Illusions of What Was
By Erin Griffin
Rating: This is like heavy R, because there is too much plot around the sex to be a NC-17 with explicit sex and stuff. if you feel it should be higher and NC-17, lemme know, and I will see what I can do to warp your mind into thinking otherwise. Kidding, kidding.
Pairing: I'm not sure yet. Okay, that was a lie. I know, I am just not gonna tell you. because I'm weird. and evil. and tired, dammit!!
Disclaimer: Jimmy Gerner and this mysterious Samantha that everyone is making a big deal about? Yeah, they're my toys, so leave them alone.
Author's Note: sleep deprivation, Erin's versions of the various drugs that make people weird. I am very inspired when I need sleep and a cupcake. chocolate.
Feedback: Of course.
"The usual?" I heard Jimmy Gerner say as I walked through the door. I nodded my head as I have every night for the last 2 months. He slides over a Vodka on the rocks. It was what Helena would've ordered. That was why I got it every night, as a tribute to her.
"You wanna talk about it?" Jimmy asked, wiping down the counter.
"Like I told you last night, I would never talk about that night because talking about what was on her mind is what killed her to begin with." I remembered. He shrugged and walked to the other end of the bar, and I was left to my thoughts, as I had been the night before. I continued where I left off the night before as I thought over what happened that night that changed my life for the worst. I felt my heart pound in my chest as I thought about them. What little that was left of my family was gone, and I had no where to go (since Alfred had died of natural causes months before), so I went to the one place that I felt comfortable in, Hell.
Helena had started to see Dr. Quinzell not long before I came to New Gotham. She didn't know that her shrink was the Joker's girlfriend. It has been two years since Harley Quinn killed her. The Joker escaped the insane asylum, and Harley helped him out. Helena, Barbara, and I went after him and he got onto this boat with her. We were outnumbered. Helena told me to go to another part of the ship while the climax of the fight was being fought. (She had told me that there were a couple of hostages there that needed me. It was a lie.) When I came back, I saw Barbara's body on the floor lifeless and Helena still fighting Harley Quinn. I was about to help her out when Harley had one of her bodyguards throw her overboard. She never came up. I was captured, tortured until I almost begged for death and then left for death in the dockyards. That was over 2 years ago, like I said. I finish off the drink and slap the money on the counter. Then I pull my leather jacket tighter around myself and walked out of the door. I was on my way home. I lived in an apartment on the other side of town. Not many people lived there any more because there were rumors of drug dealers and ex-rapist living there. I took care of them the moment I moved in. After that, I let the city go to Hell. Whatever superhero I wanted to be died when Helena did. All I wanted to be was like her, and when she died, there was nothing I wanted more than her in my arms.
I had fallen in love with Helena since I first dreamed about her when I was 9 years old. I knew that I loved her, and that she was who I wanted to live the rest of my life with. When I played dolls with this one girl down the street, I thought it was stupid that every single time Barbie got married it was to Ken, and never to Skipper, who was better suited for her, anyway in my opinion. There were times where I had chances to lose my virginity, but I always backed out, thinking I wanted to save myself for her. Even when I was 14 and thought I would never see her, I still slowly withdrew and told her (my secret girlfriend at the time because she wanted it kept that way) that I couldn't. Then when I was almost 16, I saw an ad in the newspaper advertising a low bus fair to New York and took that chance. I bought a map of New York, and the one place that caught my eye, New Gotham was the one place I knew she would be. And when I saw her in the ally that night, I knew I couldn't let her get away from me that time. I knew that I would never love anyone else.
Anyway, as I walked out onto the sidewalk, I felt a little better, not that I will ever feel totally better when I spend every night alone. I am a waitress and a part time telemarketer by day, and though people surround me every day, I never let myself near them long enough to build any type of relationship. I thought there was no point in trying to gain that stuff. As I got closer to my car, I saw a small movement of a shadow in the corner of my left eye. I opened the door before it was closed shut. I looked up angrily. Whoever did it went back into hiding in shadow. "Didn't your mother ever tell you it is bad to drink and drive?" The figure asked in a rough tone. I have never heard this voice before but it seemed oddly familiar.
"I guess not, considering she's dead and all." I answered her, my tone just as tough.
"I advise you walk home tonight and come back for the car in the morning," the voice said to me.
"Okay, normally I am not buzzed enough to take advice from the shadows within..." I said sarcastically. The shadow didn't move and it was a little while before the voice spoke again.
"I'll walk you home if you promise not to drive home after drinking anymore. If not for the your safety , then the safety of others..."
I thought things through.
