Pop Tarts and Sunny Delight
By: Erin Griffin
Rating: PG-13 for gore and cursing. (Sex implied, but not described.)
Disclaimer: You know the drill by now. I own only the cute Beanie Baby that shares my name. Not the WB, otherwise Birds of Prey wouldn't get cancelled until the actress' call it quits, or the show gets REALLY bad.
Pairing: Helena/Dinah, Gibson/other (Helena/Dinah Switched POV)
Summary: Helena and Dinah find out that an old nemesis has escaped the New Gotham jail and is out for revenge. When Fern Morgan escapes to go after the man, things take a horrible turn of events, and the Birds aren't sure exactly how to handle it when they learn a secret about the escapee that hits home.
Author's Note: I know I said that part 5 was a last one, but... I got bored. I will continue to write some other slash stories, but I am not sure yet if they will be for Birds... We'll see. LoL.
Part 6 - Fred McFey
Helena was sitting at the kitchen table when I had gotten home from No Man's Land in late May, 2 months after Fern Morgan was put into a juvenile detention center. I had a bag of groceries that Barbara had asked me to get on my way home, and I added in some goodies for later. "Ooh whatcha get?" She asked me as she kissed me.
"Let's see, I got some Cheetoes... some candy corn just because I wanted some at the time... some... M&Ms and a Snickers bar for Barbara... some Gummy Bears... a 2-liter of Root Beer, and a box of Hot Pockets." Helena's eyebrows raised.
"Now all we need is half of the video store and we'd be set for life." Helena said as she inspected what was in the bag. I laughed some, then put the groceries away. Helena watched me for a second and then her face got an odd look on it when the DELPHI monitor system went off. I put the rest of the groceries away just as Barbara wheeled out into the monitor area.
"Reece's ring isn't working. I can tell he's calling for Helena, but I can't tell where it is at. Let me look up what's going on with the DELPHI system, maybe he's there." Barbara said. We nodded as I went to my room and got on my Canary costume. I had a few changes made to it. I have a place to put the batarang now, so I can take it with me. Before, I never brought it with me because I had to hold onto it. Now I can take it with me on the belt with the rest of the gadgets on it. (The rest of the gadgets are still the same, a thingy that shoots out rope to tie someone up or it is hang from... good for climbing to the top of buildings with Helena... a laser pointer that heats up things, another laser pointer that freezes things, a few little bombs that I have yet to use, and now my batarang.) I ran out to Helena whom had on her revised costume, a mask without straps and a pair of finger tip-less gloves to go along with her jacket and boots.
"Come on. It doesn't look good. Something about someone escaping from the jail." I frowned.
"I know." Helena and I walked into the elevator and I watched the numbers as they descended. When we got to the bottom, I watched as Helena called for her bike. It had gotten a new paint job, so now it had flames on it. I was wondering what had taken her so long to do that to her bike, and she said she wasn't made of money and that it sort of coasted her a lot to do that. I grinned. I hopped on the back behind Helena as I always did, and we zoomed down the street. Some of the people on the street stared at us as we rode by and I heard some people say in awe 'It's Huntress and Canary.' It was sort of great. We got to the police station that Reece was at, and the bike stopped.
"What's up, Reece?" Helena asked as I was still getting off of the bike.
"Fred McFey escaped the jail this afternoon. The whole city is on alert. He wasn't the only one to leave the jail today. Fern Morgan was seen going after him. Some cops had gone after them both, but they both seemed to disappear." Detective Reece looked at me. "Has she tried to contact you at all?" He asked me.
"No. The only place I can think of that Fern would go to is Greendale where her sister is." I told him. He nodded and wrote down what I just said to him. "What time did they leave?"
"They took off at about 2 this afternoon." I shook my head.
"I wish I knew where she went. I do not see why she'd go anywhere with this Fred guy. Fred McFey... McFey... Where have I heard that name?"
"You put him in jail almost 2 years ago... before you went into that coma... remember?" Helena asked me almost as if she didn't want me to remember it.
"Yeah, right. I remember now." I said. "I still do not think she'd go anywhere with that guy, especially if she was getting out on probation in a month." I said.
"I do not think she would, either. She was going AFTER him... maybe trying to bring him back. He's been heard making threats. Said once 'I'm going to get that bitch. Both of them.' We all thought he was talking about you, and we know that Fern was sort of a friend of yours so she went after him to protect the two of you." Jesse said.
"Yes, I did help her get a reduced sentence if she went to counselling until she turned 18, but I wouldn't really count her as really a friend."
"Well, she thinks of you as that." he said. I nodded. Perhaps so. I thought to myself.
"So what do we do?" Helena asked.
"So far really nothin', but I wanted to give the two of you a heads up so you can keep your eyes open for anything unusual... or more so." He added the last part as he looked me up and down real quick. This was the first time Reece had seen us in our costumes in the middle of the day, but so many people have already seen us as it is, and the general public already knew we exist, so I didn't care. I looked over at Huntress who nodded.
"We will do a quick sweep of the city, you know see if we can search in areas that you don't even know about." she said. Reece sort of rolled his eyes as if he hated the secrecy, but he knew that he could trust us even with them. He nodded and joined some police men whom had called him over to them. We then split. "Oracle, Canary and I are going to Greendale to see if Fern went there." Huntress said into her Comm set.
"Okay, be careful. If you find her, she may have McFey not far in front of or behind her." We heard Barbara say.
"Are you ever gonna design a cool transportation thingy for me yet? I am beginning to feel like Huntress' bitch sitting back here all the time." I said.
"You are my bitch Dinah, and don't you forget that." Helena teased.
"Excuse me, who was on top last night? Who ravished WHO last night? Who-"
"Can you save that talk for AFTER you are done saving the world?" Barbara asked, cutting me off. "No one, especially me needs to hear that." I laughed over the roar of the motorbike and I felt Helena's back shake, telling me she was laughing too. I leaned to her and bit her neck lightly, and I'm sure if she actually had to steer the bike within city borders, she would have swerved us into a tree or something from the surprised movement she made. I started laughing hysterically, and Helena looked quickly back at me. She turned off her comm link for a second and signalled for me to do the same.
