Primal Instinct

A Birds of Prey Story

(TV-Verse; H/B)

By Enginerd


Chapter 21 - Sparring

"Hey Barbara, how was the exhibit?" Dinah said, greeting her mentor who rolled off of the elevator.

"It was very nice," she said flatly.

"What happened to Helena?" Dinah asked, looking back at the empty elevator curiously.

"She got a call from Gwen. She went to see her," Barbara said with forced nonchalance. She knew she had no right to feel so irritated. Helena's girlfriend had just lost her father, who was involved in disturbing criminal activities, and her mother had known what he was doing. She probably really needed Helena's shoulder right now. And it wasn't Gwen's or Helena's fault that she had been too dense to see what was right in front of her, Barbara considered with annoyance.

"Oh. Did you two get a chance to talk...about things?"

"That's not why I went, Dinah," Barbara said with a heavy sigh.

"Then why did you go? You had a burning desire to see the exhibit?" Dinah said with a smirk.

"I happen to like spending time with Helena. All right?"

"You are going to talk with her...about things, aren't you?"

"Dinah, please just drop it. There is nothing to discuss," Barbara exhaled tiredly.

"NOTHING? You can't be serious. There's TONS you two need to talk about."

"Dinah..." Barbara warned, not liking the teen's tone or disapproval of her position, for that matter.

"You can't possibly think it's a good idea to wait to tell her how you feel?"

"You have to admit the timing isn't good," Barbara snapped. "And Helena really cares about Gwen, Dinah. Even if her father didn't commit suicide - I wouldn't want to interfere. I won't," Barbara said with finality.

"So you think she should be with Gwen? That Gwen will make her happy?" Dinah asked incredulously.

"It doesn't matter what I think - it matters what Helena thinks."

"You're not being fair . . . ," Dinah said with frustration.

"That's exactly what I'm trying to be," Barbara responded with exasperation.

"Tell me, Oracle, how can she possibly make a good decision if she doesn't have all of the facts?"

"I am not going to interfere, Dinah. And that's final. And no interference from you either," Barbara warned with narrow eyes.

"You're making a mistake," Dinah urged.

"Promise me you won't interfere," Barbara insisted.

"This is so screwed up. You're doing the same stupid thing Helena did with Wade!"

"Promise me," Barbara demanded.

"I promise not to interfere," Dinah said pointedly, making Barbara frown, not exactly sure what that meant. "Just so you know, you are not just being unfair to yourself, you're being unfair to three other, very good and decent people who don't deserve being second best," Dinah said glaring at her.

Barbara's eyes dropped uncomfortably. "I broke it off with Wade."

"Great. Only two other people will be screwed up by your silence," Dinah said with an annoyed sigh.

"Dinah, that's enough," Barbara said, her anger bubbling up. It wasn't her place to criticize, she thought with annoyance.

"I'm going to go to Gabby's for a couple days," Dinah blurted, clearly disgusted. "Helena will start asking why I'm so angry with you and I'm not going to lie," she warned and left for her room to pack.

Barbara looked up to the ceiling, growling with frustration.

/BoP\

Helena returned to the tower to find Dinah exiting the elevator with an overnight bag. "Hey, going somewhere good?" She asked, eyeing the large bag curiously.

"Gabby's. See you in a few," Dinah blurted, continuing to walk away.

"Days?"

"Yep. Gotta go," Dinah said, clearly anxious to leave.

"Have...," Helena said as she watched Dinah hightail it out of there. ". . .fun."

With a confused grimace, Helena rode the elevator up to the clock tower, wondering what would make Dinah forgo an opportunity to talk her ear off.

Stepping off the elevator, she looked around for Barbara. Oddly, she was not planted in her usual place in front of Delphi. She paused a moment when she caught a very strong scent of her. Barbara was working out Helena concluded and headed towards the gym.

As she approached the gym, Helena could hear the grunts and thwacks, then found Barbara furiously beating the heavy bag with her Eskrima sticks.

"Whoa! Who pissed you off?" Helena said with amusement. Barbara exhaled and rolled towards the towel rack.

"If you don't mind, Helena, I'd like to be alone," Barbara said, clearly making a statement - not a request. Helena noted Barbara's eyes never met hers as she grabbed a towel and dabbed her damp forehead.