"Fine, but it is hard to walk home with a shadow." I said. I looked towards where the voice was coming from and a figure slowly emerged. She was hooded and had a long coat on, but I knew from the voice at least that it was a woman talking. An ache rose inside me, but I pushed it down. It has been a long time since I had encountered anyone who seemed to at least pretend to care about me. She was still mostly engulfed in shadow but I guess I would have to take what was given. I guess I was secretly glad to have someone to talk to again. I slowly started to walk in the direction of my house and the figure walked alongside me.
"You know, if I wasn't used to a shadow lurking around me, I wouldn't have accepted your offer to walk me home." I told her, I guess as a way to start a conversation.
"How can anyone be used to someone lurking in the shadow?" she asked me, almost as if she already knew the answer to her own question, but wanted to hear it from me.
"I had family that was good at it. My friend used to do it a lot to try to scare me, and it always worked. Never knew where she was or when she was there until she grabbed you." I said.
"From the tone of your voice, you liked this friend a lot." The shadow's voice became a little softer, which sort of surprised me.
"Wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for her. I was so stupid as a teenager, and she was always there to save my ass. I just couldn't repay that when it was really needed of me." I thought over that night and looked down at my shoes.
"When did she die?" I found it odd that I could tell her just about anything, almost as if I already had.
"Over 2 years ago." I said simply, feeling the pain in my chest again.
"Sounds like you were close."
"Not really. At least not as close as I wanted to be. She was a friend of mine, but it was mostly hero worship on my part. She was a big person on justice, and she also became used to protecting me or something because she hid me when I was going to help her out with a drug bust-"
"You do not have to lie to me. I have been watching you for a while now. I know who you are." She said, cutting me off.
"Why the Hell would anyone watch a nobody like me?" I looked over at her with a lot of surprise, almost as if I was to challenge her knowledge of me.
"Dinah Lance, 20 years old, and NOT allowed to drink I might add, but you saved the bartender's daughter's life and so he let's you in if you only got one drink and that was all. Every night you order her favorite... Vodka rocks. I know you used to be one of them... a metahuman, but when she died, your friend, you let the city go to pieces around you and you didn't even care. I know that Barbara Gordon died and so did Helena Kyle, both your family, died last year. I saw that much on the news." I scoffed.
"That wasn't on the news... at least, Helena Kyle wasn't on the news. I should know. I made sure she wasn't. She wouldn't have wanted the publicity of her death unless it was heroic, like she died while saving a thousand other people... not just drowning. Now, I do not know how you know all of that, but it doesn't matter now." We were silent. "This is my place." I announced after a few minutes.
"Figures." I muttered.
"You wanna know what else I know?" I looked over at the hooded figure.
"No. I really don't care what you do or don't know." I told her flatly, but honestly.
"I know she loved you. I mean, you may think she didn't like you very much, but I know she did. She loved you. She fell in love with you about 8 months before she went overboard. And I know one more thing." She said as I unlocked my door. I turned to look at her. "I know that Helena Kyle is alive." This made me stop in my tracks. Then I started chuckling. "What's so funny?" The figure asked me.
"That is the only way you could have known all of that about me. You aren't real. I made you up. Again. Well, not the 'coming out of the shadows' or the 'walking me home' bit, but at least my drunken self has a conscience now. I can't believe I had this dream again." I murmured. I opened the door and walked inside. The figure followed me in. I let her, but I ignored her for a few seconds. Suddenly, I felt her hand on my shoulder. I shivered, and tried to move away, but her hold on me was firm. She made me turn to look at her and then she put her hood down. My eyes widened, and I moved away. "Okay, I promise I will never drink again."
"Can I have that in writing?" She asked. I laughed forcefully and painfully while I started to slowly pace. I can't believe it. "Dinah, let me talk to you. I need to explain."
"Explain what? That you are an illusion my lonely mind created for me. I think not."
"They never found Helena's body, did they?" This made me stop moving almost completely. "Did they?" She repeated.
"No." I admitted.
"So how do you know that Helena died when she went overboard that night?" I said nothing. I just stared at the figure that looked like Helena. There were changes of course, like her hair was a lot longer, a little more than shoulder length, but it was wavy. Her eyes were still the same, but other than that and the fact that she had a little more meat on her bones, she looked almost exactly like her. She had some sort of collar on that I realized was used to change her voice a little. I knew this because I helped Barbara create this before she had died. She's been back in the Clocktower.
"Because she would have come back to find me. That is how I know she is dead. Family and justice were the two most important things in her life, and I know she wouldn't have just left me behind!" I knew my voice cracked a little at the last statement, but I didn't care. How dare this woman or my mind play this cruel game with me!