"You better stop that or we are going to take a sudden rest stop." She threatened in a hungry tone. Not much of a threat if you asked me, but I stopped anyway and turned my comm set back on, an act that Helena copied. Then we went the rest of the way in silence.
We just got back from Greendale and it appears that Fern hasn't been seen around there, nor has she even tried to contact them. I felt bad for Patricia, because she was so worried for her sister and I could tell she was ready to cry. I talked with her a little bit, but she wasn't really listening to what I was saying. She just knew we had to find her and quick. Dinah is starting to get worried. She was sure that Fern would at least call her sister to tell her that things were alright. At least she cared that much for her sister no matter how much she seemed to not like the fact that she was slow. Dinah has been searching the database for new sightings of Fern, but both Fern Morgan and Fred McFey seemed to have vanished without a trace. I hear my cell phone ringing. I better go get it.
I picked up the phone, rushed on the last ring, and found it was Reece. "Sorry, this is the only phone I know about for you three. My ring seems to not be working. We just found a body about a mile away from the Dark Horse Bar. We think it is Morgan. She wasn't identifiable to us, and we need to have you and or Dinah to come and see if it is her." I almost dropped the cell phone. I knew I didn't really know Fern from Patricia, but Dinah could tell them apart (before one of them speaks), so I knew she had to come along. She'd hate me for keeping this from her if I didn't tell her.
"Yeah. Okay. Check around there. Do you know who killed this Vic?" I asked.
"I think you know the answer to that. Police are searching everywhere and getting a couple of leads, and he seemed to have come back to the inner city after the murder." Reece said in a low voice as if he wasn't supposed to be giving that out.
"Thanks, Jesse." I said to him. "Let me know if anything else happens." I heard a sigh.
"Will do. Later Helena."
"Bye." I felt her presence in the room immediately.
"Ohh, phone calls from your secret lover." Dinah teased. I looked over at her and her smile vanished completely and she turned white. "Please tell me something good." She pleaded. I felt tears come to my eyes because I knew I couldn't. "Okay screw the good news, tell me whatever bad news there is..."
"Dinah-" I couldn't continue, but I forced myself to. "Dinah, that was Reece as you probably already know... They found a body near the Dark Horse Bar. They think it was Fern." I saw the tears form in her eyes. "They need you to go identify her body." I whispered as I walked towards her with open arms. She stepped away for a second and I stopped moving.
"I think within the hour was when she was found." I whispered. "I never asked when they think she died."
"Let's go then." I nodded and we told Barbara what was going on. Barbara had a look on her face that said she sort of already knew. Dinah didn't see it, but I did.
"We will be back shortly."
"Take your time." It seemed like deja vu as we got back on the bike, but Dinah was silent this time and I rode with my thoughts elsewhere after I put in the coordinates to the crime scene. I saw Reece almost immediately. He was waiting for us along with a few other people who may be the men who did the autopsy.
"There you are." Reece said as we both got off of the bike. Dinah stood so close to me I thought I had grown a Siamese twin for a split second. I slowly put an arm around her waist and she leaned into me. I felt her fear. I could smell it as well. We walked to where the body lie and Dinah quickly looked away. Blood was everywhere, her clothes were in a bag next to her, and skull was bashed in. Even I knew it was her. Fred McFey caught her following him, or maybe she had caught up to him and started a fight, but even she wasn't strong or fast enough to fight him. "They think she was raped before he killed her. She fought him pretty good and then once he had her in a good pin, she was powerless." Reece looked from Dinah to me, then back to Dinah waiting for her answer.
"Th- That's her." Dinah whispered into my coat. I looked up and caught Reece's eye. Then I nodded. He sighed greatly and closed his eyes. This was a part of the job he hated. When the body finds a name...
"Are we still needed?" I asked him. He shook his head.
"I am sorry, Dinah." Reece said. I felt her shake as sobs escaped her.
"C'mon." I murmured just for her to hear me. "Let me take you home."
"I don't want to go home." She said suddenly, surprising me.
"I want... I want to go to the park."
"Okay. Come on." I lead her to the bike and we rode to the park. She sat on the swing and I felt helpless trying to be there for her, but what she had just seen and what she had just heard was hard for her to digest. I know that she had seen Fern less that 72 hours prior, and she was talking about seeing her and Patricia again in less than a month. She was happy that her family will be stable for a little while at least. She seemed so happy. Dinah looked up at me and I knew she was thinking all that.
"I do not know why Fern went after him. Perhaps to help me, perhaps to protect whomever he was really after, but I wish she hadn't. I-"
"We're not in costume now, Oracle..." Dinah mumbled irritably.
"Right, well you should be. I just got a call from Christina, Patricia's guardian, and it appears she's run off."
"And this night gets better..." Dinah said tartly.
"Patricia claims she can't let him... I am assuming she meant Fred McFey hurt the little girl. Do you know who the little girl is?"
"I don't know..." Dinah said.
"The last time I heard her refer to a little girl was when she had told Fern to turn into the little girl, and Fern had shifted into Melanie." I frowned when I thought this through. I looked at my watch. It was nearing 1 in the morning. I do not know how long we were in the park in silence before Dinah 7had gotten interrupted by Oracle. Dinah looked pained as she tried to figure out what she was going to do.
"Did you or Christina call the police?" Dinah asked Barbara, erasing emotion from her face as she got down to business.
"Christina did." There was a long silence, but I could still hear Barbara's breathing as if she was waiting for a reply of any kind from Dinah. She didn't get one. "There is nothing left for you two to do tonight." She continued softly.
"There was nothing I could do at all. I couldn't stop any of this." Dinah said, and I could feel her getting angry. No, Dinah. I silently pleaded with her. I knew she didn't hear me. "I mean, I didn't even try! We went and talked to her sister." She turned to me and I felt Oracle go. "Then we went home and watched 'Cops!' I mean, it was fucking COPS, Helena! That should have been a fucking foreshadow to events to come. I should have known, followed the signs or- or SOMETHING!" She ranted. She finally took a few deep breaths, but I knew Enigma wasn't going to calm her this time. She put her arms around me and I let her cry.
"You were worried about her. And you tried."
"Not hard enough. I bet if I had spent an hour or something on a sweep I would have found her." She said. I felt the tears come to my eyes as well. "I would have found her, and I would have found McFey." I could feel the air get colder at the sound of his name.
