The Task Done Together - Part One
by Erin Griffin
Pairing: Selena Kyle/Carolyn Lance (Catwoman/Black Canary), talk of Helena/Dinah
Summary: " I turned to Carolyn and took her hand. 'Let's roll,' "Together, Carolyn and Selena go down to Earth to finish their final task, which is to help patch things up with their family after Harley Quinn's attack on the Clocktower.
Disclaimer: Still nothing.
Author's Note: If I got paid five bucks for every fanfic I ever wrote, I would still need a job, but I would be like 'Whoo-hoo, I finished this fic, AND I got five bucks!' Also, I know know KNOW the Black Canary/Catwoman history is so off base, and it is so wrong, but be good, and let it be. Sixth in the Afterlife series starting with Love Afterlife, Apartment Upgrade, Finding his Way, Selena's Task and Carolyn's Task
"Before you go down to Earth for your last task, I must tell you both something. As you may or may not know, these tasks were not just designed for the living. Angels, too, must learn as well. I hope you keep in mind everything that was said to you tonight as well as everything you've said to the living. That and only that will help you through this last task. I believe you already know where to go, and this right here is the only hint you get. I wish you both luck. You're both amazing women," Elizabeth said, and I nodded. I turned to Carolyn and took her hand.
"Let's roll." She too nodded, and kissed me as we orbed to the New Gotham Clocktower. "Go to Helena. I've got to go to Barbara."
"What about Dinah?"
"She's confused, but she's not as bad off as the other two. We'll get to her, but there's only two of us and we need to get through the worst of it first." We kissed again, just for the heck of it really, and I watched her walk from that middle room where the broken Delphi system was and into the training room before I transported to a deserted building, torn apart by the madness of the city. In the middle of the ruins was Barbara Gordon, and her head was in her hands as she cried. "Well, shine the light on me, for I am an angel," I looked into deep green as Barbara's head rose at my voice, "and you, Baby Bat, are a coward."
I could run into Dinah's room screaming and she wouldn't have heard me. No matter then. I wasn't there for her just yet. I didn't need for her to hear me, though I silently wished it. I knew that only Helena could hear or see me then, as that was who I was there for. When I got to the doorway of the training room, I remembered the last time I was in that area, looking up at my daughter, who looked down at me with disbelief and a little bit of disgust. I could hear the rapid pounding on the punching bag, which brought back other memories going further back. There was rhythmic breathing and the occasional grunt of frustration and pain. Then it suddenly stopped. "Dinah?" At that, I entered the room, and Helena took a step back. "Carolyn?"
"Did you forget the promise you made to both your mother and me?"
"Promise?" I could see her searching her mind for a time when she might have made a promise, for surely she wouldn't have gone back on it. She was her mother's daughter, after all.
"You said you'd take care of Dinah, but right now, she's lost and alone in her room, wondering why you won't talk to her. What did she do to make you mad?" Carolyn asked, and it startled Helena.
"It was nothing she did. Its- Its me. I've been so messed up lately. Especially after last night. Barbara's gone, we're both scared, and I can't seem to sort all of these thoughts out anymore." Helena seemed surprised that she was able to tell me, a spirit, that much. I was surprised that she hadn't questioned my presence, the hows and whys of it all. Maybe she didn't need to know, or maybe she just didn't care. I felt no anger towards me, and I felt as if our truce was already there, but I was still unsure if Helena's reaction to me was a right one. Who was I to judge what reaction of hers was right or wrong? It just felt odd to me that she was so calm about meeting a spirit.
"Want to talk about it?"
"Why not? Everyone else around here has gone crazy. Why not me?" Ah, that's better. "If you're real, and I don't know how you could be, then you probably hate me more now than you did when you were alive. She was prey that night. I saw fear in her eyes and I loved it. I was playing with them, knowing that I'd hunt them down soon enough, and rattled the cage they trapped themselves into. She was SCARED of me! Besides, I..." Her sentence got lower and lower; I couldn't hear what she'd said.
"Excuse me?" Helena took in a deep breath.
"I said, 'Besides, I can't seem to breathe when I'm near her anymore, let alone speak to her.' " That was all I really needed to hear. At least then, I knew we were getting somewhere.
"If I had known that you were going to leave Helena-"
"I wasn't going to leave like Bruce did, I was going to come back in a few hours-"
"That doesn't matter because she doesn't know that. Neither does Dinah. They think they're screwed with you gone and neither of them knowing as much about the Delphi," I told her, which may or may not have been a lie. Who knows?
