I Do Not Own Birds Of Prey, Batman, or Any Associated Characters.
This story was heavily influenced by The Batman episodes, Batgirl Begins, parts one and two. I've taken liberties with the episodes, so it is not a exact copy of them. I was also inspired by Edgling's Ivy and Barb artwork on DeviantArt.
It had been several weeks since Harley Quinn had attacked the Clock-tower, and things had settled back down for the Birds of Prey, well mostly anyway.
Dinah Redmond, daughter of the Black Canary, was facing a dilemma. Earlier that day, the high school student had been asked out on a date with her best friend, Gabby. It was somewhat stressful for her since she needed some dating advice, but didn't know who to go too.
Under normal circumstances, it would be gabby herself that Dinah asked. But considering that it was Gabby she was dating, that door was closed. Alfred was out, as she had no idea when he had last been on a date, and it was no doubt that his advice would be a little dated. Gibson, the cheerful owner of No Man's Land was out. He was a good guy, but had no problems going behind her back to Helena or Barbara if he thought it was best for her, or increased his chances of actually getting a date with Helena. Helena herself was out, she was on an actual date with Reese, and Dinah didn't want to disturb the small bit of normalcy in her friends life.
Which left Barbara, the woman who had taken in her in.
So it was a slightly nervous Dinah who approached the Delphi system, where the wheelchair bound red-head was typing away, no doubt working out a new design for her sub-neural device, which would hopefully allow her to walk (not that it didn't already, but it wasn't good for the older woman to use it in the long-term).
"Barbara," Dinah began nervously, "could I talk to you for a moment?"
The woman sat up in her chair and, no doubt hearing the nervousness in her young charge's voice, pressed the appropriate buttons to turn her electric chair around. "Sure Dinah," Barbara said smiling. "What do you need to talk about?"
Barbara smiled sadly. "You might have better luck talking to Helena, I'm not exactly an expert on dating." She took a deep breath. "But...if I can help, I will." She raised her head to look the younger blond in the eyes.
Dinah gulped. "Today, in school, a friend of mine asked me out on a date. I like them, but I'm afraid..."
"Afraid that becoming more could ruin your friendship," Barbara finished.
Barbara was silent for a moment before speaking. "Has Helena ever told you how I became Batgirl?" she asked.
Confused at the change of topic, Dinah said, "No. What does that...?"
The red-head held up her hand. "Bare with me for a moment. I...I want to show you something." Moving her wheel chair forward, Barbara lead the younger girl to her bedroom. "Have a seat," she said, gesturing to the bed.
Dinah sat down, as Barbara moved over to, and opened a drawer of, her dresser. Reaching in, the older woman pulled out a red-leather bound book. Taking it, she moved back over towards Dinah and handed the book, which the blond realized was a photo album, to the young girl.
"Open it," Barbara encouraged.
On the first page of the album, protected by plastic covering, was a pressed, red rose. Looking up at Barbara, Dinah realized that the redhead had moved away, and was no looking out her bedroom window.
Looking back down at the album, Dinah turned the page and came across a picture of two red-heads. One was obviously a younger, teenaged Barbara. The other had more regal features, and wore square glasses.
"Pamela Isley," Barbara answered. "She was my best friend growing up. I would say like sisters, but once we hit puberty, we didn't behave much like sisters," she said with a faint smile.
As Barbara spoke, Dinah flipped through the album, every picture had at least Barbara or Pamela in them, usually both. They were doing everything from homework, to goofing off, a few of them protesting, and there even a couple of them kissing.
"We were seventeen, juniors in high school, when both of our lives changed radically," Barbara continued. "Pam had always been eco-friendly. We went to a few protest even, at companies that weren't overly concerned with the environment. Nothing too radical though. But that didn't seem to affect the companies much. There was one, Chlororgene, that was really bad. They created fertilizer, one that was...well it speed plant growth rapidly, but in the process it mutated the plants. We broke in, intending to do some damage to their equipment, spray-paint a few messages, stuff like that."
Dinah was enthralled as Barbara spoke.
"Around that same time, there was a guy, Tumbler, he had mechanized gloves that allowed him send out shock-waves through objects. He wad been hired by a rival corporation to destroy the factory. Unfortunate for me and Pam, the night we broke in, was the night he came to destroy the place."