"It isn't your fault, Dinah." I said. "It is not your fault." I was surprised to feel my voice get firmer. We were silent for what seemed like hours until a security guard told us we were not permitted in the park after 11 pm and before 4 am. That was when we left. We went home, and I got no arguments from Dinah. She had my hand when we had gotten to the top of the Clocktower, and then she let go as I started walking into the area of the DELPHI monitor system. She went onto the roof, and I stood by Barbara. I was weak now. I wanted to help Dinah get rid of this pain, but I knew I never could, no matter how much I told her she wasn't to blame.
"There was a report of a girl with Fern's descriptions walking though yards and over fences within the hour. Patricia knows where she is going, and she knows how to get there. The only link we have to these two cases is Patricia, and she is convinced he's out to kill a little girl. Melanie. What do we know about this little girl?" Barbara asked the last sentence to herself as she rolled over to the other computers.
"I don't know, Melanie wasn't involved in the bank when Dinah had knocked all of those men out and had put him in jail..."
I am not sure where the road is going to lead me from here. Fern is dead, and Patricia is still missing. It has been 2 and a half days since she was reported missing. I know I am Hell to be around right now for Helena. I really want to hug her and hold her and make love to her, but I am scared that it is the last thing I will ever do. I don't want to be remembered when I am gone as needy. I want to be remembered as... well, I don't know. I want people to say my name in that awe that I said Helena's name when I first learned my mystery dream girl's name... I can't finish this.
I have to get my life back on track. I am needed and I refuse to let anyone else down. My shift at No Man's Land doesn't start for quite a while, but I stopped in anyway. I need to be busy. I need to go into my Superchick mode so my mind doesn't go into the 'Pissed and Dangerous Dinah' mode.
"Hey Dinah. You don't start work until 12, why are you here?" Nichola asked me. I saw her hand was holding onto the small envelope I had given her a year ago. I had told her that if she ever needed to talk to me, then I was there, but if she didn't feel comfortable, then there was a few numbers she could call if it was serious. She had told me that she had appreciated the thought, but she hadn't needed or wanted my help. I only nodded and told her that my offer will always stand. Nichola saw me looking at the envelope, she quickly put it in her pocket.
"Uh, I need to keep busy. I need to waste time." I said.
"Well, it's a good thing you came in now anyway." I felt my head shift in that way a dog's does when it is trying to tell you it is listening to you but not understanding a damned word you are saying. "I found a boy on my way over here that was pretty lost. He's meta. Won't give a name. In fact, he won't talk at all, so I thought that maybe you'd want to give him the magic touch... That is, if he let's you near him. He only let me lead him here, then he sort of ignored me when I tried to get him to talk to me. He's bleeding all over, but he won't let anyone near him."
"Sounds like he may have a little bit of autism." I murmured. "Where is he?"
"He's just looking around in the business area."
"I think 14, maybe 17 at the oldest." Nichola looked at me as I let my mind wander. "I'll show you." She said at last. I nodded and followed her into the business area from the children's haven where we were talking to find he wasn't there. Then we went to the bar and she pointed in front of us. "There he is." She announced quietly. The figure in front of me was a little bit shorter than myself, but he was still tall for his age. The figure was walking around the room looking at different drawings from the kids and a painting or two from Robert... inspecting his surroundings. He had jeans and a hooded sweater on; the hood was up. I walked over towards him, and he turned around.
"Dinah." the figure said slowly.
"You know him?" The 'he' wasn't a 'he'. It was a 'she'.
"Patricia!" I said, not even attempting to hide my surprise. She slowly pulled the hood down, and I could see why she was thought at first to be a boy. Her hair was cut in a messy way, and it was spiked. She had a light layer of white face paint on, making her look like a creature of the night, and she had a choker on. Other than that, she seemed like the Patricia I knew. "What did you do to yourself?"
"Fern's friend helped me." She said.
"I asked... her to."
"No, I mean why did you do it? Not that is doesn't look good..." I let myself trail off.
"I didn't... want... to... be found."
"Why didn't you just shapeshift?"
"I gues- I guess I... didn't think of it... at the time. F-F-" She couldn't seem to say her sister's name again.
"Fern?" I asked. She nodded.
"Yes. Fern... always had t-to remind... me that... we had the power." I nodded. I slowly put a hand on her shoulder. She didn't respond negatively.
"You know Helena's cell phone number, or did you forget it?"
"992-1...973." she said.
"Why didn't you just call me?"
"Detective tapped it." She replied simply.
"How do you know this, Patricia?"
"Fern told me. B-B-Be... fore she died." I looked away from Patricia's face when she said that. "She come to me. She... climb the... house and said... 'Psst.' I saw her... climb... into the... window. She told me." Patricia repeated.
"You talked to Fern the night she was killed and she told you that 'Detective' tapped the phone?" she nodded. I looked over at Nichola and she slowly played with the small envelope and then looked away from me. Then my gaze fell once more upon Patricia. "Did you encounter him on the way here?" I asked her.
"No," I lowered my voice. "Fred McFey." Nichola gasped. "Are you okay, Nichola?" I asked turning to her again.
"No." She choked out. Then she walked quickly out of the room. I frowned in thought for a second before Patricia's shifting made me lock eyes with her.
"Did you encounter him?" I repeated. She nodded, making my eyes widen. "Don't tell me you were trying to go after him."
"No he-" she stopped. "He... found me. I... got scared and... turned into... wrestler. I fight him, he... lost." I sighed.
"Come on, let me clean you up. Is that why you are bloody? Because you fought him?"
"Alright." I resigned. "Let me get you cleaned up." I repeated, slowly grabbing for her elbow to steer her towards the sinks behind the bar's counters.
"Not until I find her." she said, tugging away from me.
"Who?" I asked her. She shook her head as if to say 'never mind'. "Patricia, tell me." I demanded softly.
"Melanie. Your B-Baby...Bird."
"You were supposed to have forgotten about that." I said surprised.
"That powder... didn't work obviously." she said. I mentally cursed. "Don't worry, Aunt Heather... won't spill. She knows now you're... friend." She thought for a few seconds. "McFey is after her. Have to find her. He's... after... her." she repeated.
"Why is Fred McFey after Melanie?" I asked her.
