They're Playing Our Song

Last time Dinah had seen Starling there were sirens. They wailed from the horizon, bouncing off every other dusty window and crumbling gargoyle. Gotham's stone guardians had long since learned the sound of the approaching police, learned to both fear and admire the wailing in the same way the both of them had.

"Time to go!"

Ev had stood there for a moment, a smile on her face like she was listening to some great waltz. Behind her lay several hundred thousand dollars in property damage and more than one wasted body, good guy or otherwise. She swayed in time with the approaching whirring, "But they're playing my favorite song."

Twenty blocks of solid sprinting later she took in heavy breaths against the low wall of a roof, Ev laid out beside her staring up at the ceiling grinning despite the amount of sweat and much congealed on her forehead, on her neck, on the lapels of her favorite leather jacket. The moment she caught her breath she was losing it again in quick strangled laughs, they shook her shoulders against the cement roof and made her seize with some joke that Dinah did not get.

Until she did.

Until beside her on the roof she started in on the same laughing. It was a laugh reserved for kinds of joy not reproduced. It was not the laugh of a romantic comedy, of a friends joke; it was the kind of savage amusement derived only from the fantastic combination of exhaustion and prosecution and doing what it was she loved.

Starling started coughing, there wasn't enough air in her lungs to flush out the dust of the building's collapse and so her solution was to light a cigarette. She put the filter in her mouth, she had one of those classic Zippo lighters with the too big flame and as she sucked down smoke she seemed to cough even more.

"You're an idiot."

She smiled.

"Fuck, it was just too good, it was just like the best lay I've had all year. It could only be better if I had some damn whiskey-"

She was thrown into another fit of breathless hacking.

Dinah had seen joy like this before, in Barbara after a traipse over rooftops; Helena at the sight of a target perfectly riddled with crossbow bolts but such glory in destruction was unique to Ev. It seemed to her to be a matter of destiny.

Ev had caught her breath.

"People always wonder, you know? Why it's like this, why I live like this."

Dinah saw beads of sweat dripping down the colored in of her arm from the flower at her neck.

"I mean, I get it, I'm no meta. I'm not a Bat. Why put myself at the top of all those lists, why paint a big ass target on my back and go running around one of the shittiest cities on the planet."

"I always just thought you were crazy."

Her body shook with another short laugh, "Maybe I am, maybe I'm a psychopath but I am one happy fucking psychopath, I'm euphoric and people always say do what makes you happy."

The low whine of sirens could still be heard, inching closer as they droned.

"We'll meet back at the safehouse?"

Dinah caught for maybe a moment the flash of sadness in Ev's eyes, though still smiling and should have known that they would not be meeting up. That the moment they parted ways they would not see one another for a long time. Not until the Birds, and so when Ev nodded she should have said something like goodbye. She had grown attached to this woman who was like a tornado, she would have liked maybe to say, 'How about we just run the rest of the way together? How about we just go wherever you want to go?'

But she didn't.

She smiled, she plotted her course west towards the hospital, she considered the routes and knew where the police would try to cut her off. Looking back she watched Ev do the same thing, and the sirens growing ever closer.

Before they turned their backs on one another, before Dinah jumped the five foot gap to the next rooftop she heard over the din Ev's somewhat tuneless up and down humming, saw her smile and the words, "Listen to that? They're playing our song."