The Greatest Love of All Series
Fandom: Birds of Prey
Pairing(s): Barbara/f, Dinah/Gabby, Helena/Reese
Rating: PG-13 for cursing
Disclaimer: Although I wish I did, I do not own any characters except Ashley Wayne, Rachel Lance Wayne, and Jennifer Watson. Mama and When 2 Become 1 belong to the Spice Girls
Summary: An old friend of Barbara's comes into the picture and it makes her think about the past, the present, and the future. It also makes her rethink some of the decisions she has made involving this friend.
A/N: This is the prologue to the first part of a series. Hope ya'll enjoy!
Feedback: Please, Ry_Rain@hotmail.com
Part One: Bats and Cats
Unknown person says "Previously on Birds of Prey …"
Reese comes across what appears to be a clay statue. After running a couple test, Barbara finds out there is a person under the clay and he is still alive. In comes Clayface's, a villain who could change shape at will, son, Chris. He didn't have any powers but stole a chemical compound that gave him some. Helena goes to talk to Clayface and found out he was her mother's murderer. They find out what Chris's plans are and stop him. Helena also got her revenge for her mother's death by beating the crap out of Clayface.
Helena's psychiatrist, Dr. Quinzel turned out to be Joker's girlfriend Harley Quinn. She stole a meta's ability to hypnotize people and made Gibson go crazy and Helena switched sides. While under Harley hypnosis, Helena punches Barbara, gets the plans for the Clocktower and later gets in a fight with a walking Barbara. After Harley gains access to the Clocktower she meets Wade, Barbara's boyfriend. She hypnotizes him and makes him kiss her. While they are kissing she puts a knife in his side, killing him. Barbara later finds out that Helena told Harley about Wade and Helena runs. They meet back up and get ready to take the Clocktower back. Barbara fights Harley and only stops from killing her when Helena echoes the advice Barbara recently gave her when she was fighting Clayface.
At the Clocktower …
"It's been two months Helena. All Barbara does is sit in front of the computer trying to make the security system better. This place was a fortress before, its probably harder to get in now then Fort Knox," Dinah said.
"She's not always at the computer."
"Only because she has to go to school now. All summer all she did was work on the Delphi and that stupid thing that helps her walk. It got pretty damaged in the two fights."
"Don't remind me," Helena said. "Why are you telling me this? What a I supposed to do about it?"
"Talk to her." Helena just looked at her. "She listens to you." Helena continued looking at her. "You have no idea what to do."
"No, don't you think I would have already done it by now. I feel guilty as it is about tell Harley about Wade. I mean its all my fault his dead."
Barbara came into the room right at that point. "Would you stop blaming yourself? It’s not your fault. If anybody in this room is to blame, it’s me. I should not have let him in this part of my life. It won't happen again." Dinah and Helena just looked at each other as Barbara wheeled over to the computer.
"Hey, Babs, right don't me and you go see a movie or something. We haven't gone in a long time."
"I don't feel like going out."
"Then we'll rent some movies," Helena said as she walked over to Barbara. "Come on. You're on the computer all the time. I'll even let pick the movies, as long as they're not boring documentaries or something like that." Barbara laughed. "Is that a yes?" Barbara started writing something on a piece of paper and handed it to Helena as she nodded. "Cool. Be back in a few."
"What about sweeps?" Dinah asked quietly so Barbara wouldn't hear.
"You can handle them yourself can't you?" Dinah nodded. "Good, you should take off now. Maybe this movie thing will help get her out of her cocoon."
Dinah watched Helena leave then turned around and looked at Barbara. "I really hope your right."
At the movie store …
Helena looked and Barbara's list and headed over to the DVD's. >I can't believe this is all the DVD's this place has. I'll probably have to get some of these on tape. She skimmed the titles and found one on Barbara's list. . Starship Troopers. Hmm, this looks interesting, I'm surprised Barbara picked this.<
"That's a very good one," someone behind her said. Helena turned around to see a woman with short, spiky, brown hair with blue streaks, an eyebrow piercing, and very blue eyes. "Hi, are there any movies you are looking for in particular?"
Helena did a double take, >She looks just like Mom's friend, Ashley something.< "Umm, yeah," Helena handed her the list, "these ones."
The woman took the list and looked it over. "This is a very eccentric list." Helena laughed, >That's Barbara for you.< "I think we may have all but one of these on DVD though."
"That's great. I thought I might have to get all of them on VHS."
"Now that would be horrible." The woman skimmed through the titles and pulled one out every now and then. She walked over to the counter with Helena following behind. "Okay, we have A.I., Stranger then Fiction, on VHS, sorry, a couple Dark Angel episodes, Lost and Delirious, and Starship Troopers. Will that be all?" Helena nodded. "All right. That will be … $22.67 and they're all due back Wednesday before closing. Have a good night."