"Because Melanie is his daughter." I turned around quickly and saw Nichola watching us. Well, she was mostly watching Patricia. "Remember when you gave me this?" She held up the envelope as I nodded. "Remember when you said that the offer will always stand, that you'd be here to talk to me when I am ready? Not that I am ready, but we have to talk. We need to." She insisted.
"O-Okay." I looked over at Patricia. "I am going to get one of my friends to clean you up, Patricia. She's over there." I walked with her over to a newcomer to the haven who was the same age as Patricia. "Camile, can you help clean and bandage her up? She got into a fight before she got here." I asked the taller dirty blonde. She smiled and looked towards Patricia.
"No, leave... them there." She said dully.
"P-" I started to say her name in a warning tone.
"Leave them." She said firmer.
"Why?" Camile asked.
"That isn't much of an answer. You need to let them heal. It isn't going to help you any with McFey if you keep them like that." I told her. She sighed and didn't argue anymore after that. "Now, you can trust Camlie. She's everybody's friend. She's still trying to control her freezing power, but if her hands start to get cold tell her immediately... Okay?" Patricia nodded and looked Camile up and down. I dug into my leather jacket's pockets and got out a 20 dollar bill. "Camile, when you are done, could you get her something to eat? I don't know when she last ate, but I do not think it was today. Keep the change..." I turned to Patricia. "And I'll talk to you more in a little bit." I finished. She nodded and together Camile and Patricia left.
Nichola was in the same place she was at when I left the room. I saw her sit down on one of the chairs. I sat next to her and turned so I was facing her. After a few seconds of silence, she started to speak. "You know about my past already. You saw it last year. But there a few things that, I guess, I didn't show you in my head. I tried to block it while you were there so you wouldn't find out... Uh, Fred McFey married my mother when I was 10. He always freaked me out, but some of my friends spoke that way about their stepparents, so I thought it was natural to not like them. Then when I was 12, I had started to develop and all that, and he'd watch me all the time. I'd always feel his eyes on me, even when he wasn't even home. When he'd tried to touch me like that, I told my mother, and of course he denied it and told her that I was making it up because I didn't like him. She believed him and not me, so it got worse. You know..." She trailed off, looking me in the eyes. I swallowed.
"Yeah... I know." I whispered, trying to keep the thoughts and memories I had gotten from Nichola out of my own head.
"I ran away about a year later and went to find my father. I didn't know that he had died months before. No one told me he had been sick for a long time. No way could I go back." I frowned. "So I lived on the streets uptown in an abandoned building... pick pocketed some until I found a job doing dishes at an Italian restaurant owned by this old woman named Amy Salone. She was a lively character. She had come to America from Italy when she was like, 21 or so and she met a guy and married. Her husband died a long time ago, but she kept the restaurant open in his memory. It was sort of sweet..." Nichola sort of trailed off in thought. She cleared her throat when she saw I was just watching her patiently. "Er- She took me in and took care of me. I didn't trust her or anyone there at first, but after a few months they became my family. I was almost one of Amy's 9 grandchildren. I moved into an apartment on my 18th birthday, about a month after she passed away. Around the same time, I realized that I wasn't crazy when I felt a shiver up my spine when some people were near me. One day, I was walking home from work- I was a front desk manager at a hotel- when I felt I had to walk a different way. I found a little boy about 9 years old living on the streets, digging through the garbage. I took him home and took care of him, but he had died about a month from problems caused by malnutrition. His name was Eric, or that was the name he gave me. I had fallen in love with that little boy, and I hated when he was gone. He lit up my little apartment. He was like my brother in a way.
"I took a bus back to my old home when I was first learning about my powers. That was like a year before you met Melanie. I knew that there was a meta in my house, but I knew it wasn't Fred. He's the type who would show it off if he had it. I think it was my mother, but I do not know what power she had. She never showed me or told me about it. I saw a little girl playing in the yard by herself. She saw me and said 'hi', and at first I thought I had gone to the wrong house or Fred had moved with my mother. But then I saw my mother. She had come outside when she heard her daughter say 'hello' to someone. She saw me, but I didn't know what else to do. I ran. I think I ran all the way back to the bus station. I saw this little girl a few months later when I felt the same tingling in my spine that told me to take a new route home. She was hiding in a tree, saddened. She was so skinny that at first I though someone had been mean and thrown the jacket up the tree as a joke. Then I saw it move as the wind blew, and I realized I was seeing hair. I talked to her a little, and then I slowly climbed the tree and got her down. I knew immediately that she was that little girl I saw on my mother's lawn. On the tag of her coat that barely kept her warm that night, I saw her name. Melanie McFey. When I got home, I scrubbed as much as I could at the first part of her name, making her just Melanie Fey.
"She woke up with nightmares all the time. She told me after a week of this what had happened."
"What happened?" I asked, not sure if I wanted to know.
"Melanie told me that Freddie, as she called him, because he wouldn't let her call him 'dad', had come home angry. 'He wasn't thinking all that straight' she said, which leads me to believe he was drunk, as he often found himself. She told me that she had woken up from her sleep because of their fighting. Then she said she heard a loud boom and Freddie had gone up to her room and started trying to pull up her night gown. She said that she was scared and tried to push him away before she saw him freeze. She had used her power, and not for the first time. She ran away from him and hid somewhere in the house. He found her hiding place, put her into the car and drove her to a bus stop. He only gave her her jacket and shoes before he left and never returned. The next morning, someone had found her and brought her to a foster home. She told me that after a few weeks they were scared of what she could do, and they were too nice to be scared of her, so she left them. Three days after that was when I had found her.
"I took care of Melanie for about 3 weeks before I told Gibson that I was seeing and feeling more and more homeless children. He said that it wasn't just homeless meta children, but teens and adults as well. That was when he had decided to rebuild No Man's Land and create the safe haven." She sighed.
"My half sister."
"So why is she at the haven now? How come you aren't still taking care of her?" I asked her
"I still take care of her here. She told me she didn't like it at my apartment because it scared her. She doesn't mind it now, but she is used to living in the haven. I have been trying to get custody of her, so I can change her name. Maybe then her life will seem a little more normal."
"To what name?"
"To my last name... My father's last name, Evans." I nodded.
