by Erin Griffin
Pairing: Carolyn Lance/Selina Kyle (Catwoman/Black Canary), Helena/Dinah mention
Summary: "Heaven was, in fact, just like getting an apartment upgrade..." Carolyn tries to adjust to the easy afterlife in Heaven when the reunited loves get an unexpected visitor and a choice.
Disclaimer: I own Elizabeth, but she's a big feminist and would kick my ass at the thought of being 'owned'.
Author's Notes: Because of recent events in my real life, the thought of Heaven is comforting to me, so I have decided to finish this series of stories that I have had around my apartment for the last 6 months or so since the first 'Afterlife' story. This story along with the five or six to follow are all in a series starting with 'Love Afterlife'. There's character death, but nothing that isn't canon.
Heaven wasn't exactly what Carolyn had expected. There were no halos or wings. There wasn't even a Gabriel at the front gates, or gates at all for that matter. No clouds beneath her feet. She was just orbed from one spot to another, one dark, and the other light. There was the brightness that she had expected, but nothing she had to walk into, like in Ghost or something. There was, however, every person she'd ever lost in life. Tim Drake popped by for a quick visit before going to see his high school friend who had overdosed on drugs. She saw her grandparents and and aunt who died of breast cancer, but the ones who startled her the most in Heaven were the people who she had tried to save as Black Canary, but for whatever reason, couldn't, be it she didn't get there in time, or she had to sacrifice one to save many. Seeing these people happy and well in their afterlife made things a little easier on Carolyn. People were generally happy, and if you weren't, something changed in the atmosphere that made you so.
Of course, there was Selina, her love, beside her at last. No one ever bothered them after that first initial hour or so upon entering Heaven. She had met once, a young man named Guy, who was Helena's son, though Selina warned her that her daughter would never admit to him being that to her in fear of his death hurting her more than it already did. Because his life was such a special circumstance, he was one of the few 'working' angels who could shapeshift into any of the four shapes he took in life to guide children and teens into the afterlife if, for some reason, they had no one in Heaven waiting for them.
Heaven was, in fact, just like getting an apartment upgrade. Carolyn was comfortable, and comfort was always as close as she ever got to truly being happy in life. That she could remember, anyway. Inside their little piece of Heaven was a television which got any and every channel imaginable, but what Carolyn liked the most was that all she had to do was look out the window and she'd get the perfect view of her grown daughter, and despite what Dinah may have thought (and she had many, which Carolyn heard) the ex-superhero checked on her every day, only to find that she was just fine. There was always the feeling she got that told her a little bit of what was to come for them all in the Clocktower as she watched Wade and Barbara's relationship get serious. She even knew how and when Wade was going to die, but it wasn't in her power to do anything. She also knew that this had to do with Helena and Dinah's joined destinies.
That was another thing that Carolyn had noticed in Heaven, the fact that Helena and Dinah were, if anything, forcing themselves to be platonic, even distant, with Helena chasing after Detective Jesse Reece and Dinah playing the fool for a Mathew Kendall, which Carolyn knew wouldn't have worked even before she touched him that first time and got into his head. Selina mentioned a few times that they had done their part in the young women's destiny, but the late Black Canary thought something more needed to be done, yet it wasn't for her to decide.
If Carolyn were absolutely honest with herself, Heaven was nice, peaceful, a wonderful place to rest up for a few years... but also a little boring. Maybe that was why she felt relief when she felt, rather than saw, the angelic messenger approaching as she lay with Selina, curled up perfectly in a shape that was uniquely theirs. "I know you're a little restless, Care- I was too, at first- but you'll get used to it," her lover often said, and Carolyn wondered if that was true. As she thought this over yet again in Selina's arms, a little girl, Elizabeth, appeared before them. Elizabeth was usually busy near the holidays, mainly because she had to play the Ghost of Christmas Past for a Grinch or two around Christmas time, so Carolyn would often feel her running about to different parts of the 'neighborhood' to deliver some message or another as she tried to get things caught up before she left.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your lazy decade, but I've got a message for the both of you." She put on a pair of reading glasses and looked at the clipboard on her lap, even though both older women knew she didn't need to wear them; she just liked looking older than seven. " 'Says here that you both," she pulled the glasses down a bit over the bridge of her nose and peered over them at Selina, "even you, Catwoman, were both heroes before your deaths, and He wants to repay you for that by putting you two near the front of the line for reincarnation. However, He would like you to complete three tasks before you go. I know that reincarnation is a big decision, and if you're not sure, I can come back after you get your assigned input. What do you say?" Selina looked at Carolyn, who shrugged.
