the side, her smile faded as she watched Helena walk into the clock tower, Dinah cradled in her arms. The young blonde seemed quite unconscious, her head resting on Helena's shoulders, her fair hair covering her face as her arm was flung loosely around the brunette's neck.

"What happened?" Barbara asked alarmed. When Helena had signed off, she and Dinah had been getting into the jeep on their way back, perfectly safe and sound.

"Nothing," Helena replied her voice just loud enough for Barbara to make out what she was saying. "Kid fell asleep in the car," she continued gruffly, but softly, rolling her eyes as she headed for the lift in the corner of the room that would take them to the upper level where Dinah's room was located. "I'll be back in a minute," she finished stepping in and looking up before she and Dinah were whisked upwards.

Barbara watched her go, the smile that had been on her face before back in full effect. It was official Dinah had wormed her way into Helena's heart. So naturally the brunette had no choice but to pretend to feel like a scrooge about it, Barbara thought to herself as she headed towards her bedroom.

Helena quickly moved down the ladder, scanning the room with a frown when she reached the bottom. The main part of the loft was empty. Walking out a bit further she caught a glimpse of light and turned her head to the side, towards Barbara's room. The door was opening allowing the light from within to filter into the main part of the loft.

"Ah, a lady in waiting," Helena said to herself softly, a smile spreading across her face as she headed towards the light.

Leaning against the doorframe Helena looked inside, her eyebrows scrunching together in consternation. Barbara was lying on her bed, but fully clothed with a book (something by Northrop Frye) in her hands, apparently unaware of the fact that Helena had entered the room ready to thoroughly ravage her.

"There you are," Barbara said smoothly, looking up over the edge of the book so that she could see Helena. She smiled at the brunette's expression and tossed the book to the side carelessly, its pages rustling as it sailed towards the floor in a graceful arch. "Well?" she asked cocking an eyebrow at Helena.

Helena immediately reached behind her tapping the door shut, before starting towards Barbara. She walked almost painfully slowly, her lips curving up sensually as she got closer to the bed. Her eyes trained on Barbara intently, non-blinking and predatory as she tore off her jacket and threw it to the side.

Reaching the side of the bed, Helena leaned over Barbara, bracing her hands on the bed head before moving onto the bed, her legs coming to rest on both sides of Barbara's body as she straddled the other woman.

Once settled, the brunette then moved her hands to Barbara's face and carefully, almost reverently, removed her glasses, her eyes only leaving Barbara's emerald pools to place her glasses soundly on the night side table.

Leaning forward and dipping her head down slightly, Helena brought her lips within centimeters of Barbara's, a small, playful smile adorning her lips. Barbara leaned forward to capture Helena's lips, but the brunette leaned back at the last moment making the redhead just barely miss her flesh. She was still smiling.

Barbara watched her for a second, then leaned forward again, getting close enough this time to briefly feel the brunette's soft, wet lips beneath hers before Helena pulled away again.

Barbara raised an eyebrow at her, and Helena smiled again.

The redhead pursed her lips, her eyes never leaving Helena's, merely watching her for a few long seconds, and then she smiled.

Helena's lips parted and she exhaled softly as she felt Barbara's hands in her hair, gripping it firmly. She could feel Barbara dragging her head towards her. She extended her left hand to press against the bed head again and then relaxed allowing herself to be pulled forward, resisting again only when their lips were mere millimeters apart.

And they stayed like that - painfully aware of the heat emanating from each others body, of the ragged sounds of their breathing, and the raging beats of their hearts, of each others smell, and remembrance of the taste of full lips - for long intense seconds. And then…

Helena surged forward unable to take anymore, her lips crashing against Barbara's, licking, sucking, and biting as her free hand moved to the redhead's waist, dipping underneath the fabric of her shirt and moving upwards, her hand tingling at the feel of Barbara's naked skin against it.

Her body shivered with anticipation.

Oh, how she loved this woman!

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

"Should there have been candles and … Enya?" Helena asked, her eyes lazily roaming across the smooth surface of the bedroom ceiling, her left hand rubbing small, soothing circles on Barbara's back as her other rested on the redhead's hip, Barbara laying pushed up beside her.

"You're not doubting the romantic nature of your approach, are you?" Barbara asked smiling as she ran her finger up the middle of Helena's still damp abdomen. "I mean, surely hearing the words 'Strip. Now,' whispered into your ear as your clothes are ripped from your body in wild abandon is the very definition of romance."

"So that'd be a yes, about the candles and Enya and such?" Helena replied smiling, her eyes lowering from the ceiling so that she could observe Barbara for a moment before pressing a kiss to the redhead's forehead. She found that she was still in awe of the power of the love she felt for Barbara, of the ferocity and tenderness the emotions that swelled within her. She wondered if she would ever get used to the feeling, if she even wanted to.

"No," Barbara replied lifting herself up a bit so that she was leaning on her elbow and eye level with Helena. "Your presence was the only thing required to make tonight special," she continued smiling as Helena looked at her for a moment then turned her head to the side blushing. It was just about the cutest thing Barbara had ever seen in life, and she bent down pressing a kiss onto the skin over Helena's heart.