"Dinah?" I heard in my ear. I looked up at Nichola.
"Can you hold on?" I asked her.
"Yeah, go talk to Barbara." Nichola responded.
"We are done anyway." She added, standing up.
"My offer is still there. If you have more to say, or if you want to talk more on just what you've told me I'm here. We all are." She nodded. I got up, patted her shoulder slowly (for the first time she didn't move away from me), and then I walked away.
"Yeah Barbara. Go ahead."
"I just thought you might want to know that McFey was spotted walking towards the mall. He was trying to pickpocket someone, but he was being watched so he stalked away. The police lost track of him after about a 20 minute pursuit."
"Thanks for the info. I have some things I have to tell you and Helena when I get back as well. I have to go for now though, Barbara."
"That's fine, just let me know when you are on your way back."
"I will." I walked into the bar and saw Patricia and Camile sitting down eating sandwiches from Subway. Her face paint was gone, and her hair wasn't spiked anymore. It was sort of shiny and held down. The choker was still on, though. I sat on Patricia's other side and waited in silence as she finished eating. Then after a minute of silence, Camile left, saying she had to go to work at the arcade. "Are you okay?" I asked Patricia in a calm voice. She nodded and she actually smiled.
"I saw her. The... girl."
"You did?" I asked her, returning the smile. "So she's alright then?"
"Yes, she is. I think... she knows. A-About him..."
"Let's not talk about that here and now. Come on. I'll take you to my house okay?" I asked. She got up immediately and linked arms with me. That was how Fern and Patricia had walked with each other when they had left the theatre the night she had tried to attack me during the show. Then we walked out of No Man's Land and walked at a slow pace because of Patricia's limping. I had just noticed that. Must have gotten that from her fight with McFey. I thought a little angrily.
"Yeah?" I replied, not looking at her. I still felt her eyes upon me, though. She sighed heavily.
"I promise... to protect you."
"What?" I looked over at her with shock on my face.
"I promise... to protect you. I... I promise... To protect them. I won't let... him hurt... anyone like he hurt... my sister." She said. "I-"
"But you will not kill him. If you encounter him, and somehow get the upper hand again... you will not kill him." She didn't say anything at first, then after a minute of silence she slipped her hand away from mine.
"At first, Fern thought he was after you." I was surprised at how she had made that sentence come out as a whole. "Then she... found out who... he was... truly... after the... the day they both... escaped." I said nothing as we got to about a block away from the Clocktower.
"Why is Fred McFey after his daughter if he was the one to abandon her to begin with?" I asked out loud.
"Mey-beh... he didn't know... what... exactly she could do. Then while he... was in jail he... saw the... news about her, or... He found out that... she had put... others in jail the... night of the bomb. Meh- beh he wants her to... go back with him... in time before... he went to... jail."
"And in jail, he kept saying he was going to kill someone else."
"Meh-beh N-N, her half sister-"
"Nichola." I said wondering how she knew that Nichola was her half sister. She shrugged.
"Yeah. If... she knew him too..."
"Meh-beh her being there... that day... caused problems between her mother... and... McFey." I stared at her. "I'm sorry. I eavesdropped on... the last part... about her mother seeing her again." She said without sounding regretful. "She's safe. I wont let him... hurt her. Or Melanie... she's just... a little... girl." I nodded.
I was surprised to find Patricia sitting next to Dinah on the couch when I got to the Clocktower. Man, she looks different, but that is her new look, not another shape. She said she changed herself because she didn't want to be found, but I think she did that because she didn't want to look in the mirror and see Fern. Not that I blame her. I'd do the same thing if I had grown up looking like my mother. I mean, I still have a lot of her features, but I think there is a lot of Bruce I see as well. I am not an almost twin of Selina Kyle. Right now, Dinah and Patricia are having a talk in Dinah's room about McFey. I still can't believe that Melanie's his daughter. Now that I think about it, the name and her features are similar to his, but... Well, I am just glad she acts nothing like what I know about him. Melanie is living with Nichola at the moment. When he was seen last an hour ago, he was getting closer to No Man's Land, which scared us all. Her (Nichola's) apartment complex is about a mile away from Wayne Manor. Better put this up.
Patricia and Dinah were sitting at the table in the kitchen in silence when I walked in. Checking the clock, I saw that it was nearing 7 pm. I heard sniffling and saw Patricia was crying. "Hey, are you alright?" I asked, not knowing what to say.
"Fern... woulda been a... a GREAT superhero. She... was... my hero. Even before the accident... when I was... known as the... 'Smart Twin'. She still... had more courage... than I ever will." She sighed a quivered sigh. "Even without... our power... She woulda gone... after him... to save you... Dinah... Melanie." I put a hand on her shoulder as more tears spilled.
"Fern was my hero too." Dinah spoke up. I looked at her, and my heart started to pound inside my chest. "She never asked for the cards that were dealt to her, but she still tried to win with the hand she had." she said. I heard DELPHI go off at the same time my cell phone went off.
"Yeah?" I answered after the 2nd ring.
"No, this is Helena."
"Oh Helena, I need your help. Both of your help. Melanie... He's got her." I heard Nichola say hurried into the phone.
"What?" I asked, instantly getting alert.
"He took her. We were walking home from the bus stop going home and he grabbed her... Just like that. I think she stopped time because she was gone an instant later, and so was he."
"Where are you?"
"Can't say over the phone."
"How am I going to know how to know where you are if you won't tell me?" I asked her.
"Get Oracle to trace the call." She whispered urgently. I could tell that she wasn't supposed to tell me that.
"Right. Hold on a sec." I turned on my comm set and hoped that someone was near DELPHI. "Dinah... Barbara, trace this call." I took my hand off of the receiver and found she had hung up. "Shit." I walked into my room where I had my mask, and I put it on. Then I met Dinah, who had transformed herself into Canary.
"McFey was spotted." She said to me as she walked to my side.
"He's got her." I said to her. She seemed to ask me who, then she suddenly knew and I nodded.
"Fucking bastard." Dinah muttered. I was shocked for a second since Dinah didn't cuss like that, but I understood. She turned to Patricia who was walking a pace or two behind us, listening to our conversation. "Stay with Barbara. Help her out around here if she needs it. We'll take care of it, okay?" Patricia nodded. We got onto the elevator.