"I was coming back," she said again. "I just needed to think. I needed to be a lone for a moment." I just stood there stupidly. I hadn't felt that way since Helena would ask me all of those stumper questions that I just couldn't answer. For some reason, I couldn't talk to her. I left my one prize possession, a very important part of me in her care, and I couldn't for the afterlife of me speak to her. So much irony, so little time.
"I know that there's something going on in the Clocktower soon that you will need to be a part of. This is a gut feeling more than it is fact, but when an angel gets sudden 'I have a feeling' notions, its best not to ignore them."
"I'll be there soon."
"Please! Just let me be. Please..." The more she resisted me, the more at loss I felt. Would things have been this way had I still been alive talking to her? Of course not. I doubt even Dinah would be there if I was alive. In such ways, I don't wish my death hadn't happened. How was I supposed to help- It was then I remember the words of the Messenger. It was then that I knew exactly what to do.
Helena watched me to see if I might hate her now. I only smiled at her, which caught her even more off guard than I thought she would have been just at the mere sight of me. "I figured as much. It really isn't that big of a secret. I see a bit in my new home, Helena. I know."
"And how I feel for her...?"
"No, it doesn't bother me. I... Well, not to sound like a South Park character here, but I learned something today. I was so scared in life. Sure, giving up Dinah was what I'd do over again, but if I had to do it over, I'd have gone back to see her. At least once a year for a few hours. There were so many times in that decade that I could have done it. I was just so paranoid that I'd do something that would lead my pursuers to her. The thing is, I don't want you two to lose a decade to fear. In your line of work, every moment is precious. So is she." Helena nodded in agreement. "Come on, let's go see if she's okay at least."
"Not yet, I mean, I know she is, but I need a minute to gather my courage to speak to her." I nodded, but felt a little bit impatient. Did she not hear the 'every moment is precious' portion of my little speech? 'Come on, Helena, hurry up.' I thought. "So um..." Helena hesitated. "When did you and my mom start dating? Well, superheroes and supervillians don't exactly date each other, do they? They just come together."
"As did we, your mother and I. The truth is, I didn't know she was Catwoman when we got together, and I hadn't yet become Black Canary. She was closing in on thirty within a month, and I was twenty-one. We met at some party or another. I forget now. We were together for over six months. In that time, I had just started to show some signs here and there of what is now the Canary Cry, my throat would burn really badly, and sometimes when I spoke the walls would shake. I guess I was presumptuous in believing that Dinah would show signs of her abilities at a younger age than I had, at age six. Every metahuman I'd met had gotten their powers that early."
"Except me. I figured that with Dinah's personality, she would have developed that early as well, but it is too late for all that now." I stayed silent for a moment. There I was, again telling my story to someone other than my daughter. What was the deal? But a thought occurred to me as I thought about both stories, and the lesson that should have been learned earlier with Molly but wasn't, the lesson that was learned better late than never. I went on with me story. "Anyway... our relationship, or whatever it was we had, lasted six months, like I said. She was the only woman I ever fell in love with, and I think I was the only woman Selena ever loved. But she started to have feelings for Batman, and then, when she found out his identity, Bruce Wayne. It was through your mother that I found out the identity. She thought his team could help me with my powers and may use it for good, even though it meant fighting against the likes of her. It was not long after that I knew she was Catwoman.
"Selena was torn between me and your father. She- uh- went to him one night after some battle over something she stole and later returned, and that was how you happened. Sorry, that came out completely wrong."
"But it was true."
"Sorry." Helena shrugged. "You mother came to me afterwards and told me what had happened, a heat of the moment sort of thing, she'd said. She hoped it would have gotten Bruce out of her system, and for a while, I wanted to believe so badly. But then she found out that she was pregnant and I knew then that I wouldn't be able to handle it. Bruce wouldn't be out of her system, he'd be there every time we looked at the child- You. It didn't help that I was so young myself... Thinking it over, I think that was why I lashed out at you, and I am so sorry. At first glance at you, I knew exactly who your parents were. At second glance, I knew how you were starting to feel for my daughter, and I didn't want history to repeat itself, but there is this unknown destiny involving you two, and whether or not I want it to happen, it will happen if I try to intervene... don't matter. The same is to be said about Dinah. She was meant to be a superhero, and you're meant to be together. If it's to happen it's to happen no matter what, and that was what I was supposed to learn. Don't wait until you're dead to figure it out, okay?"
"I think... I'm ready to talk to her now." I gave a small smile at that, and watched her leave the training room.