Dinah turned through a few more pages of the album, and came across newspaper clippings.
"Batman, Helena's father, showed up. He tried to stop Tumbler, but in the process, Tumbler damaged equipment. Pamela, ended..." Barbara's breath caught in her throat. "Pamela ended up trapped under some debris, underneath a vat of experimental chemicals. I tried to help her, but I was knocked away from her by Tumbler's shock-waves. I watched, as the chemicals poured down onto her, unable to do a thing."
Dinah looked up and noticed their where tears in Barbara's eyes. She set the album down and walked over to place her hand on Barbara's shoulder. The red-head smiled but continued her story.
"We never told anyone what we were, that we were girlfriends. The...The chemicals altered her body. She became, like a personified plant. To this day I still don't know the full extent of the power she wielded. But, en route to the hospital, she disappeared. The...experience changed her mentally as well. She was able to 'hear' plants. And she decided that she should protect them. And the best way to protect plants, was to wipe out humanity."
Barbara smiled. "But she still cared for me. Somewhere inside of her, she was still the Pamela I fell in love with. Before she did anything, she came to me. She wanted me to join her, to stay with her." She moved back over the bed and picked up the album, turning to a middle page, she showed Dinah an elegant pressed flower that the blond didn't recognize. "As far as I know, this flower is one of a kind, created and given to me by Pam, right before she declared that her name was now Poison Ivy."
She smiled sadly. "I wanted to stay with Pam, but I couldn't follow her. And she understood. But I knew that she would hurt people, so I made myself a Batgirl costume. My intent was to get her help, so that she could return to normal, or if that was impossible, to at least stop her from harming innocents. Batman wasn't too thrilled, but eventually accepted me."
The two girls flipped through the book, past numerous articles of Poison Ivy, until the last pages, where two presses flowers, and two notes rested. "After four years of fighting, Ivy caught Batgirl. She intended to kill me, but wanted to know who was behind the mask first. Her shock when she found out it was me was...immense. As was her denial."
She looked up at Dinah. "Even after all she'd been through, she still loved me." her head lowered and looked back down at the notes. "She left then, and I was found an hour later by Batman. It was the last time I saw her. But the next morning," Barbara pointed at one of the notes, and the flower with it, "this flower and letter were delivered to me." She held the book up for Dinah. "Go ahead and read it."
Dinah gave a sympathetic look to Barbara, before turning to read the note.
I don't know what to say, other than how funny life is. I love you, love Barbara Gordon, and for the longest time, I hated Batgirl. But now, knowing you are one and the same, I can't bring myself to hate Batgirl, in fact you've made me think. For the first time since the accident, I've thought about what I'm doing, and I reached a decision.
I'm leaving Red. I'm going to find someplace, far from people, where I won't hear plants suffering. I'll make myself, well not a home, but as close as I can get to one without you.
I just want you to know that I love you, and I want you to be happy, to find someone else that will love and appreciate you as much, if not more, than I did. And I'm sorry. My powers blinded me, and I was, am foolish.
Take care of yourself.
"She still loved you," Dinah said.
Barbara smiled, and took the album from Dinah. "She still does."
"That second note?"
Barbara nodded as she put the album back in her dresser and pulled out another. "Her get-well card to me after I was shot. And, every year," she opened the album to show Dinah pages of pressed flowers, "on my birthday, at Christmas, and on valentines, she sends me a flower."
Barbara closed the book and put it back in her drawer.
"My one regret in life, is that I didn't get to spend enough time with her," the red-head admitted. "I've never really moved on from her."
"Wade," Barbara sighed. "Wade, and every other attempt I've made at dating, were my attempts to move on." She smiled sadly. "Your friend, if you like her, go out. See what happens. If not, Gabby could be your one regret."
Dinah's eyes widened. "How did you know?"
Barbara chuckled. "I'm Oracle, remember. Plus, I may have overheard the two of you outside the teacher's lounge."
The blond smiled at her mentor. "I just have two questions?"
Barbara chuckled. "Shoot."
"Do you ever think you'll see Pam again?"
The wheelchair bound woman shook her head. "No, I don't. Even if I wish differently" she smiled sadly and looked up at Dinah. "the second question?"
Dinah smirked. "Red?"
Barbara chuckled. "Our own inside joke."
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