"Hope she's okay." I murmured, talking about Melanie, but then... that statement could be for Nichola or Patricia as well. Dinah nodded. I put my arm around her and she turned to hug me. I called for my bike when the elevator had gotten about halfway down to the main floor, and when the doors opened, it was the first thing I saw. We got onto the bike and I waited for a couple of seconds before I put my fingers around the handlebars. I was stalling. I didn't know where we were to go.
"Huntress, Canary... The call was coming from 3 blocks away from Nichola's apartment. From the pay phone on 5th and Pandora."
"But where would he take her?" I heard Dinah ask.
"When would he take her?" Barbara corrected.
"When would she take him?" I corrected her.
"Right." Barbara agreed.
"She couldn't have taken him very far back or forward. She's only been known to go back 24 hours." I said.
"But does he know that?" Dinah argued. I started the bike and we hurried to that pay phone. Like I had suspected, there was no one there. I stopped the bike none the less, feeling eyes on us. The pay phone had started to ring, to both of our surprise. Slowly I picked up the receiver, not sure if I should if it was a bomb or something.
"Hel- Huntress. Freddie's watching you. He can see you. He says get away from here or he'll kill Nichola." It was Melanie. I looked around franticly. I heard laughing and frowned.
"Where are you?"
"I can't trace the call." Oracle said to me. "Give me a moment, and keep her on the phone."
"Melanie, listen to Huntress. Tell Freddie to get to the phone."
"He already said he won't."
"Tell him then, that we are leaving." I heard her walk away from the phone, then she came back.
"He says you're lying."
"He's probably right. Tell him I said-" I heard shifting, a crash and another shift.
"I need a time-shifter freak that will take me back 2 years. Can you get that? 'Cause if you can't, both of them are dead got that?"
"I'll get you the time-shifter. Tell me when and where you want to meet with him, and we can make the trade." I was glad Hunter wasn't there then. He'd know I was lying.
"Meet me where you are, and we'll make the trade." he said gruffly.
"Fine. Call me back in an hour." Dinah walked back to me and looked bewildered. "And Freddie? If I find them hurt the trade is off."
"Then I'll send you their parts in the mail." There was a click.
"Fucking bastard!!!!!" I stormed, slamming the phone onto the cradle." I looked over at Dinah. "I've got a plan, don't worry." I murmured to her. She just got back on the bike without another word (not even grumbling about being in the bitch seat) and we rode off to No Man's Land.
"I don't want you doing this alone."
"I won't be alone. I'm coming back to get you." I reassured her.
"I'm getting Gibson. He's going to pretend to be the timeshifter since Troy and Raven are gone. I'll send the bike back to get you.
"One problem. The bike needs your DNA... Your finger prints, remember?"
"Shit." I heard Oracle cut in after
my curse word.
"If you give Dinah your watch and keep hers, you can tell her when you are ready for her to call for the bike. Then when it gets to her, I can use the computer to send her to where you will be."
"You're a genius."
"I know." We both grinned. "Thanks Barbara."
"See, this is why I need my own transportation-"
"No time to complain now." Oracle said, cutting off her friendly rant. I dropped Dinah off as Gibson was told our (my) plan.
"Be careful Helena. I don't know what I'd do if something bad were to happen to you." Dinah said. I fought the urge to take her in my arms and hold her all night because I had to leave. I nodded.
Helena's bike got to No Man's Land about 25 minutes later and I got on. "Okay Barbara. I am ready to go." I told Oracle.
"Dinah, Patricia's gone again."
"She asked me if I needed any help and I told her that I was fine. She went towards your room and then she left without my knowing it."
"I'll see what I can do after we figure this thing out with McFey. I have a feeling that is where she is going anyway." She promised to protect me. I thought as the bike took me further down the road. I held on tighter to the handlebars.
"I'll see if I can track her down, but I think she's remembered her powers this time." Barbara informed me.
"What a night." I muttered. A couple minutes later I was at 5th and Pandora. I hid in the darkness the way Helena had shown me to a couple of years ago. I saw Helena immediately. I also saw Gibson and Nichola, holding hands and standing close to each other, but I didn't see Fred McFey or his daughter Melanie. I heard him though, and his gruff but shaky voice only boiled my blood.
"This guy's useless. What kind of an idiot do you take me for?"
"Is that a rhetorical question?" Helena asked. "Well, it got your ass out here, which was what I wanted. I could have 10 police guys out here and your ass would be arrested so quickly."
"You're alone and you know it better than I do." Fred said with confidence. Helena smiled an almost evil smile.
"Yes I do."
"Where's Melanie?" Nichola suddenly asked, and I felt my eyes widen. I watched as Nichola looked around.
"I'm not falling for that."
"Leave them alone." Melanie's voice was lower and a little toughened as if she wasn't even being herself anymore.
"Now's not the time to play dress up." Freddie growled.
"I am not afraid of you, Freddie. Huntress is here, and when Huntress is here, no one will break her Baby Bird. And I say the same. When I am here you will not hurt my friends. Baby Bird will never let you hurt her Nikki or Gibby." Gibby? I thought to myself. Blackmail material.
"Okay, Baby Bitch-"
"Shut up! You don't say things like that to a little girl!" Huntress snapped.
"Ooooh scared shitless." Freddie barked, un-amused. I quickly lowered my hand to my belt and felt it slide around the batarang. I was tiring of him already. I threw the batarang and as it hit him, I saw Huntress, Nichola, and Gibson look around for the source. He fell over and I let myself walk into the light of the lamps.
"Get them out of here." I said. "I'll take care of McFey."
"I will not lower myself to his level, but we have unfinished business." I told her. Helena wanted to protest, but I shot her a look that told her that now wasn't the time for it. She nodded and hustled them away from the scene. I stood tall and waited for Fred to get up from his fall.
"Oh, I know what this is about." He said to me as he dusted himself off, probably dusting away the rest of his dignity. "This is about that delicious morsel of a girl I had the other day." I narrowed my eyes as I walked to the left a little, exposing myself more. He took out a gun and had it pointed at my chest. I stopped walking. "Ah yessss," He hissed as he recalled the events of the last few nights. "That shape-shifter that thought she could get me back to jail. A tasty little thing, she was. Had I not bashed her head in... I would have stayed for desert." I felt my body tense up in anger as I felt another presence above me. I walked closer, and he smiled wickedly. "Oh-" he said. "I know who you are now. I thought you'd died in that jewellery store when your own weapon backfired on you."
