Fandom: Birds of Prey
Disclaimer: I don't own them.
Summary: Barbara pays Helena a visit at work.
Barbara lazily drew her finger up the side of the cool glass resting in front of her. She had come to the Dark Horse shortly before closing to talk to Helena, but the bar had been hopping with patrons trying to make the most of the last call, and she'd faded into the shadows to wait out the chaos. After all, the subject she'd come to talk to Helena about wasn't pressing. In fact, Barbara was fully aware that it could have waited until the next day, but she wasn't really there because of the news. She was there because of Helena. With the criminal element in New Gotham apparently on vacation, Helena had picked up some extra shifts at the bar, which meant that it had been almost two full days since they had seen each other. Barbara realized that this wasn't an incredibly long period of time, yet she couldn't deny the fact that she missed Helena, and had been taken over by an incredibly strong urge to just lay eyes on the brunette.
"To another successful night!"
"I'll drink to that!"
"You'd drink to anything!"
"That's why I'm always in such a good mood!" Helena declared lifting the tumbler in her hand up. The bartender's then allowed their glasses to clink together. Grinning at each other, they then all brought their tumblers towards their mouths and downed them, slamming them down on the bar upside down a few seconds later.
Barbara watched the display, shaking her head as they then began to separate. Helena hopped over the bar and began to make her way towards the juke box. A tall man that Barbara knew was called MJ, scooped up the glasses they had just been drinking from and put them onto a tray to carry into the back. And the others picked up bar towels and rags and began to make their way around the bar, picking up empties and wiping down tables.
On his way from the back room, MJ spotted Barbara and asked if she wanted him to call Helena over. He knew her by sight, as did most of the other people that worked at the Dark Horse, but she doubted that if he had ever known her name that he remembered it.
Barbara declined telling him that she wasn't in a hurry and would wait.
As it turned out, she wasn't even bored by the wait. The Dark Horse clean-up crew put on a pretty interesting show. Helena started it off, turning around and singing out loud in time with the Otis Redding she had selected from the juke box as it began to pump through the bar. And once she got the ball rolling, the rest of them began to sing as well, and would occasionally stop what they were doing to dance, launch into an impromptu comedy routine, or hit each other playfully.
They had to have been at it for about an hour, but it seemed almost like a blink of an eye to Barbara. Before she knew it they were heading into the backroom and emerging with backpacks and purses, heading for the exit. All except for Helena, who was leaning against the bar; lazily waving at them with a smirk on her face, as they filed out.
"You want another?" Helena asked turning to face Barbara as the last of her co-workers exited the building.
"I've barely touched this one," Barbara responded.
"I hope it's not a comment on the bartending," Helena replied, slowly making her way towards Barbara.
As she walked she tilted her head back, stretching, as she continued to walk, her hips swaying loosely; effortlessly sensual.
"Of course not, it's just one of those nursing nights," Barbara said softly, knowing that Helena would hear her even if her voice was lower than normal.
"What brings you by?" Helena asked slipping into the seat opposite Barbara, leaning heavily on the back of the chair as she crossed her legs.
"I," Barbara paused and smiled before shaking her head. "I wanted to know what you were doing tomorrow night."
"Patrolling the streets of New Gotham, protecting the innocent and looking good while doing it?" Helena offered with a tiny smile, Barbara's relaxed mood putting her at ease a little. Usually Barbara didn't come by unannounced unless there was a problem, but she didn't think that was the case this time.
"How would you feel about seeing Lucia di Lammermoor at The Pantheon instead? It's been, agreeably quiet out there lately, a two free tickets found their way into my hands today," Barbara answered as Helena stretched, her blue eyes fluttering closed for a moment before they opened again.
She was tired.
Barbara found herself maneuvering over to Helena, stopping just in front of her. Helena smiled, and Barbara reached out brushing some arrant strands of hair off of the brunette's face. As she did, Helena's eyes closed again, and she turned her head towards Barbara's hand, enjoying the warmth of it against her skin.
"Yeah, I'm in," Helena said blinking slowly as Barbara pulled her hand back. "Who gave you the tickets?"
"Rose," Barbara responded just barely controlling the urge to reach out and touch Helena again. It was just that when she was sleepy and docile, Helena was unbelievably cute. It made Barbara want to wrap her in her arms and coo to her.
Helena smiled. "She'd be horrified at you wasting a good opera on me."
"It won't be wasted, and we both know it. You're very cultured," Barbara responded softly, "no matter how much you like to pretend not to be."
Helena smiled and shrugged easily.
"You'll probably appreciate more," Barbara went on a few moments later. "Your Italian is far better than Rose's. It's probably better than mine as well."
"Crazy talk," Helena declared though she looked pleased with herself.
Barbara's Italian was self-taught which made it more impressive, but Barbara was right in saying that she was probably more fluent. Being multi-lingual was one of the benefits of having grown up in Europe.
"Hey, Whiskey?" Helena said a few moments later.
"Yes," Barbara responded rolling her eyes at the old nickname, though she was smiling a little. Helena only ever called her that when she was in a good mood, which made it impossible for Barbara to really be annoyed – even though she maintained that there was nothing remotely whiskey-burr-like about her voice.
"I need to lie down. You wanna come up?" Helena asked, nodding her head in the direction of the elevator that led up to her loft.
"Yeah," Barbara said, her fingers moving to the wheels of her chair. It was late and she probably should have gone home and let Helena get some sleep, but Helena asked and she didn't' really want to go.
"Cool," Helena declared unfolding herself and standing.