"Let me explain. Let me just try to explain this to you." She had put a hand on my shoulder again, but she let go of me when she saw the look on my face. She sighed, and then slowly sat down on the futon, removing the collar. "You know I don't like water... other than showers." She began, and she sounded like her as well. "You knew I wasn't all that great of a swimmer if you remember that day we went to the indoor swimming pool and you tried to teach me, but I was being a pain in the ass and wouldn't let you attempt it. You said that despite my behavior, you enjoyed trying to teach me something instead of the other way around, so I allowed you to try again because I loved the look on your face you get when you are determined..." I said nothing. "Does that prove who I am?" she asked finally, looking at me with a little bit of hope in her eyes.
"No." I said flatly.
"You aren't ever going to believe me, are you?" she asked me, sounding pained.
"Probably not until tomorrow morning, if you can survive that long. Besides, the Helena I knew didn't give a damn about what I thought." I lied. "She didn't give a damn if she was believable or not."
"Fine, but I still want you to know what happened that night. When I went overboard, I had tried to swim the best I could, but I was a lousy student. I panicked after I felt the cold water and tried to remember what I was supposed to do. All I could hear were your screams of terror and pain as you fought Harley Quinn and her goons. I felt myself getting sucked under the boat, and I fought to get away. I got hit in the head and I was knocked out. The next thing I know, I am lying in someone's bed... alone, and I have bandages all over. I couldn't remember anything. I found out I had a broken leg, but I somehow healed quickly even for me, and refused the offer to be taken to the hospital.
She took care of me. I don't even remember her name, though we were close, I just always had memory lapses and I guess it has been a while since I forced myself to think about her. I just know she had a healing power, but she couldn't heal the heart or the mind, so she tried to find someone who could. She was a Metahuman as well, obviously."
I slowly felt my head start to throb a little with the breath that was being held. I slowly released my air and then slowly sat down on the floor facing this woman claiming to be the one I loved.
"She never found the one who could heal the mind, so that part of recovery looked as if it was never to come. Ah... Samantha. That is her name. She was so gentle and she was so kind to me. When she thought I wasn't going to regain my memory, she tried to help me build a new life. A quiet life with her in her home, but deep down I knew I couldn't stay there with her. I knew I had to find something, but I couldn't put a finger on what.
"One day, someone had come for her. They killed her. They were looking for me. They told me that it was only a matter of time before Samantha was going to create a life of an assassin she knew I could become. They took me to the inside of a giant clock and I felt at home there. They told me I was at home there because I used to live there with them. When I told them that there was someone I was missing, but couldn't put a finger on who, they told me that I used to have an imaginary friend when I was younger and she hasn't been mentioned in years. That in time of fear, I was searching for something familiar. After a few months, I started to feel better and started to forget the missing person in my life, but after a while I started to ache for her. Then I realized there were two. There was a woman, the one who took me in the Clocktower, a few men. and a lot of security people. They never let me out of this clock, and I felt caged in. I once went exploring in the rooms and suddenly remembered a code when I passed by a door. I entered it in and it took me to what I knew had to be a secret room. A room that these people didn't seem to know about. I saw... a costume of some sort. When I picked up the mask, I remembered her. Barbara. I remembered everything she has ever said to me, and I remembered that she was dead. Sometimes, there was a blonde girl with Barbara, but I could never remember her name, knowing that I should. I knew that the blonde was still alive and she was who the missing person was. It was a few days later that I realized that these people were my enemies and I had to get away from them, so I found a way out. I never went back.
"That was when I started to search for you. In the mean time, I used the identity Samantha was going to put me under, and started to teach tae-bo. One day during a class, I saw her... you. I was in the middle of a class and saw you walking by the gym where I worked. You didn't see me, but I saw you. I knew it was you..."
I watched her face. She had a tear falling down her face. I fought the urge to wipe it away.
"After a little while of following you, I learned more and more about me. I remembered more things just by being near you. When you said certain words, I remembered a conversation we'd once had about being Metahuman. When you walked a certain way, I remembered fighting stances or moves we'd used on the bad guys. I remembered who I was. I remembered training lessons and the 2 Christmases we spent together as a family. I remembered the Delphi. I know my memory isn't fully back, but I remember this one thing... I remembered that I was-" She stopped talking, and I slowly stood up.
I went to the kitchen and got some water, not knowing what else to do. I came back with toilet paper.
"Here." I said, holding out these items out for her.
"Sure." I said as I stood next to her. She looked me in the eyes, and for the first time that night, I kept the gaze. The look she gave me was the same as any look she used to give me. The look that told me she cared for me, and never wanted me hurt. She slowly stood and suddenly, I couldn't fight it anymore. I hugged her. I just had to see if she was real or not. I felt her hands on my back and her arms hugged me tighter. That gave me some hope that she wasn't an illusion, but there have been times were I had dreams that were so real.