"Really?" Helena said with interest. "Dinah practically flew out of here and you are beating the crap out of the equipment. Is there something I should know about?"

"I . . . I don't know," Barbara exhaled with honest frustration, as she started to question every decision she had made - thanks to Dinah's emphatic and aggravating arguments. She looked down to the towel in her hands, which she unconsciously started to strangle.

Barbara was bothered for some reason and Helena was determined to find out why.

"I think you need a sparring partner," Helena suddenly offered. "Someone who's able to hit back," Helena teased, patting the heavy bag.

"No, I don't think so," Barbara said tightly. She knew having Helena around would not make it any easier to think. And she needed to think….

"If you are worried - I'll tie one hand behind my back," she said, egging her on. Helena knew Barbara had a healthy ego, which she could occasionally exploit.

"Helena..." Barbara groaned, recognizing Helena's blatant tactic.

"Or...are you chicken?" Helena said, eyeing her with a smirk.

"Damn it, Helena. I said NO and I mean NO," Barbara snapped and immediately regretted it. It wasn't Helena's fault. She sighed heavily, rubbing the bridge of her nose.

Helena looked at her thoughtfully. "So what you're trying to say is . . . you'd like a sparring partner?"

Barbara shook her head, in an odd mix of frustration and amusement. "For someone with metahearing, you don't listen very well."

"Hmm?" Helena said absently as she walked to the weapons rack and picked up the nunchucks, inspecting them with interest.

Barbara rolled her eyes, almost missing the flourish that signaled the start of Helena's attack. With a somersault, Helena landed in front of Barbara and proceeded to whirl the weapon with surprising skill. Barbara had to work harder than she expected to not let the nunchucks get past her defenses. Helena obviously had learned some weapons skills when she trained as a human, Barbara noted with appreciation.

As quickly as the attack came, Helena backed off. Barbara's eyes followed her as she leaped gracefully across the room, back to weapons rack, and turned to wink at her. As much as she had admired the human Helena's dedication to training and surprising ability to quickly learn, Barbara had missed Helena's cocky flair.

When she exchanged her nunchucks for a staff, Barbara found herself truly interested to see what she could do. She never saw Helena use a staff.

With another impressive flourish that clearly demonstrated that she had picked up those skills along the way too, Helena leapt into the air and came down behind Barbara.

Barbara blindly swung her Eskrima sticks behind her, but Helena deflected them. Quickly, nudging her joystick on her chair as she deflected the powerful and rapid staff strikes, Barbara was able to see her opponent again and attempted to sweep her legs out from beneath her.

Helena had to smile at Barbara's aggressiveness and did a back flip, avoiding the blows.

While interesting, Helena grew tired of the staff. She somersaulted over Barbara's head, deflecting a few blows targeting the airborne opponent.

Barbara wiped her forehead with her forearm, glad for the small reprieve as Helena put the staff down and let her fingers trail over the other weapons as if she were shopping. When her hand touched the Eskrima sticks, she glanced over to Barbara with a challenging smirk and a sparkle in her eyes.

While Barbara resisted the urge to roll her eyes, knowing she had to keep them focused on the woman before her, she couldn't resist a good challenge. "Bring it on, Hel," Barbara invited with a fire in her eyes.

Helena smiled, leaning leisurely against the weapons rack with arms crossed with Eskrima sticks in hand. "You sure you're not too tired to keep up, Red?" She said, lazily scratching her cheek with the tip of an Eskrima stick.

"What's the matter, Hel? You worried about a cripple beating you with her favorite weapon?" Barbara shot back, knowing Helena loved to trash talk.

Helena's smile grew wider at the perfect opening. "Well, I am worried - about whooping your ass and you not being able to feel it," she said sassily.

Barbara's mouth dropped in shock. "What did you just say?!" Barbara said tersely, amazed at the young woman's gall. There was trash talk - but THIS . . . THIS crossed the line. Helena had better apologize, she considered with narrow eyes.

"I said I'm worried about…" Helena repeated, chuckling at the disbelief on Barbara's face, then suddenly launching an attack that Barbara found herself really straining against.