"Well, you thought wrong." I said lamely. It wasn't as witty as something Helena would have said. I walked closer, no longer fearing the gun. I've learned to stop bullets. Of course Barbara and Helena refuse to train me for that, but at the velocity of Helena's throws, I think I would be able to stop a bullet now, or at least slow it.
"Well, this is for that night, whomever you are." All seemed to go in slow motion. I was about to move out of the way before I felt myself get thrown to the ground. A shot went off and I felt my head explode with the sound. The air left my lungs as I fell hard to the ground with a body on top of mine. After we roll (and I end up on the bottom), I look to see Huntress looking down at me. Her mask was off and she had a fading smile.
"You know I can stop them! You didn't have to do that. Damn it! I can stop them!!" I yelled at her.
"I didn't... know." Her hair got even shorter and her eyes went from blue and cat-like to green. Then they widened in shock as the registered the fact that she'd been hit. No! I thought frantically.
"Patricia!" I had my had between her shoulder blades as I sat up and slowly lowered her to the ground. I had my other hand to my belt and got out the rope tool and threw it at Fred. When it hit his chest, the ropes flew out and tied him up. He fell on his back again and he couldn't move. He grunted some in protest, but I ignored him. Then I looked down at Patricia's wound. "Oracle! Patricia's been shot. We need an ambulance!"
"I'm on it. Keep some of her shirt or something over her wound."
"Right." I said. I held my hand firm over her stomach where I saw the blood. Patricia hissed in pain. "I'm sorry." I said quickly as I felt a couple of drops of rain fall over us.
"I... told you, Dinah. I won't... let him... hurt the little girl... Or you." I stared into her sad eyes for a second. They seemed empty as well as sad... a true window to the soul. "Come... into my head." I looked confused for a second.
"What?" Her right hand grabbed my hands, held over her stomach.
"Come... into my head." This time it was a soft demand.
"Okay." I whispered. She lifted her hand and I took it as if we were getting ready to arm wrestle.
Immediately, I was surrounded by a bright light. I had to shield my eyes. Somewhere, and I am not sure where it was coming from, I heard a soft laughter and a few voices talking to one another. One was a soft woman's voice and another was a voice I recognized. "Patricia?!" I called.
"No need to yell. I am right here. I have many things to say to you Dinah Redmond/Lance, but I think we both know that I do not have enough time to say it all." I nodded. "That is why I wanted you to come in here. I knew that in here my speech patterns were better as if I was never hurt in the crash. " I watched as she talked. She looked the way Fern had when they both looked alike the month before. "I want you to know that even if I knew that you could stop bullets... I would have still done what I did. None of this is your fault, okay? The truth is, Fern chose to go after him, I chose to leave Christina's house, and I chose to jump in front of that bullet." I frowned, but my eyes stayed sad. A voice seemed to float closer to us.
"Hey Trish, you comin' or what-?" It was Fern, and I have never seen a larger smile on the younger girl's face. "Dinah." She said in a soft surprise.
"I'm just saying a few last words." Patricia said as Fern hugged her. I felt a tear fall from my eyes as I watched them together. I felt a hand on my shoulder.
"You tried." Fern said. I looked up at her. She shrugged.
"You really did." Patricia reassured me. Fern seemed to leave, and we were alone in that part of Patricia's mind again. "Take care of Melanie and Nichola. They are a broken family that I know you can help fix. You helped us just by letting us know that someone out there gave a damn about us."
"This is not goodbye, Patricia. I can get Melanie to go back-" She put a finger to my lips, silencing me.
"I don't belong here anymore." She whispered painfully.
"Trish. Come on already."
"Of course this isn't goodbye, Dinah. If you believe in any type of afterlife, then you know we will meet again. It is time to go. We both know it. Tell everyone... Huntress, Oracle, Nichola, Christine, Reese, and even Camile I said thanks for all their help." She kissed my forehead. "Goodbye Dinah. Live your life well." She started to walk away.
"Patricia! No! Come back!" I yelled. Then I saw her body next to me. I was still on my knees with Patricia's now cold hand in mine. Rain was pouring all around me, and the wind blew it into my face. Soon, it was hard to see what was rain and what was tears on my face. I was surprised that the rain was the only sound heard. I do not know what happened to Fred to make him quiet. Maybe the asshole fell asleep. Maybe a puddle was created by the rain and he drowned in it-
"Is she broken?" Came a small timid voice as a hand slipped onto the one that held Patricia's. My thoughts ceased.
"Yeah, she's broken." I said just loud enough to be heard.
"Lemme take you backwards. I know we can fix her." I used my left hand, though covered in blood, to wipe my eyes.
"She doesn't want to be fixed, Melanie."
"I don't see why she doesn't want to be fixed."
"I think she was broken before Freddie shot her." I said slowly.
"On the inside? On her heart?" Melanie asked me.
"Like Freddie?" I didn't expect that.
"Yes." I repeated. "Like Freddie." Melanie was silent for quite a while as we both watched the body, hoping it would move again. I refused to move. She refused to leave my side. I sighed.
"Why does Freddie have to break people?" Melanie asked me suddenly. "What did she, or my mother, or-or she's sister EVER do to him?" I looked up from the lifeless body to the little girl in front of me. On my knees, she was taller than I was, making me realise how much she's grown from the last year I've known her... in more ways than just vertically. Like me, her hair was sticking to her neck and tears were mixing with the rain on her cheeks. She had looked me in the eyes, and they both glittered and sunk at the same time, even behind her 'mask'. Baby Bird was expecting a logical answer in which I couldn't give.
"I wish I knew so I could tell you." I said.
7 "But you understand. I don't understand. Tell me. Try to explain it to me so I will understand." She pleaded, petting my hand. "Try to tell me, Dinah. I don't understand." I took in a deep breath.
"Freddie and Patricia were both broken on the inside. Patricia was like a... a sad broken, and she had no one to stand by her even though I tried. Freddie is an angry broken, and he wants people to see how broken he is, and he wants people to be broken like him." I tried to explain. She seemed to understand somehow.