"We'll need more time to decide." She spoke next to her love. "Let's go get Wade, then we'll come back and talk about it, alright?"
"Okay," Selina wrapped her arms around Carolyn and kissed her. Elizabeth took the glasses off and put them on her pocket and sighed. She really did look tired for an angel, and Carolyn felt bad for her, even though the young-looking angel chose that line of afterlife work.
"I'll be back in a few days. Talk it over, let me know so I can let Him know."
"Bye Elizabeth," Carolyn said, watching the angel disappear. She looked at her once feral lover.
"Tell me your thoughts, love."
"I know I'm restless here, but to be reincarnated? I just got here, Selina. I just got you back."
"I know, but you seem to want to go back to the life you had, and though you can't do that, you can get another chance at life. Now... I left my one big concern (which was at the time, Helena) in good hands by having Barbara care for her, but you must still feel as if you've got unfinished business."
"No, not really. I told Dinah that I was proud of her- and I am. That was my business. I don't want to spend another lifetime without you."
"It's only a lifetime compared to an eternity." Carolyn sighed, then after a long moment, she nodded.
"When put like that..." Carolyn looked into Selina's eyes. "Is this what you want, another life?" Selina nodded.
"It'd be a new adventure, one where we made new choices, feel certain emotions again, to learn and to understand."
"Alright then... We'll go get Barbara's heart, then we'll let Elizabeth know that we'll do it."
"You can stay here if you like."
"I'm not waiting close to a century for you up here," Carolyn said almost stiffly, and Selina couldn't help but laugh at this.
"Our love is strong, Care. If you're going to be out there too, just know that I love you so much that a new body and face won't ever hide your soul from me. We'd see it, and we'll be together again." Carolyn would never admit to it, but she liked the thought of that, Selina's soul shining out so that only she saw it... Falling in love with her all over again... If only it would be that easy. Carolyn looked out the window and watched as Harleen Quinzell, later revealed to her family as Harley Quin, the girlfriend of the Joker, made certain that her plan played out the way she wanted it.
"Wow, that Harley bitch sure does know how to drive us all crazy... pun intended..." Selina and Carolyn watched as New Gotham went nuts, the buildings getting grafitti'd and destroyed inside and out.
"Come on, it's time to get Wade. He just discovered Harley in the Clocktower." Carolyn and Selina linked hands and the two disappeared as orbs down to Earth. Together, they watched as Helena's high school friend Gibson spouted gibberish, and as Harley made Wade kiss her, Selina looked away at the sight of the knife. Carolyn held her and watched on. Carolyn checked on Selina when Wade's body dropped to the floor, and when she looked up again, the body looked already paler. The spirit of Wade Brixton sat up, then stood, looking around him. He brought his hand up to his lips and paused when he saw the two women.
"Who're you? I don't remember seeing you two with her-" he looked around again. "Oh god- oh no... I'm dead." He stared at his body and watched as Harley Quinn pet Gibson on the head and walked away. "She ki- ki-" He couldn't seem to say it. Carolyn knew that Selina wasn't going to speak after a moment, so she had to.
"I'm so sorry, Wade." The newly dead man stared at her, horror struck. "My name is Carolyn Lance, Dinah's mother. This is my- This is Selina Kyle, Helena's mother. We've come to take you... well, to your new home. I- I know I'm making myself sound lame, and I'm sorry, but this is my first time as well."
"Do I get to say goodbye to Barbara? My parents?" Carolyn shook her head. "Why not? They had to know that I love them," he insisted.
"I'm sorry. There's too much going on right now for you to do that. Come with us, Wade. We'll wait for the rest of them together." Selina looked up at Carolyn and nodded in agreement, then she looked at Wade.
"Why didn't my brother come get me?" That question stumped Carolyn, and she looked to Selina for an answer, but the older woman didn't give her anything. She had a look on her face that told Carolyn that she was doing fine in this by herself and should keep going.
"My only guess is that he's a guardian or he's been given a new life." Wade nodded, and took Carolyn's offered hand. "Come on, Oh Silent One. Beam us up, Scottie," Carolyn said just to get her lover to speak. She was rewarded when Selina scrunched up her nose.
"Very funny, Spock."
"I don't have pointy ears."
"No, you don't. You've got very sexy ears." Carolyn wondered how someone could find ears sexy as she avoided Wade's raised eyebrows. The three turned to orbs and floated to the sky, where Carolyn knew she'd spend precious few hours until she went back herself with a new life.