Though Barbara's ability to fight in the wheelchair was considerable, it was limited. Her success out on the streets with the few encounters she had been due to the element of surprise and the ability to execute precise and swift attacks in that moment. It was hard to accept she had been reduced to that fighting style - but she had no choice.

But sparring with Helena made her almost forget her limitations. The continued attacks and blocks and dodges, now spanning over several grueling minutes, required her to dig into her physical and mental reserves. Her muscles began to ache and sweat poured from her. The familiar challenge thrilled her.

While she knew Helena could easily take out her chair and completely dominate her, Helena didn't. Instead, the young woman used her considerable skills to push Barbara harder than anyone could - even with her outrageously rude trash talk, she considered begrudgingly. She wondered why she had not engaged in all-out sparing with Helena before, unable to recall the last time she had such a challenging partner - even when she could walk.

But that was Helena - always a challenge. Pushing her limits, not to mention buttons, and pulling her in directions she wasn't necessarily prepared to go - but needed to. For some reason, Helena knew that. There was no time for self-pity or laziness around Helena, Barbara considered, trying another attack combination that was met blow for blow with a passion and joy that was infectious. She wondered if that passionate and joy extended to the bedroom . . . .

It was unclear who was more surprised when Helena slipped through her defenses and whacked Barbara in the head.

"Ugh," Barbara moaned, her hand shooting up to her head. Serves you right, she thought with irritation.

"Are you all right?" Helena said worriedly, immediately by her side. She dropped the Eskrima sticks, which bounced noisily on the floor, and felt for the bump through the damp red hair.

"Helena, stop," Barbara said uneasily, pulling Helena's hand away from her head, angry for allowing her mind to wander during a fight, let alone become highly aroused at the thought of Helena in bed…with her.

Helena tensed with worry, breathing in Barbara's unmistakable scent of arousal, knowing she was helpless to stop her own from igniting and engulfing her.

Barbara frowned at the concern on Helena's face. "Look, it's not the first time I've been hit . . . in the head," she finished slowly, gazing into beautiful blue eyes that started to change. It was mesmerizing. "You . . . You're aroused, aren't you?" Barbara whispered in awe and hope.

Helena looked down in shame, knowing her eyes would someday betray her. She had finally learned to not go primal with the scent of Barbara's sweat, but there was nothing that could have prepared her for such a powerful, euphoric scent so close.

"Hel . . . look at me," Barbara said softly. "Please."

Helena looked up, unable to deny Barbara's gentle but powerful request. "I'm sor…," she said miserably at her lack of control.

Barbara pressed her fingers to Helena's lips, stopping her apology. The contact was sweet torture, fueling Helena's desire to burn even hotter.

"Don't ever apologize for that," Barbara said firmly, confusing the metahuman. "You must know . . . I'm aroused too?" She asked. For the first time, Barbara Gordon was not embarrassed by saying something so personal aloud. Even with past lovers, she did not like to talk about things like that. But with Helena, right now, it was . . . natural.

Helena nodded helplessly. "Your scent . . . consumes me," she admitted huskily.

The raw admission shot through Barbara like molten liquid, washing over her erogenous zones and pooling in her sex. Her body's startlingly strong response made her wonder whether it was possible to climax from mere words. Though, that was an experiment for a later day, Barbara concluded, currently desiring to engage all her senses - now. She reached out and slowly slid her hand along Helena's forearm, her intent clear.

Helena's eyes widened as her breathing became more ragged. She couldn't look away from the want reflected in those beautiful green eyes. A want for her! A want she had always longed to see but didn't dare hope for. Her scent, her eyes, her touch, all made Helena tremble with need.

Her fingers traced up Helena's arm, over her bicep, her shoulder, then found purchase behind her neck. Gently, but firmly, she guided Helena towards her. Barbara's heart pounded with anticipation as the distance between them slowly disappeared. Before their lips could finally meet, Helena stiffened and pulled back slightly.

"I can't . . . ," Helena said in agony, causing Barbara to freeze with fear.

Gwen, Barbara thought with dread, feeling like her heart would shatter.

"I can't share you," Helena said uneasily, unable to look into Barbara's eyes, knowing her willpower was only so strong….