"He's bad." She looked over at his body on the ground as she said that angry statement.
"Yes, he's bad." I agreed.
"Dinah, even though he doesn't deserve it, can anyone fix him?" Melanie asked. Don't you ever lose your gentle heart. I thought to the little girl.
"I don't know, he's pretty shattered." Melanie took my hand, forcing me to take it away from Patricia's.
"Don't break, Dinah. Too many people need you to fix them. If you break, they will break too... and then what?" I squeezed her hand a little and slowly got to my feet.
"Are you ready to go home, Baby Bird?" I asked as the ambulance go there. She nodded her head. "Give me a minute, and I will walk you home." She only nodded again.
I searched with Nichola for a long time for Melanie after we dropped her off at her home. She had disappeared again. I think she paused time so she could run off. She couldn't stop time for more than about 6 calculated minutes, so that was her chance to run off in that time before it righted itself or wore off. We never found her. Suddenly I heard footsteps and a door open and close. "Melanie." Nichola said with relief all over her tone. "Thank goodness. Dinah, are you alright?" she asked as she hugged her sister. Dinah said and did nothing as I walked into the room. She was in deep thought. I walked to her and hugged her close.
"She's dead. McFey's back in jail facing a death penalty this time if tried again, and Patricia's dead." I heard her murmur. "She died trying to save me, and she wouldn't let me repay her for that. We could have gone backwards, but she wanted to go." Dinah seemed in a trance and the hurt in her voice... The life in her was gone and I felt like crying.
"So you let her go." I whispered. "She's probably happier now."
"I know." I looked over Dinah's shoulder at Nichola, who was holding onto her sister.
"Dinah's breaking. I can feel it, Nikki." Melanie told her softly.
"I'll be alright, Baby Bird. I just need a hug and a band aid. I'll be better." Dinah said for the child's sake. I knew as well as she did that Dinah will need more than that.
"I am Melanie now." She said, ripping off her mask. "Huntress, you keep hugging her and I will be back with the band aid." she instructed.
"Will do." I said. After the girl trotted off to the bathroom, I kissed Dinah's tears away the best I could, then I hugged her so tightly to me, our hearts jack-hammered against each other.
"Okay, I have Scooby Doo band aids, Snoopy band aids, Wile E. Coyote band aids, and X-men band aids. Sorry, I used up all the Storm ones, but Rogue's a cool girl, too. Never as cool as you and Huntress but-" Melanie rambled on her way back into the room, reminding me of Dinah a bit, who had the tendency to ramble at nervous times as well.
"I'll have a Rogue band aid." Dinah decided as she slowly pulled away to face the girl. Melanie clumsily tore the wrapping and let them fall to the floor as she put the band aid over Dinah's heart. "Thank you, I feel myself fixing already."
"Good, otherwise I'm getting you a mechanic." She said. We all laughed a little.
"I'm glad you like me unbroken."
"I like you happy. Broken people aren't happy." She corrected Dinah. "You look sleepy." She said suddenly.
"I guess because I am a little bit." Dinah admitted. I wrapped an arm around her shoulders. I looked down at Melanie.
"I better take her home then. Are you all fixed?" I asked her.
"I am not broken." She said with confidence. Then she thought things over. "Well, maybe a little bit, but Nikki is healing me." Nichola smiled.
"Great." I said. "Well then Baby- Melanie," I corrected at the look upon the girl's face." I'll see you the next time I bug Dinah at work, which- between you and me- will be soon."
"Bye Huntress." The girl wrapped her arms around my knees as an attempt on a hug. I used my other arm to hug her back. Then, Nichola hugged each of us before we left.
I got on the bike in Dinah's normal spot this time, which sort of surprised her. She got into my normal spot. I wrapped my right arm around her waist. Then I leaned into her, and held onto the handlebar to start the engine. Dinah held onto the left handlebar, and her right hand was draped over her stomach where she linked her fingers with mine. I enjoyed the closeness. It was the first since Fern had gone after McFey. We rode in silence, but I knew from the way Dinah leaned into me... and the way her thumb rhythmically stroked my hand, that she missed our closeness as well.
Helena and I sat on her bed in silence for a while before it really got to me. It was about 2 hours later. I had normal clothes on. Canary was sleeping for now. I looked over at Helena to see she was watching me. I leaned over and kissed her, hopefully telling her that I was okay... Hopefully telling her how much I wanted her, loved her... needed her. I wasn't sure what she was thinking, but the soft moan she emitted from the back of her throat told me that she enjoyed the action. I stopped long enough to whisper "Let me make love to you."
"Don't have to tell me twice." The look on her face and the tone of her voice told me that she would go out and rob a jewellery store if I asked her to. I used my mind to click off the lights, and I let every inch of my skin get reacquainted with every centimeter of hers. An hour later, I held Helena as we both caught our breaths. In the moonlight, I saw her eyes change back.
"I love you, Helena." She softly nipped my neck before she answered me.
"Wow, I can tell." She joked. "I love you too, Sunny D."
I cannot believe that after writing down the events from last night (I wrote down what they said to me last so I can keep them for words of true wisdom in my life), that this is the last page of this book. Barbara said that I didn't have to start another one if I didn't want to. I think she was right that the books could fall in the wrong hands. The only person who knows about all I have written in here looks in the mirror and sees two people. Sometimes, though I hate to admit it, Melanie was right. Too many people are breaking that need me to help them. Canary's cape isn't going to be hanging up for long, but long enough for me to grieve Fern and Patricia's deaths. Then Canary will be by Huntress' side once more dishing out the ass whoopin'. I think I will heal soon. Like I told Melanie, I already feel myself healing. My soul was full-filled last night when I made love to Helena. We seem to have a relationship... It was rocky at first, but now it is set in stone. Canary and Huntress, Helena and Dinah, Canary and Helena, Huntress and Dinah, Din-ary and Huntress Kyle... Pop Tarts and Sunny Delight... whatever you decide to call us, we are one. Goodbye, my little book. I will cherish the memories.
*Thank you everyone for reading this series. Thank you The Edge for posting it, and thank you whoever my beta reader is. I know my errors were many, but you did a great job.*
|Erin Griffin||Birds Of Prey||Main Index|