"I love you Dinah. I remembered right away that I loved you when I saw you again. I remembered I didn't want to see you get hurt that night so I sent you away." She slowly backed away from the hug and slowly our lips met. Her tongue flicked on my lips and I immediately let her in. She explored my mouth and I explored hers. The kiss topped anything I ever thought my first with her would be like. I felt one of her hands on my hip as the other slowly rose under my shirt. I breathed in deeply when her fingers made a soft trail up to my breast, now hardened with her touch. As her thumb rubbed my nipple, I emitted a small gasp, which broke the kiss. Taking the cloak off of her shoulders and allowing it to fall to the floor, I gently lead Helena to the futon and my body ended up on top. I watched her eyes, then looked down. She wasn't in normal Huntress attire, but she was wearing leather pants and a rather prep-ish style shirt that was a light blue color. I remember always borrowing Helena's clothes so I would dress better, to look as sexy (hopefully) as her, but she never liked when I did that.
"Helena would have never settled for being on bottom." I murmured lamely.
"She'll live." She said slowly before I made a slow trail of kisses down her neck. "You've done this before." Helena commented.
I grumbled something into her neck.
"Doesn't seem like it."
"I read a lot." I said as I slowly lifted her shirt over her head and softly threw it over my shoulder. There was nothing underneath. It took a few seconds to register the new skin that I hadn't seen, nor had I ever thought I would. Something within me froze.
"Are you afraid to touch me, Dinah?" She asked me suddenly, softness filled her voice. I didn't say anything at first. Then I looked down.
"Yes." I lied. I've wanted to touch her since I first saw her in the alley as Huntress, and I was certainly not afraid of that. I was afraid that I would be making love to a shadow, an illusion, for if I was to wake up and Helena wasn't there, I don't know what I would do. Helena seemed to know this.
"Come here." She said suddenly. I leaned into her and felt her in my senses. She kissed me slowly, and my fears dissolved. If anything, my loneliness will go away for the night. I thought to myself. I felt her fingers grab my hair as I took her right nipple into my mouth and had my way with it. I did the same with her left after a few seconds. I suddenly looked up into her eyes. Was I still buzzed, or were her eyes changed. My own eyes widened.
"What's the matter?"
"Y-Yer eyes. So wonderful." I mumbled, kissing her hungrily. She ripped off my white T-shirt and licked my bare shoulder as she undid my bra.
"Now we are even." She husked.
"Now that's the Helena I know." I said, but I couldn't finish, for her mouth was now on mine again, and I could have just kissed her all eternity. Helena felt differently. She softly broke the kiss to kiss a trail down my shoulder and down my stomach. When she got to my jeans, she looked up at me quickly and then pulled them down by the belt loops. I lifted my bottom to make it easier for her. She smiled, making my heart skip a beat. I slowly and deeply inhaled as she started moving towards my underwear. I heard her murmur a few dirty things to me as they came off as well, but I couldn't hear her through the sound of my heavy breathing. After a while, both of our clothing was in a small pile in the floor. I don't even remember taking off Helena's pants, but there they were above mine on that pile.
I slowed a little in pace, for if this was an illusion, I wanted to make sure I could enjoy this vivid dream. I let my hands slowly explore and get to know Helena's body, touching every place I had the courage to touch. Helena's eyes closed in concentration to my touch and didn't expect it when I lowered my face to her pelvis area and took her clitoris into my mouth. She twitched and bucked under me as I let my front teeth scrape across it, and as I lightly bit it, I heard my name wrapped in a low growl. She begged for me to go faster, and I obliged, slipping a finger inside her. She begged for more, so another finger accompanied the first one.
"Dinah," she gasped, as her bucking became stronger. This must be what it meant when someone was 'getting closer'. She must be almost at her climax, which means I was doing this right. Reached up and let my thumb stroke circles around Helena's breast, and I knew she had cum. mostly because she growled out that she was doing so over and over again. I slowly withdrew my fingers and looked up at Helena, surprised that the look of lust on her face was directed at me. I had only seen that look on her once before and that was when she was looking at Reese.
"I swear to God. you've done this before." She playfully accused me, lightly touching my arm, making lazy circles on my skin.
"I read a lot." I said, blushing as I took the remaining toilet paper and wiped my hand off. I thought over some of the Xena fanficion I had read over the last year from the Internet, and the many homoerotic books I checked out from the library.