Barbara exhaled with incredible relief. She tenderly lifted Helena's chin and looked her in the eye. She was amazed to find tears in them.

"Oh sweetie," Barbara exhaled sadly, knowing she had caused this young woman so much heartache. "It's over with Wade. I told him at lunch."

Helena looked at her, almost not believing. "Why? Did he do something?" Helena said with a tense look.

Barbara's heart broke at Helena's insecurity. "No. It was because of what he couldn't do. He couldn't make me love him," she admitted, caressing the back of Helena's neck. Helena blinked and remained silent, afraid to speak. "I honestly don't know why it took so long, but almost losing you woke me up, Helena. I hope . . . it's not too late for us," she said with a wince, looking at her questioningly. "Because I can't share you, either."

Helena thought she might melt into a puddle of relief. She was almost too overwhelmed to answer, but Barbara needed an answer.

"I . . .uh, Gwen is taking Grace and leaving New Gotham," Helena said, struggling to speak coherently. "She knew. That you would always be first in my heart."

Barbara exhaled with relief, looking into beautiful cat-like eyes that were focusing intently on her, waiting. Silently, Barbara reached out and reverently caressed Helena's face, her fingertips gliding over her forehead, her brow, down the side of her face…. She was startled when Helena suddenly grabbed her hand with surprising speed. Slowly, Barbara's hand was pulled towards Helena's lips. There was no rushing as each and every fingertip was savored, teased, and caressed. Helena's warm, wet mouth and skillful tongue made the rest of Barbara's body ache with jealous need.

"God," Barbara exhaled in a whimper, her arousal skyrocketing.

Helena's appreciation for her wet need manifested itself in a low growl that vibrated through her fingers to Barbara's core.

Unable to remain a passive recipient of the intimate attention, Barbara suddenly whipped her hand away, grabbed Helena with both hands and pulled her into a bruising, needful kiss.

Helena growled again, this time pulling Barbara out of her chair and on top of her. Helena hit the floor with a thud that only momentarily interrupted their kiss.

In a flurry of activity that rivaled their sparring, their hands roamed as frantically as their tongues dueled. There was nothing remotely tender about their hard, urgent kiss, possessive hands, or moans and growls, as long pent-up passion boiled over, finally free from self-imposed barriers.

Tender was for another day as the desperate women were too busy making up for lost time… almost too busy to notice Delphi's alarm.

With amazing strength to overcome nearly debilitating desire, both women parted with ragged breaths and silently collected themselves, neither daring to look at each other. Helena took a deep, fortifying breath and silently scooped Barbara up from the floor. Barbara could feel how tense Helena was as she was carried the short distance to her chair, marveling at the young woman's control, knowing her own was tenuous at best.

Both relieved and disappointed at the loss of contact when Helena gently deposited her to her wheelchair, Barbara took an uneasy breath as she quietly forced her trembling hands to straighten her shirt that was in the process of being removed. First to leave the gym, she numbly rolled towards Delphi, still refusing to look Helena in the eye, not trusting herself.

Helena silently followed, her whole body thrumming with need as her eyes darted around everywhere but directly at Barbara. She vaguely wondered if this was what an addict who was going through withdrawal felt like.

Barbara remained silent as she mechanically called up the police report. She hoped, really hoped, it would be another case of New Gotham's finest apprehending the criminals without need for their help. However, her previously neutral mask turned into a frown when she learned that was not the case. There was a standoff with two, well-armed jewelry thieves in a now barricaded store on 4th and Greeley . . . and there were hostages. Police had the building surrounded and were calling in a negotiator.

Needing to dispatch Helena, she bit her lip as she turned to her uneasily. She hoped she could speak coherently and that both of them could stay focused. With a sigh of relief, she watched only a blur of Helena as she swiftly left for the scene, leaving the balcony door to gently sway in the summer breeze.

Barbara exhaled heavily, willing herself to not think about Helena's sexy eyes, amazing kisses, responsiveness to her touch, and that incredible passion . . . dear GOD, she thought, blinking with frustration. How was she going to keep Helena's mind on the mission too? She didn't even like baseball, she considered absently as she checked the GPS monitor. Helena's signal was rapidly approaching the scene.