"Do you …" Helena began before trailing off uncertainly.
She was standing in the doorway of the kitchen, looking over at Barbara who was getting ready to transfer herself to the couch.
"I'm fine," Barbara responded, pausing with her hands braced on the arms of the chair, to look over at Helena, "really."
Helena nodded and turned to head back into the kitchen. She had a whistling kettle to see to.
When she emerged from the kitchen a few minutes later with two mugs of tea – though she didn't really plan on drinking hers – Barbara was seated on the couch watching an episode of American Justice.
Helena placed the mugs on the coffee table and then took a seat on the couch beside Barbara. She was still for a moment, thinking, and then she shifted, resting her head on Barbara's lap, as she draped her legs over the arm of the couch.
"Comfy?" Barbara asked smiling down at Helena, her hand already unconsciously moving to pet the other woman's rich, dark brown hair.
"Yes," Helena drawled turning her head towards the television. "We've seen this one already."
Barbara nodded indolently, her eyes focused on the screen as her fingers gently ran across the base of Helena's skull.
"Barbara," Helena began long moments later.
Barbara looked down, surprised by the use of her name. It always got her attention when Helena used her full name, instead of calling her B, or Red, or Irish, or Whiskey, or any of the other nicknames the brunette had for her.
"Hmm," Barbara responded focusing on Helena, captured by the intense look in the younger woman's bright blue eyes.
"Why did you really come by?"
She knew it wasn't to ask her about the opera. She would have come by the clock tower the next morning for food, and Barbara knew that. There was no reason for Barbara to have hung out in the bar for over an hour just to ask her a question she could have asked the next morning – and probably already knew the answer to.
Barbara drew her eyes away from Helena's. For a few seconds she allowed them to roam around the brunette's loft, but finally she looked back down at Helena and smiled self-consciously.
"I just wanted to see you," she said finally, a soft sigh emerging from her throat.
"Why?" Helena asked softly, shifting again. She lifted her head from Barbara's lap and drew her legs from over the arm of the couch, so that she was sitting beside the redhead.
Things had been changing between them over the past few weeks. She'd felt it since Barbara had broken up with Wade. There was a tension between them that seemed to grow tighter every day. More and more, the silences that fell between them began to ring deafeningly in her ears. And more and more, their interactions left her aching; longing to say and do the things that she had stopped herself from saying and doing when Barbara was actually near.
"I missed you," Barbara responded, turning her head to side. They were sitting so closely together that her nose was almost touching Helena's. It was too close. So close that it made her heart constrict. She felt overheated and overwhelmed sitting this close to Helena, but she didn't want to move.
"It's only been two days," Helena said holding Barbara's gaze, "since we've seen each other."
"I know," Barbara said lowering her eyes, breaking their gaze. "Apparently that's long enough."
When she looked back up, Helena breathed in deeply, and she knew that what she was feeling – what she had been feeling for quite some time – was showing on her face. She knew that this was why she had come to the bar. That she had wanted to have this conversation. That she had wanted to look at Helena 'that way', and have the brunette see it.
She had tried to suppress her changing feelings for Helena. She had tried to distract herself from them, to channel the tenderness and longing in another direction. But it hadn't worked. All being with Wade had done was made her realize, with an aching clarity, how much she wanted to be with Helena.
"I missed you too," Helena breathed out, smiling as Barbara smiled at her.
They were still for a few seconds, staring at each other. And then, Helena moved forward, closing the miniscule distance that remained between herself and Barbara, and pressed her lips against the redheads.
Barbara breathed in sharply at the contact, a shiver running through her body, and then she reached out and cupped Helena's neck, holding the brunette tightly to her as she began to kiss her back.
"I've wanted to do that for a long time," Helena said roughly when the need for oxygen caused them to pull away from each other.
"Me too," Barbara breathed out, relieved to finally be able to say it. The truth was she suspected she had been suppressing her feelings for far longer than she was comfortable admitting to herself, which was why she had been so resistant to giving into her feelings for Helena when she became consciously aware of them.
"Since you were fifteen?" Helena asked smiling a little. She knew the statement was a little inaccurate but she wanted Barbara to know that her feelings weren't a flash in the pan. It was true that she'd thought Barbara was fucking hot since the moment she had laid eyes on the redhead, but she'd been quite a bit older by the time she wanted to kiss Barbara the way she just had. She'd been quite a bit older by the time her fantasies about the redhead had included snuggling, and talking about their days, and laying in the grass together on sunny days, in addition to thinking about what Barbara would look like naked.
"I didn't know you when I was fifteen," Barbara responded, her lips quirking up a little to let Helena know that she was joking.
"You're cute," Helena informed Barbara before leaning forward to brush her lips against the redheads again.
"I know," Barbara responded in a very Helena-esque way, causing the brunette to smile.
"I want to keep you," Helena said resting her forehead against Barbara's before she rubbed the tip of her nose against the redheads.
"For how long?" Barbara asked softly.
"Until you get sick of me," Helena responded pulling back and looking directly at Barbara as she spoke. She knew that the redhead had seen what her previous relationships – if she could even call them that – were like, and that Barbara had to have been worried about her ability to commit. Barbara didn't have any reason to worry though, Helena was sure of that. It had always been Barbara for her, and once she had the redhead she would never stray nor let her go.
"I don't think that's going to happen, Hel," Barbara responded, her tone serious despite her light words.
"I was hoping you'd say something like that," Helena replied smiling widely before she leaned forward and brushed her lips against Barbara's once more.