Disclaimer: Birds of Prey is owned by the WB
Disclaimer: Birds of Prey is owned by the WB.
It's cold tonight. I didn't want to come out and do my sweeps but such is the life of a superhero. Not that I don't enjoy it, I do. It's probably the single best thing that has ever happened to me. It's given me a home and family, none of which I really had before, and plus I get to be a hero. Of course I can't tell anyone about it but I don't feel the need to. I know it sounds way too altruistic or something, but I just like knowing that I'm making a difference in this world. I don't know how big of a difference it is, but at least I'm doing something. I've unknowingly followed in the very same footsteps of my absentee and now deceased mother. That's something I never expected.
I never expected a lot from life though, I always just figured I had to chase my dream and find my own life because whatever life I was living when I was a little girl wasn't mine. I was the type of girl that was always staring off into space imagining what my real life was supposed to be like and what my real family was supposed to be like and who I was supposed to be like.
Oh hey look, a mugger. I definitely thought it was too cold for the common criminals to come out tonight, I guess I was wrong. Oracle sent me out alone tonight, she must not have expected more than this type of crime tonight. Sometimes I still wonder if she's just so protective because she cares so much or if she's so protective because she doesn't think I can control myself yet.
"Hey," I call out to the mugger, "Don't you think it's just a little too cold out tonight to be mugging people?"
He turns to me and smiles. I know he sees me as a helpless little girl, apparently the dark foreboding outfit doesn't give him the clue he needs to just run away. He doesn't answer me he only holds his knife up proudly in the night. Like most idiots that I've encountered he wants to fight me probably to prove his masculinity is still fully intact.
He runs at me with the knife screaming, I'm not sure if the goal of the screaming is supposed to annoy me or scare me. It doesn't make much of an impression either way. I side step his approach and stick my leg out to trip him as he runs by. He falls to the ground and the knife flies out of his hands. He jumps back up to his feet and starts taking swings at me. I block his fists and pay him back with a quick jab. He falls backwards but remains on his feet. I throw a few more punches and a couple of kicks his way and he's out for the count.
I turn around to the sobbing girl leaning against the wall in the alley. She's looking at me with that look that people usually get once you save their life. I like that look. It's one of the best parts of being the hero.
"Everything's okay now," I tell her. "He's not going to hurt you."
"Thank you," she stumbles out. "Thank you so much."
"Yeah of course." I walk over to her and help her pick up the contents of her purse. "Are you going to be okay?"
She nods and thanks me once more before she walks away. Chances are she'll maybe see me on the street again and she'll not even recognize me as the girl who once helped her out. The daylight Dinah and the nighttime Canary seem to have established themselves as two very separate entities. I'm not too sure if that's a good thing because even though I've found my home, my family, and direction in my life, I'm not too sure I've found out who I am yet.
The clock tower is still. I'm guessing Barbara's hanging out somewhere waiting to jump out and scare me. She's good at that. Of course, she'll always want to know how sweeps went even though she already knows. She'll want to hear the details of what I saw and what I did. I'd like to say that I don't enjoy sharing my night with her but I really like it. I like telling her that I was able to handle myself and I like seeing the pride in her eyes when I tell her about some situation that I handled without even a single flinch.
I don't know why I need it and I don't know why I want it, but I want her approval. I want her to tell me that I did a good job.
"Hey," she calls out to me from above me. She's sitting at the table in the kitchen waiting for me with what would appear to be a warm cup of hot chocolate.
"Hey," I shout back and throw my jacket over a chair. "Anything interesting happen while I was out?"
Barbara smiles down at me, "I was just about to ask the same thing. But you know that, of course."
I shrug. "Sweeps were basically sweeps. I ran into one solitary mugger who was taken care of by the local PD and that's all." I'm by her side now and have an urge to give her a hug but I take my seat at the other end of the table instead. "Thanks for the hot chocolate by the way. It's cold out there tonight."
She's waiting for me to tell her more. She knows I want to tell her how I was able to knockout the guy without even breaking a sweat. She knows I want to share with her the look that woman had in her eyes when she realized that she was saved and I was her savior.
I can no longer hold it in, "So okay what happened was I was walking by just doing sweeps y'know? And then I see this guy trying to rob this woman. He has her pressed up against the wall and who really knows what he was planning to do, so I got his attention and he turns to me. He was really ugly, but anyway he turns to me and runs at me with a knife screaming." I take a breath. "Why do they scream anyway?" It's a genuine question that I'll give her a chance to answer when I'm done with my story. "So I just kind of step out of his way and trip him. He falls down and gets back up and just starts swinging at me," I sit on my hands so I don't mimic his movements. "And I block him then knocked him out. When I turned around and saw the woman she was just looking at me...y'know the look, and it was great."
Barbara keeps her indulgent smile on throughout my story and I can see the twinkle in her eyes that tells me I did good. She's about to respond when Helena the Huntress comes storming into the clock tower. I can only guess that her night wasn't as easy going as mine.
"Something wrong?" Barbara calls out to her.
"What gave you that idea?" Helena rips off her jacket and there's a visible slash on the right sleeve.
"Eww...not good." I add in my own two cents.
"No kidding blondie. Do you know how much this coat costs?"