"I should pick up a book more often then." She chuckled, then I found myself on my back and she was straddling my stomach. "I may not have gotten them from a book, but I believe I have a few moves of my own that I would like to show you. Would you like me to show you?" She murmured. I nodded.
"Let's hope you're a fast learner.
"I am." I almost squeaked out.*
I found myself waking up sighing. I tried to erase the cat that ate the canary grin upon my face, but it was no use, until I opened my eyes to find she was gone. I looked around, and saw that my clothes were on the side of the futon where I must have put them when I went to bed last night. That is where I always put them if it was too hot in my apartment to sleep with clothes on. Slowly, I put them on and sighed in frustration, almost growling (or howling) out my hurt. I went into the bathroom and got another set of clothes on when I heard the door slowly open and close. I stepped out, thinking another creep had thought that I was an easy target to rob, and was about to strike when my eyes widened.
"Hey, hey. It's just me. Man, you have absolutely NO food in this apartment. I wake up and try to see if my cooking skills have improved since the last time I saw you and found your refrigerator literally bare."
"I uh, I eat at the diner where I work in the morning." I stuttered, trying to wake myself up. I silently told myself that I would be calling in sick this morning.
"Well, we are going to have to remedy that, now aren't we? Now, I left about an hour and a half ago, and I was going to surprise you with breakfast in bed, but I found there was nothing there, ya' know? So I went to the store and walk into the isles and all these foods made me really want to be with you or make me really hungry. I remembered I used to love Poptarts. The Strawberry with frosting kind of Poptarts." She shrugged. "What's the matter, Kid? You look like you just saw a ghost. Well." she let herself tail off.
I smiled weakly at being called Kid again, as much as I always hated Helena for calling me that, then my look went back to the almost horror it had upon it seconds before.
"Last night I thought I did." I admitted, "And I am still not sure." Helena looked me up and down.
"Last night when you and I. When you touched me, you never looked through my head. Why not?"
"I haven't used my powers in almost a year. (If Barbara died 2 years ago like your wrote up at the top, why did Dinah stop using her power only 1 year ago?) It is too painful. Now I am just sorta rusty at it, I guess." I said.
"Well, look through my mind now. See who I am, and maybe you can tell me who I was." She held out her hand and I just stared at her. "Remember when I told you not to go poking around in my head again or I would beat you to a bloody pulp? Well, I give you permission this time, but that still stands." I felt the corners of my mouth curve upward into a smile as I took her hand. Inside was almost the way it looked the first time I jumped into her mind, all jumbled up with many memories and images bumping together. I saw mostly the here and now, but there was a few things of the then as well.
After a while, it seemed as if the images slowly melded together as a whole, as if my mere presence inside helped smooth them over and gave these thoughts rhythm and rhyme. We both gasped at the same time as I saw what had happened to Barbara and how she died, all too horrible for words, and I saw why she saved me, because she knew that I could survive without her if I went to that part of the ship then. I saw Samantha and where Helena had learned the moves she showed me the night before. Then it seemed as if I was walking quickly through these memories, and I came across a break, a gap between now and then. It was as if all it needed was a bridge there to help her remember the things she didn't seem to know. There were many things there.
"Helena? Reach for me! Reach for me and I will be here." I shouted out, not sure what this will do, but I didn't tell Helena that. I looked around and then back to the gap, where I saw a dreamscape image of her. She called out to me, reaching for my hand. I leaned over the gap, feeling myself slipping. I felt her hand grab mine and I felt us enter back into reality again.
I looked her in the eyes as her brain seemed to run wild. "I- I remember. E-Everything, Dinah. I remember everything."
"Good, then you will remember that you you're a disaster in the kitchen. Remember what happened the last Christmas we were all together and you decided that you were in the Christmas spirit?" I asked. Helena nodded.
"You're right. Well then, you go take a shower because, well, you stink, and I will take us out to eat." I nodded. Sounds like a plan.
We will start living 'the life' again, as a tribute to our fallen hero, our friend Barbara Gordon. We will find a new place to hide our secret identities. Friends will find out eventually, that Helena and I aren't just partners in life, but partners in crime fighting as well. We will eventually train others with special abilities while one of us looks over their progress. We will watch as many more lives are saved and many more lives are lost as we fight the good fight, but never will we give it up. Helena will receive a head injury one night in a fight, enough to strike her blind. Our newest protégé and I will teach her use her other senses to make up for it. She will then 'watch' over us as we continue to make this city and some areas of Bludhaven a safer place to live. One day, not too far in the future, we will witness the birth of our adopted daughter, and our lives, secret or not will be changed forever. But that is all just an illusion of tomorrow, for now it is just us, rebuilding the family we have before creating the family we will become.
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