Title: Everything About Her
Fandom: Birds of Prey
Ratings: PG13, I guess
Spoilers: the last episode (probably others too).
Disclaimers: I don’t own Birds of Prey or any character created by WB used in this story. I’m making no profit on this and wouldn’t want to – as it’s ‘borrowed gods’. This is pure fun – and an entertaining way of passing the time when one is bored out of ones mind.
Author's Notes: This series was sort of created as a response to Nailbunny’s ‘Kiss’ (great story!). I don’t remember much of BoP-details and the only episode I watched more than once was the last, so excuse any mistakes not in agreement with the series. Some events mentioned might be a little ‘off’ the original timeline to fit the story. The story is told in first person POV – you’ll figure who's as you read. Also – English is not my first language, so please excuse any strange wordings or spellings.
Special Thanks: To Aeryn Sun for beta’ing the six stories in this series. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! J
Additional Note: The stories in this series are created as a ‘thanks’ for all the wonderful, exciting, sexy and purely entertaining stories on this site, which I have enjoyed reading. Just wanted to make a contribution: one should not only take, but give as well... Especially thanks to Aeryn Sun, Harper and Green Quarter (and all others out there...) for perfect fan-fiction.
She’s waiting for me.
She’s always waiting. There was a time when it annoyed me. But now it makes me feel… safe. Longed for.
The night is passing; the darkness outside our world instead becoming a pale brightening on the horizon. I’ve stayed out too late at night lately, coming home early in the morning instead of late at night. I’m desperately trying to avoid her even though there is nowhere else I want to be than were she is.
I spend the night and the early mornings on the rooftops of the tallest buildings, watching the stars – seeing her face before my eyes. It’s harder to be around her now, when I know she’s alone again. When she was with Wade she was so much off limits to me – it made me mad with jealousy, the thought of the two of them together – but now… Wade’s gone and she’s alone. I don’t dare approach her, for fear that I will reveal my true feelings for her. So I stay away.
When my work is done for the night I turn off my phone and pace the streets, not knowing – not caring – where I’m going to find myself when I halt. And then, at daybreak, I find my way back to the Clocktower.
I see her sometimes in the mornings; watch her from the shadows as she prepares breakfast or gets ready for work. We don’t argue anymore, but we don’t talk either.
I see her now, in this moment, sitting at the computer – where she always is. Always watching the world. Caring for it. And the world doesn’t even know. The world doesn’t know how lucky it is to have her affection. The people of this town don’t know how lucky they are to be loved by someone like her.
It’s hard – loving someone who loves the world that way. Will she ever care that much for me? Will there ever be room for me in her heart? Will she ever know that I…?
I don’t finish that thought. Before I realize it, I’m moving towards her and then I’m standing by her side, putting my hand on her shoulder. I didn’t mean to do this, but she looked so lonely, sitting there, and it’s been such a long time since I was this close to her. I miss her scent, her gentle look, the way her eyebrows arch – everything about her.
God – I wonder how I managed to stay away! Now, when I’m close to her again, I know I won’t be able to avoid her the next time. She’s like a drug to me and I’m a junkie unable to kick the habit.
She looks up at me, not startled at all, and smiles softly. How I love that smile. I return it, not knowing how not to anymore.
These last months, the sight of her has made me ache so much I’ve hardly been able to look her in the eye. I’m hurting both of us by this behavior and she still doesn’t know why I’m avoiding her. She thinks it has something to do with… everything that happened. Yet there’s neither questions nor blame in her eyes.
“You shouldn’t stay up,” I say, letting my hand linger on her shoulder, feeling strong muscles and the softness of her beneath my fingers.
“I know, I just…” She pauses and then gives me an almost apologetic smile. “I’m having trouble sleeping lately.” I see the pain in her eyes and wish there were something – anything! – I could do to lessen it. She turns away and my hand falls off her shoulder.
“I’m sorry,” I say quietly.
“Don’t be – it’s not your fault.” Her voice is soft, gentle, and I swallow behind her back. She’s trying to shield me, even now, protecting me. The thing is – it was my fault. Her pain, her sleepless nights… It’s all my fault.
“I…” My voice is sore, almost raw.
“Did you have a good night, Huntress?” she asks in a different voice, more clear and almost cheerful. I see what she’s trying to do and I’m grateful. I won’t let her down this time.
“Well, you know,” I growl in mock imitation of an annoyed pirate, willing to play the game if she is. “Knocked out a few pricks. They’ll find some teeth missing in the morning.” That would be now, actually.