"Oracle?" A surprising voice called over the coms.

"D…Dinah? Where are you?" Barbara said, then cleared her throat as she glanced at the GPS monitor which gave her exact position.

"Two blocks from the standoff," Dinah said with surprise. Oracle could have just looked at the GPS monitor….

"G…Good. Hel…Huntress is on her way. There are two armed jewelry thieves," Barbara said, trying to focus. "They have hostages. They are armed….uh, there are two of them."

"Uh, Oracle. Are you all right? You sound a bit…out of it," Dinah said with a frown.

Barbara cringed and told herself to snap out of it. She had a job to do and couldn't afford to screw it up. People's lives could be lost, including Helena's and Dinah's.

"Or…Oracle?" Helena said uneasily.

"Go ahead, Huntress," Barbara said with surprising confidence. She could do this.

"I see them," Helena said in a strangled voice.

"Are you . . . all right?" Barbara hesitantly asked with concern. The last thing Helena needed was to be distracted.

After a long pause, Helena cleared her throat and answered. "Yes. Just reevaluating my career choice, Oracle," she said with annoyance, making Barbara smile. Helena would be all right if she could joke.

"You are not the only one," Barbara offered with a heavy exhale, surprising Helena, whose tense face finally relaxed into a smirk.

"I've got an idea," Helena offered conversationally.

"Oh? What's your idea, Huntress?" Barbara said, unable to help herself.

"Why don't we really go into the muffin top business? I understand baking is actually a science - so you should be able to actually pick that up in no time," Helena offered with enthusiasm.

"Why do you assume I would be the one to bake?" Barbara asked.

"Because you can't even taste the difference between a microwaved and toasted pop-tart. So, naturally, I would have to be the company taster person, leaving you to do the baking," Helena said with a smile at her logic.

"So your official title would be company taster person?" Barbara laughed.

"What the hell are you two talking about?" Dinah asked in frustration as she spotted Helena on the rooftop, peering down through a skylight.

"Just exploring business possibilities, big D," Helena said nonchalantly as Dinah joined her side.

"Hey, why are your eyes already like that?" Dinah said.

"Mind on Mission, Dinah," Oracle suddenly said.

"Great, you two can chit-chat all you want, but when I have a question it's mind on mission," Dinah grumbled.

"You'd better hurry. The rooftops are going to get crowded soon. The police are sending a swat team with the negotiator," Oracle said.

"Come on, Kid. Let's get this over with. I have much better things I could be doing," Helena said and jumped through the skylight.

"Great," Dinah said with a wince, looking down through the new hole wondering how she was going to get down.

/BoP\

"Hello, boys," Helena said as she landed. She grabbed the .357 magnum out of one criminal's hand as she kicked the other, causing him to fly across the room and hit the wall, hard. He scrambled to get up and fire his weapon, but she leaped to his side and grabbed it. She pulled it up and the man held on. With a frown, she head-butted him, causing him to let go and slump back down against the wall.

The other criminal ran at her and tried to grab her. She gracefully jumped up and over him. "You want this?" she taunted, holding up his weapon with a grin.

"Bitch," he said, grabbing for her again. She stepped aside and kicked him, causing him to collapse to the ground.

"I read somewhere that carrying a weapon this size . . ," she said, as he scrambled to his feet, furious and lunged for her again. She easily dodged his attack with a somersault. "Is to compensate for another short coming," she said, glancing at his family jewels pointedly.

"Bitch," he said again, finally getting clobbered into unconsciousness by Huntress.

"Not very original, I must say," Huntress said, tsking as she tied them up. "Oracle, the packages are secured with no shots fired," Helena said as Dinah finally joined her side.

"Oh, I wouldn't say that," Oracle said dryly, getting a chuckle. "Well done, Huntress and Dinah."

"Why thank me? She took care of everything before I could get down from the roof!" Dinah complained.

Barbara bit her lip, wondering how to respond.

"Sorry, D. Next time, I'll try not to be so anxious and let you kick some butt," Helena said, surprising Dinah with the apology.

"Really?"

"Really," Helena said, playfully nudging her arm with her elbow.