I just smile, shake my head and take a sip of my hot chocolate.
"Bastards," she mutters under her breath.
"Do you want to let us in on what happened?"
"Some guy ran at me with a knife and slashed my coat."
I want to relay to her the fact that my coat was left unaffected from my encounter with a knife but decide to wait until tomorrow. At least then Helena won't be as inclined to hit me...as hard. Barbara looks over at me and raises her brow. I see this as a challenge. She's daring me to say something now. She wants me to risk taking on Helena's wrath.
I am not so easily swayed. I will wait.
"You should start taking insurance out on your clothes," I say instead, "or you could just use some of the money you've inherited to buy a new coat and while you're at it you could buy me a few things too."
I don't like the look I'm getting now so I stand up and begin backing away from the situation. "Well will you look at the time," I point to the big clock that is behind us. "I should really be going to bed what with it being a school night and all. I'll leave you two to entertain yourselves."
I make it to my room without incident. I need to shower before I go to bed. The grime of the street has already started to seep through my skin and make me feel dirtier than any human should be. There's a knock on my door as I prepare for my shower. I call to whoever it is to enter and am greeted with a timid looking Helena.
"Yeah?" I ask when it appears she's not going to speaking on her own anytime soon.
"How'd sweeps go?" she asks hesitantly.
"Nothing major. I didn't get killed so that's a definite plus."
Silence fills the room again and Helena's odd behavior is actually starting to concern me. I'm wondering if my comment about her inheritance hurt her somehow. I thought we were okay with joking with each other now. I didn't mean to hurt her.
"If this is about what I said you don't have to buy me anything. I understand why you don't want to touch your father's money..."
Helena gives me this odd look so I stop talking. "You do?" she eventually asks.
"Well yeah, I mean it's like he's trying to make up not being there your entire life with money and it's like he thinks money will do something to make things better but it really doesn't because...well it just doesn't. Things don't work that way." I decide to stop talking before I say anything that might let everyone conclude that I am a complete idiot.
"Oh." She says after yet another long moment of silence. "That's not what I came to talk to you about though."
Oh so she just wanted me to look stupid. Now I get it.
"I need to ask you something?"
Oh so she wants my advice on something. Now I really get it. No wait. I don't get it. Helena never asks my advice about anything. What would she want my advice about? I don't know anything about anything. She's been here longer. Why doesn't she ask Barbara? Okay I'm feeling the pressure now. "What do you need?" I don't think she could hear the unfounded fear in my voice.
"Well, I need you to..." she sighs, "Why is this so hard?" She asks herself. "Okay what I want to know is if you'll help me with Reese."
I'm not quite sure what kind of look I'm giving her but it makes her turn around and tell me she's being stupid and to not worry about it. I reach out and grab onto her hand to stop her from leaving.
"It's not stupid. I'm just surprised. Why aren't you asking Barbara?"
"Miss Barbara 'keep a man at a good ten mile distance' Gordon?"
Okay so she has a point. "Okay. But why me?"
"You're good at these type of things. You let people in and you know how to act with people. You open yourself up."
Well when she puts it that way..."No I'm not. I'm terrible at these types of things. I just make an ass out of myself until people take pity on me."
"No you are good at it Dinah, you walked right in this clock tower and made it so I didn't really want you to leave. That takes some skill."
Did she just say..."You don't want me to leave?"
"Well no," she's shifting from side to side now. I think she's uncomfortable but that's okay because so am I.
"What exactly or why exactly do you want or expect to happen with Reese?" Maybe if I bring this conversation back to its original point we'd both calm down or at least I'd be able to calm down.
"I just think it's time that I...tried to...you know."
No I don't know. "You want to try...?"
"To have a life."
Wow. That was a very honest and upfront answer. "If you really want to make something work then I guess my only advice would be to let him see the person that you are inside. Cause you know when I see you without the Huntress persona and even with her I see a very attractive woman and I'm not just talking the outside appearance."
Wait rewind and back up. I just told her I thought she was attractive. That was on my list of things not to ever mention aloud in this lifetime. I guess I can scratch it off now. Oh look is Helena blushing?
"You really think so?"
Okay so since when did we become two schoolgirls chatting about boys and looks or to be more accurate when did Helena become a schoolgirl again and me actually act like one. I don't usually talk about boys and make-up with Gabby.
"Of course I think so. I mean if I were any older or uh...well my point here is I'd be very happy to be with someone like you. It'd be fun."
It'd be fun? Yeah maybe this conversation should end now. "I mean Reese is a lucky man and if you really want to see if this whole thing you've got going on with him will work then I say go for it." Can this conversation please be over now? I am still a teenager and I do still have the ability to fall down dead from embarrassment. It says so in the teenager handbook.
Thankfully Helena has had enough of the conversation as well because her cool defensive demeanor falls right back into place and I'm looking at the Helena that I know and love. Love? Yes shower I need to take a shower and then I need to sleep.
"Thanks." She says to me then turns and walks out of my room. Thankfully I am alone now and I can actually try and breath normally. I can take off this mask that I wear and at least admit to myself that I'm very happy Helena is going to try and be happy. She deserves it. I know she deserves it. On the other hand however...why the hell does it have to be with that...that...that stupid head Reese?!