I see her face; she’s smiling and makes a small sound, as if to laugh. I miss her laughter. It’s been too long since I heard it. Too long – even before…
I can’t remember the last time I heard her laugh in my presence, but I do remember the last time I heard her laughter. She was with him then and he made her laugh the way I used to. Seems I lost my ability to make her laugh a long time ago – when I began pushing her away. I had to satisfy myself with her laughter when I saw them together and she didn’t even know I was there, watching them.
She is so beautiful in the morning light; auburn hair, emerald eyes – so clear, piercing as always. She sees everything – she always has. Everything I always wanted to hide, except… except maybe the one thing I sometimes wish she did see.
“You need to get really drunk,” I hear myself say, stupidly enough. I don’t know where that came from. Then I quickly bend forward and kiss her cheek. I hear – and feel – her gasp. Now, finally, there’s surprise in her eyes when she’s watching me. Surprise and curiosity.
“You’ve grown,” is all she says and I can’t help but grinning. God – she’s beautiful!
“’Bout time, I’d say,” I say. She doesn’t smile. She’s watching me intently and I feel a slight tingle of nervousness down my spine. I shrug and turn away. “See you tomorrow…”
“Helena…” she says and catches my wrist with one hand – she’s strong and quick despite her condition.
I stiffen, not able to hide my reaction and not able to turn back towards her. Her fingers… they seem to stroke me, finding their way to my palm. I shiver. She takes my hand in hers.
“Helena – I miss you.” Her voice is soft, almost tense. She’s holding my hand. I still feel the tingling sensation from her fingers.
God – it feels good to hold her hand!
“I’m right here,” I say, knowing it’s not what she meant. I’m still half turned away from her; she can’t see my face. My voice is low, but with an edge to it.
“Please…” she says, hardly audible but for my enhanced hearing. I close my eyes, say nothing. “I miss… you and me. Do you remember – how it used to be?”
I nod, not knowing what else to do. I do remember. Before the kid came, we ruled the night – Barbara and I. Only the two of us. Not that I mind Dinah with us – I’ve grown to care for her like a sister. Like Barbara used to be… No, not Barbara. She was never a sister, there was always that, just below the surface. That which I could never fully explain. Until we weren’t alone anymore and she mentioned Wade Brixton for the first time. It threw my world out of balance.
God – how can she put so much just in one word? My name. No one says my name quite like her – I love the sound of it in her mouth and would want to hear it… like a whisper in the night. The thought – and her hand, her fingers, her presence – awakens something within me.
“Please, look at me. Helena…”
I open my eyes and know they are feral. I know I can’t look at her like this. It would…
“Please… If I’ve done anything to hurt you…”
“No.” I shake my head. “No, not you. Not ever.”
“Please, then – let me know what’s going on. We never talked about…”
“There’s nothing to talk about.” I turn around, cursing myself for the act when I meet her gaze and see her reaction to my eyes. She pales slightly and pulls her hand from mine.
“I’ve made you angry.”
“No!” I react without thought. “No, Barbara.” I take a step towards her, kneel by her wheelchair and take her hand back in mine.
It has nothing to do with anger, I want to say, but can’t find the words. She looks at me. I can’t tell what she’s thinking, but I’m lost in her eyes. Drowning, almost. It’s… It’s the most wonderful feeling ever. To hold her hand – to look her in the eyes like this. Why have I denied myself this sensation for so long? But I know the answers to that: this won’t be enough in the end. In the end I’d crave more than she’d be willing to give – or even be aware of… And my heart would break.
“Barbara, I…” I don’t know what to say, don’t know how to say it. I want to tell her, but she is so much… She’s been so far away from me my whole life – and all the time just right beside me. It’s a paradox I’m not even going to try to understand.
“Yes?” Her voice is low, almost hoarse, and there’s something in her eyes… Something vague I can’t quite place, but it affects me. She’s waiting for me. Always waiting. So much patience in her being, in her eyes.
“Barbara…” There’s so much I want to say – need to tell her – but I don’t know where to begin and then… I hear noise from upstairs and I know Dinah is awake. Time for school. I panic, don’t know what to do, and my first reaction is to stand up and leave. Before I have time to do just that Barbara looks at me.
“Helena… There’s something I want to tell you.”
What? What now?
I can almost see us as from above. Me kneeling, with her hand in mine – what a pretty picture we would make. My eyes are blue again, I know it, and she holds my gaze. I don’t want the kid to see us like this.