"Huntress, will you be . . . returning to the tower?" Barbara asked uneasily.

"Ah that's a ten-four, good buddy," Helena said, getting Dinah to chuckle. The fighting had definitely taken the odd edge off of Helena, she considered, enjoying her playful side.

"Uh. Understood. Oracle out," Barbara said.


Epilogue

Barbara was practically rolling around in circles as she waited for Helena's return. Spotting the wine rack, she smiled. She was certain they could have a civilized, romantic glass of wine and even talk a bit, about expectations and whatnot, before they…. Barbara swallowed hard, as she started to feel very warm again at the thought. Now she wasn't so sure she could wait.

With determination, she grabbed the wine and two glasses and placed them on the coffee table with a firm nod of her head. They could be adults about this and not go at it like rabid rabbits. Quite honestly, she had never ever, EVER, lost control like that. But then, no one had ever aroused her so completely, she thought with a shiver as she recalled Helena's growl. Stop it Gordon and get a damn corkscrew, she scolded herself and rolled to the kitchen.

As she searched the kitchen drawers, which, she had to admit, contained many wondrous and fascinating things, she considered actually taking a cooking class. Wouldn't it surprise Helena to come home to a dinner she made? Until then, she considered, she would just have to rely on Alfred or her supply of pop-tarts.

When she finally found the elusive corkscrew, she heard Delphi announce the elevator was in use, which surprised her. She was expecting Helena to make a dramatic entry and use the balcony. Although it did give her some warning, she considered as she quickly returned to the living room and shifted herself onto the couch, knowing that would be much more comfortable for both of them.

She picked up the corkscrew and the doors finally opened. Barbara smiled anxiously and greeted her soon-to-be lover. "Hel…ena," she said, spotting Helena emerge with Dinah, who was chatting away. Helena looked at Barbara and shrugged apologetically.

Barbara exhaled evenly, wondering if this frustration of wanting but not being able to do anything about it was her punishment for being so dense about Helena. If there was some deity at work here, she was pure evil, Barbara concluded.

"Dinah, what a surprise," Barbara said flatly, trying to smile but failing. Her young ward's eyes dropped guiltily.

Barbara looked over to Helena, who was looking at her intently. Barbara swallowed hard, feeling like prey, and dropped her eyes.

"I need to speak to both of you," Dinah said, looking at Helena seriously. "Maybe you should sit down."

Did she have to look so damn sexy just standing there? Barbara thought with irritation.

Helena looked at the earnest teen curiously, then shrugged, sitting down next to Barbara on the couch as Dinah paced to gather her thoughts.

Barbara cringed, able to feel Helena's body heat, wondering why she had to sit so close. "Could you move over a bit?" Barbara asked, not looking at Helena.

Helena scooted closer with a knowing smile, causing Barbara to curse herself for not being more specific.

Noticing the wine on the table and the two glasses with interest, Helena looked over to Barbara with a pleased smile. Glancing down to Barbara's hand, Helena noted the corkscrew.

"Now, I wanted to tell you two how much you mean to me," Dinah blurted earnestly, glancing at the two uneasily before continuing to pace. "You are family, and family doesn't just stand by and watch serious mistakes being made."

With a thumb and index finger, Helena grabbed the end of the corkscrew and pulled up, finding Barbara's hand moving with it.

"So I have to tell you what huge mistake you are making," Dinah said firmly.

"Let it go!" Barbara hissed, still not looking at Helena, who smirked.

"I will NOT let it go Barbara," Dinah countered, shutting her eyes with frustration. "I know you asked me to not interfere, but I don't think this as interfering. And even if it was - that's what we do for a living, right Helena?" She said, glancing to Helena.

"Yeah, let D speak her piece, Barbara," Helena said innocently, earning a glare from Barbara.

"What are you two doing?" Dinah asked with exasperation, seeing both Helena and Barbara holding a corkscrew.

"I wanted to open the Chardonnay, but Barbara is hogging the cork screw," Helena offered, holding up the object in question, which still had Barbara's hand attached to it.

"Wine? Why do you have wine?" Dinah asked.

"My guess is that we are celebrating," Helena said reasonably. "Could it be my first sweeps after the merging?" she asked, looking at Barbara innocently.