"You know, I was worried … but I think I'm pretty good at this," Helena commented a moment later as her hand lovingly stroked Barbara's face. She was finding that she couldn't get enough of the feel of Barbara's body, the way her skin felt sliding beneath her fingers, or pressed against her own.

"At what, tooting your own horn?" Barbara asked, her eyes closing under Helena's gentle ministrations. She was certain that if most people could see Helena like this - so gentle and peaceful – that the shock of it would knock them unconsciousness. But she wasn't surprised, she had figured out a long time ago what lay behind the brunette's walls of defense and was now reveling in the reality of it.

"No," Helena replied looking down at Barbara with a frown before smiling again. "This snuggling thing. I like it," she continued sounding pleased. "I'm better than a futon," she finished, her head tipping back up to stare at the ceiling dreamily.

"I'll agree with that," Barbara responded tightening the hold she had around Helena's waist. "You're also a very yummy treat," she continued kissing Helena's neck, nipping at it lightly as she went along, kissing her way up.

"Melts in your mouth and in your hands," Helena replied smiling as Barbara kissed her way up her neck and along her jaw line. Barbara had the best, most delicious, most teasing and thoroughly delectable lips she had ever kissed. She could die happily kissing those lips, if they were the last things she ever tasted. She would spend a lifetime worshipping them.

"You wanna go again?" the brunette asked suddenly. When Barbara touched her like that it did things to her, very naughty things. Or maybe it made her want to do very naughty things. She wasn't so sure about the specifics, only that she liked it.

"With a charming line like that, I don't know how I could resist," Barbara replied smiling already sliding her hand up Helena's torso, caressing the tanned skin there suggestively, her actions belaying the sarcasm of her tone. "This time I'm on top," she continued bending down over Helena kissing her passionately, her hands continuing to roam as a warning bell started to ring in the background.

"No," Helena stated firmly as Barbara lifted her head. "No," she repeated her tone pained now. "Come. On," she went on openly whining this time.

Barbara smiled down at her, looking far too amused for Helena's liking. "A superhero is always on the clock," the redhead whispered leaning down to place one last kiss on the brunette's lips.

"Where is this clock?" Helena asked broodingly a moment later, sitting up now that Barbara had moved off of the bed. "I wanna know so that I can smash it into itty bitty pieces and mail it to the various corners of the earth," she continued as Barbara deftly moved about the room. "The clock is bad, Barbara, it's bad," she went on swinging her legs over the edge of the bed and standing up, smiling to herself as she felt Barbara's eyes on her, watching her as she stretched and then bent down to gather up her clothes.

"You're gonna be cranky for the rest of the day, aren't you?" Barbara asked pulling a shirt over her head.

"Not if you find another outlet for my energy," Helena responded holding the door open chivalrously for Barbara. She actually wouldn't mind kicking some ass. It was the next best thing to sex.

"Is it wrong that that excites me," Barbara asked softly as they headed over to the workstation.

"If it is then I don't want you to be right," Helena replied, turning to watch Dinah stumble down the ladder to the main floor of the loft. "Good morning," she continued by way of greeting as the blonde stumbled over to them.

"Maybe for those of us who were having sex all night," Dinah grumbled, before grinning and looking over at Helena, only to quickly avert her eyes, a blush creeping up her neck. She was fine with the idea of them having sex, she really was. She just hadn't been prepared for their rumpled appearances and … scratch marks. Oh god, Dinah thought turning her head to the side some more though she soon found out she was at the limit.

"It was hardly all night," Helena responded thoughtfully watching the blonde's reaction with some amusement. "We didn't get back until three … not that'd you'd remember," she continued pointedly raising an eyebrow at the blonde. "It was more like the majority of the early morning. A nice 'how do you do' to the coming day," she finished grinning as Dinah finally looked back over at her.

"You're an ass," Dinah muttered knowing that Helena was playing with her, trying to make her blush again. Suddenly she wondered why she had longed for a big sister figure for so long if this was what it was like.

Brushing past the brunette without another word, Dinah situated herself on the other side of Barbara.

"Knock it off you two," Barbara said already analyzing the information her database had seized. "And just so you know," she continued as Helena wondered off into the kitchen to start rummaging around. "Not appropriate breakfast conversation," she went on.

"Right, it's really more of a lunchtime kinda deal," Helena called out from the kitchen as she opened the freezer. "Do we have any waffles?" she continued.

"Do you see waffles?" Barbara asked changing terminals.

"No," Helena responded as she considered a jar of peanut butter and wondered how much trouble she would get into for eating it out of the jar.

"Then we don't have any waffles," Barbara responded rolling her eyes.

"I'm gonna call Alfred," Helena declared coming out of the kitchen peanut-butter-less. "Let me know if you find something."

"There's no time to call Alfred," Barbara replied wondering if Helena was serious about the cooking thing she'd mentioned the night before, because really, one of them needed to get their act together.

"Sure there is, he's pretty spry for someone of advanced years," Helena called back the phone already to her ear. "No, no, not you Alfred," she said into the receiver, wincing. "Ah, Mr. Roper … that guy was always getting in everybody's business. Anyway, since we were talking about food … sure we were talking about food … Mr. Roper had to eat didn't he?" she continued nodding at the other two women to let them know she had it under control.

Barbara smiled and turned back to the screen.

Life was good.

The End

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