“There’s something I… need to tell you.”
I begin worrying now. She seems… nervous. She looks away, lowering her gaze and her face, as if ashamed.
“No, I need to do this.” She looks up and her eyes meet mine. “God, this is difficult – I’m not usually the one with a speech-problem.”
“Not really,” I say, when she smiles self consciously.
“Hey!” she exclaims and slaps my wrist. Her eyes sparkle for a moment, but then grow serious again. “It’s about Wade,” she says without warning.
“Please,” I say, trying to keep the sudden pain at bay, but her eyes softens and she places her free hand to my cheek. The touch makes me close my eyes and I almost, almost lean into it.
“No, Helena. I loved Wade, but the reason to why I… Before Wade there was someone else. Someone who… Someone I loved, but I was ashamed to admit it. It was someone I couldn’t have and it…” She sighs and I keep my eyes closed, even after she pulls her hand away. I don’t want to hear about this, but I realize I have no choice.
“I couldn’t show my love openly and it wouldn’t have been returned anyway. Wade… Wade was my way of… moving on. I… loved him, but I am, and always have been, in love with someone else.”
My heart just broke. I sigh and open my eyes. Don’t know what’s expected of me, if anything. Who? Who is it? Do I know him? Why didn’t I know? Why hasn’t she told me?
“Did you know Nightwing is back in town?” she suddenly says with a different voice.
“Nightwing?” My heart is bleeding. “You’re in love with Nightwing?” I can’t help my voice being rough.
God, I’m jealous! So fucking jealous. I think I could kill. Before I know it I’m standing, looking down at her with mad rage.
“No!” Her response is immediate and again she catches my hand, as if she’s afraid I’ll go running off. I might have; I have done it before. “Don’t go! Please…”
I can’t stand her pleading like that. It goes straight to my heart. I don’t want to hurt her anymore. If only I could tell her the truth… If I had the courage – I would. I can almost see tears in her eyes and it softens me. Without thought or hesitation I move towards her and wrap my arms around her. She leans into my embrace and clings to me as she gives in to her tears. I’m not used to this. I’m not used to this at all. Not Barbara crying, not me – me! – comforting her. I caress her hair and hold her close.
She doesn’t cry much and when she pulls away from me it hardly shows.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbles, but I shake my head and caress her cheek.
“Don’t be,” I say softly. “You’ve been there so many times for me – it’s my turn now.”
She nods, slightly distracted. “I’m just tired. We’re both tired. Maybe we should continue this conversation another time.”
If this was a conversation I found it slightly odd, but I didn’t argue the point.
“So,” she says with an almost nervous glance at me. “Any chance you could drag yourself away from that cop friend of yours and maybe spend some quality time with an old friend?”
Cop friend of mine? All these nights I spend my time chasing bad guys and she thinks I’m spending the quiet hours – the hours when I turn off my phone – with… Reese?
“No, Barbara, I’m not with…” I’ve dumped detective Reese, already. I’m sure I told Dinah and Barbara so, but maybe not. “I’m not with anyone,” I say softly and she seems to relax, as if she’s been holding her breath. “I’ll be home more often from now on.” I won’t be able to stay away now, not after this. I don’t want to stay away, anymore. “We’ll talk.” And so I kiss her again – on the cheek, feeling her beneath me. Soft skin, warm breath.
Dinah is finally on her way to the kitchen; I can hear her approaching.
“I’m going to bed,” I say. “Think you ought to do the same,” I add, although I know she won’t – she has the school and her pupils to attend to. She’s always there for everyone else. Who will be there for her? Who will love her and be strong enough to share her with the world? I know Wade wasn’t, even though that might be an unfair thought at this point. Don’t care. I know I would. I would be there for her, anytime she would need me. If she would only ask. “Speak to you soon.” I look at her and wish I had kissed her on the lips. She would have known then. Would have known my true feelings for her.
She smiles. “Your eyes… they’re feral.”
I don’t know what she thinks – and I don’t care anymore. I wink at her and then laugh at her expression. In the background Dinah appears.
“Good morning,” the kid yawns, descending the stairs while I find my way to the second floor by jumping from the first floor in a swirl of my coat.
I turn my head one last time from the top of the stairs. Barbara looks at me and smiles softly. She moves her hand in a small gesture I recognize.
“Go to sleep. You’ll need it for practice with Dinah.”
I grin and she laughs. It’s good to hear her laugh again.