Barbara blinked and looked over to the confused teen and offered "That's a good reason to celebrate, isn't it Dinah?"

"I'm sure Dinah won't mind us having wine, even if she's too young to indulge. Right, D?"

"It's just not right, Helena," Barbara said uneasily.

"Look, while you two argue over having wine or not, which frankly I don't care about, one way or the other, I have something really important to tell you guys," Dinah said almost whining.

"Go ahead, D," Helena said, letting go of the corkscrew to Barbara's relief. The last thing she needed to have around Dinah was wine, which would make her less sharp. And the teen really didn't need to be hearing her thoughts at the moment.

"Thanks," Dinah said, starting to pace again. "As I was saying… I feel compelled to speak up only because I love you two. The fact is you two are ignoring what is right in front of you!" Dinah said emphatically, turning towards the two women as Helena grabbed the bottle of wine and unceremoniously jammed her pinky finger down the neck, pushing the cork into the bottle. A little wine splashed back onto her face and clothes, but Helena still smirked proudly, holding up the open bottle to Barbara, so she could see her accomplishment without the corkscrew.

Barbara rolled her eyes and sighed as Helena smiled with amusement and poured two glasses.

Dinah sighed heavily, annoyed that they would so blatantly ignore her - especially when she was TRYING to help them. She was about to tell them they were hopelessly doomed when she was distracted by their silent communication.

Helena offered a glass to Barbara, who begrudgingly accepted the inevitable as she shook her head at Helena's persistence. Eyeing Helena's damp face, Barbara reached out and started to wipe a drop away from her cheek.

To Dinah's amazement, Helena grasped Barbara's hand and tenderly kissed her palm - and Barbara didn't pull back! Instead, Barbara smiled warmly and gently tapped their glasses together, causing a soft, crisp ping.

They each took a sip and smiled.

Dinah's eyes widened when Helena leaned in and kissed Barbara tenderly.

"Yes, well," Dinah blurted uneasily and cleared her throat. "I'm glad I could finally talk some sense into you two," Dinah said awkwardly and fled.

"She may never speak to us again," Barbara noted with a sparkle in her eyes.

"If I had known I could get rid of D by kissing you, I would have done it sooner," Helena joked.

"I hope that's not the only reason you have for kissing me," Barbara said, looking into Helena's blue eyes, anxious to see them change again.

"Do I need a reason?" Helena asked, taking the wine glass from Barbara and placing it on the coffee table next to hers. "Other than I love you?"

Barbara sighed contentedly, caressing Helena's face. "I love you too, Hel," she said, leaning in for a slow, sensuous kiss. When their lips parted, Barbara whispered, "Take me to bed and let me show you."

With an abruptness Barbara didn't expect, Helena scooped her up and ran to Barbara's bedroom, leaping over chairs, tables, stairs, and railings with a frantic urgency. There was no question of what Helena wanted.

"Whoa!" Barbara said, unable to withhold her delighted laughter as they entered her bedroom. "Careful or I might get motion sickness," she warned with a big smile.

Helena grinned, gently depositing her precious cargo onto the big bed. "You might want to invest in Dramamine, Red, 'cause life with me is gonna be a roller coaster ride," Helena cockily warned, then took her left hand hers and gently squeezed "…for better or worse," she softly vowed with surprising vulnerability, lifting Barbara's hand to her lips and kissing her knuckles reverently.

Barbara's heart swelled as she looked at the amazing woman who just promised her . . . everything. "I hope so, Hel. God, I hope so," she admitted earnestly and pulled Helena into a heated kiss.

The End

Thanks to Trusty for proofing...


Author's Note: I had planned to finish up the sequel to Primal Instinct before posting the last chapter, but a few RL issues popped up. Hurricane Sandy flooded my Mom's home in NJ and she's now living with me, which had been what I wanted due to her medical issues but she had been reluctant. I still plan to finish the story that is almost done...but I do not like the idea of posting before the work is completed; I'm an old dog and just can't do it, worried I might suffer from "The Block." Once we get settled and I can find some "me" time to write, I will be continuing with the stories:) Thanks for the follows and reviews. I appreciate the encouragement. Battle on!