I don't own, surprise, surprise. The good people at WB/DC do.

Someone Like You **

Bruce watched his date intently, trying to read signs, waiting for some sort of green light to advance. She picked up the glass of red wine again, taking another careless drink. He thought she was especially endearing when she was slightly intoxicated. One hand slid into her hair, tucking wild blonde strands behind her ear, then she let out a little laugh.

"It's funny, you know. Life has been so incredibly. NORMAL for the last four years or so. And I don't mean that as a slight to you. it's just. so normal. And things couldn't be better." Selena Kyle's icy blue eyes looked up at him, seemed to search for some sort of response that she wasn't being rude.

"I'm. glad we've had this chance to catch up," Bruce answered noncommittally. "You are looking exceptionally well."

"You too. I'm glad to see the night life hasn't caught up with you." Her fork stabbed unceremoniously at the pasta on her plate. This was her third glass of wine, and Bruce knew she couldn't handle it. He should have stopped her, but the temptation to hear her lay her soul bare was too strong.

A thin smile spread across his lips. "Not yet. And you. Retired, still?"

Her eyes lit with some sort of passionate fire when he asked this, and she leaned forward. "Well, it's impossible to have a night-life with a little person at home."

Bruce felt his heart catch in his chest.

"Father turned out to be a real loser. Found out I was pregnant, and ran off with the guy next door. I kid you not. Which does WONDERS for your self esteem, being dumped for a college student who works in a comic book store. So much for 'normal.'" She stabbed at her food again, twisting the fork with decreasing skill. "And you'll never guess this. It's like God slapping you in the face with irony. She comes popping her head out one year to THE DAY that I break up with you because I need a 'normal' life. Two weeks early and hasn't been on time for a thing in her life since." Selena blushed, realizing she was going on and on. "She's three now. Got an old friend I met at the library watching her. My mother shit a brick when she found out about a baby and no wedding ring, so it's not like I can rely on her." Selena rolled her eyes. "Anyways. The babysitter's a great kid. Really likes Helena and all. Well, that's enough of my tangent." With a self-depreciating smile, she put the pasta into her mouth, then began picking at her food again, so she wouldn't have to look at him.

"It sounds like things're. complicated."

Selena looked at him, pointing up with her fork. "They make more sense than being out there, though. I mean. when you see the baby for the first time, you realize. this is stupid. SHE is what I invest all my time and energy into now, and I'm fine with that. And I have to thank you for it. You got me to a place where I could see that there was a future, and not just tonight, and tonight, and tonight. and when my future came popping out. well, I guess that cured me of the rest. She really should meet you, you know. And know the person who saved mommy's life."

Bruce's hands folded and came to rest on the edge of the table. "I. would like that," he said uncomfortably.

"I'm signing her up for dance classes tomorrow. We saw the Nutcracker at Christmas, and she's become absolutely obsessed. You can come with us. It'll be fun."

"I'd like that," Bruce replied, with no intention of going. It wasn't until her last statement that he realized how far gone from her life he had become. He'd always hoped that they could get back together again. It had been the thing that he thought about every morning for four years.

` * * *

"Helena." Barbara Gordon signed in frustration. "Your mom's going to be home any minute. Which means I have to have you in bed. You don't want me to get in trouble, do you?" She lifted a hand to the child, hoping the girl would take it.

"Not going to bed," the child affirmed. She shook her head and her straight black locks twisted around her head. She remained in a crouched position atop a large slab of marble.

"Alright," Barbara said. Then you at least have to get down from the mantle. What if you fall and crack your head?"

"I don't fall," Helena said with certainty. She stood up to show her babysitter just how invincible she was.

"Helena, get down from there. NOW," Barbara said, slightly upset. She had no idea why the child was so inclined to climb atop everything in the apartment, but she didn't like it.

The girl huffed. "Fiiiiine." Without preamble, Helena jumped, landing in a crouched position on the carpet. "I need potato chips." Without waiting for approval, the girl stalked off to the kitchen.

Barbara watched the girl leave, finally feeling her heart start beating again. She heard the door open behind her, and her shoulders fell. "How did it go?" she asked.

Helena came back into the room, a two pound bag of flavored chips in tow. She ran up to her mother, and wrapped her arms around Selena's leg. "It went well. The ballet thing really freaked him out, like you said." There was a note of disappointment in her voice.

"He doesn't handle frilly well," Barbara informed Selena.

"What about her birth certificate," the blonde woman asked, picking up her daughter.

"That's all been changed as of this morning. It just took a few good hacks. Birth records, everything indicate the date you gave Bruce, not her actual birth date."

Sitting on the black leather sofa with her girl, Selena nodded. "I didn't get a chance to thank you, Barbara." Helena continued shoveling potato chips into her mouth, quietly listening to the grownups.

"I think you should have told him," Barbara pointed out distastefully. "But if you're going to pull one over on him, you should at least do it right."

"I will tell him. Some day. When she can take care of herself." She took the bag out of Helena's hand. "What did we say about snacks before bed time?"

Barbara remained firmly planted in front of the fire place, folding her arms over her chest in protest. "You should have at least given him the chance--"

"Barbara, I'm not going to discuss this again. I appreciate your help, but I can't subject her to that world. Either one of them. Not until I'm sure she can take care of herself."

Barbara looked behind her, at the mantle, remembering the girl's fearless jump. "How long with that be?" she wondered, almost to herself. "I just think." she muttered, even quieter. "He'd have been a good dad. That's all."

Helena had settled down. With the loss of her chips, she'd put her head on her mother's shoulder, and was dozing. "If things were different. If we both hadn't run around in the wrong circles.The Joker's been asking about Catwoman. All I need is for him to connect us."

"I know," Barbara whispered sympathetically. "You're doing the only thing you can," she conceded. She walked to the door and grabbed her backpack. "I gotta get out there on patrol. And remember to keep all my lies straight."

Helena put her sleeping daughter down on the sofa and smiled. "Thank you."

Defeated, Barbara nodded, closing the heavy wooden door behind her.

THE END.