"Thanks, you too." Helena walked out the store with a pleased looked on her face. She had gotten all the movies Barbara wanted and was off to the Clocktower to watch them.
Back at the Clocktower …
"I'm back," Helena walked in to see Barbara still pounding away at the computer. She didn't even turn around. "I got all the movies you wanted."
Barbara finally turned back around and Helena could tell she had been crying. "Cool, lets watch them. I'll make some popcorn." Barbara headed into the kitchen.
"What do you want to watch first?
"How about … Stranger then Fiction?" Barbara came out of the kitchen with a bowl of popcorn and a six-pack of strawberry Nehi. "Is that alright?"
"Sure is." Helena put the movie in the VCR player and sat on the couch. Barbara positioned her chair at the end of the couch. "Why don't you sit on the couch with me? Its more comfortable."
"Alright." Barbara carefully moved herself onto the couch. "I think you'll like this movie. It’s pretty interesting. You really need to pay attention though."
"I think I can pay attention." By the end of the movie Barbara had scooted over and was laying her head on Helena's shoulder. Helena looked over and noticed Barbara had fallen asleep. She carefully stood up and picked up Barbara. She carried her into her room and brought her chair in so she would have it in the morning. "Good night Barbara." >Maybe I should check up on Dinah.< Helena walked over to the computer and put Barbara's headset on. "Dinah, are you there?"
<Yep, I'm here. What's up? I thought you guys were going to watch movies all night.>
"We were but Barbara fell asleep before the first movie was over. I'm bored. Need any help out there?"
<No, I'm good. You should just go home and get some sleep. I'm heading in now.>
"Alright. See you tomorrow."
On top of a roof a month later…
>Another night in New Gotham. This is getting very mundane now that Dr. Quinzel is in Arkum. Clayface was charged with my mother's murder. Justice was finally served. Well, somewhat. Poor Barbara, they never found Wade's body and the good doc is pleading insanity< Helena sees something from the corner off her eye. >What was that?<
"Yeah Oracle, I'm here."
<Are you all right? Your heart rate changed all of a sudden. <<Smirk>> Are you thing about your detective?>
"No, I am not thinking about Reese. I thought I saw something scaling a building." Helena could hear Barbara laughing.
<Well, go after it. See what or who it was. Huntress what's wrong? What's happening?>
"I'm being surrounded by a bunch of big goons. I can see what scaled the building. These goons can't see her though." Helena heard typing on the other end. "Do you think she's meta?"
<She scaled a building Huntress. No she's just human. Duh! She's meta! No wonder I had to help you pass high school.>
“Ha, ha. Very funny Oracle. She looks like she's about to pounce. Reminds me of my mother." Helena heard the typing abruptly stop. It stared back up just as abruptly. "Oracle, do you know who she might be?" Just then one of the goons kicked her in the chin. "Oww! That hurt you big goon!" and with that, Helena's eyes changed causing the goons to hesitate, but only for a second before they started advancing on her. "I'm gonna need some back-up!" All of a sudden the mystery woman dropped from the roof and began attacking the goons. "Never mind."
<Huntress. What is going on?>
"Our mystery woman just dropped in to help."
<Can you see her face?>
"No, she's wearing ... it looks like she's wearing a Batgirl suit. Is there a new Batgirl?" By now all the goons were down. "What do you want me to do?"
<Let her have a good look at you and bring her here. If she's who I think she is, she won't struggle.>
"Hey! Chick in a costume! Boss is telling me to bring you in." The woman continued walking. "Dude, turn around before I am forced to make you turn around!' The woman stopped but did not turn around. Helena sighed and walked towards her. "I was told you wouldn't struggle."
"Helena Kyle, daughter of Selena Kyle aka Catwoman, protecting New Gotham. One would have never thought." The woman turned around. "So the all knowing Oracle wants to talk to me? Well then, lead the way." Batgirl holds her hands up as Helena pulls out a piece of fabric, "No need for a blindfold. I already have a good idea where the place is.
"Let's go then." They started walking towards the Clocktower. "You knew my mother?" Helena asked. The woman just looked at her and smiled.
Back at the Clocktower ...
"Dinah!" Barbara yelled. "Get down here please!"
"I'm right here Barbara. What's going on? Is Helena back yet?"
"No but she's on her way and she's bringing company. I might need you powers to find out a few things. I'm pretty sure I know who she is and she can't really be trusted." Dinah looked at Barbara confused. She sounded angry but looked hurt and guilty. Dinah took a few steps away, not wanting to accidentally read her. "I can hear the elevator coming up. Be prepared for anything." Dinah nodded and faced the elevator as the doors slid open.
"I'm here with our mystery woman."
"Good job Huntress," Barbara praised. "Not even Batman as able to capture Catgirl." Dinah and Helena looked at Barbara, her face had a stone-like quality to it. They then looked at the woman in the Batgirl suit, who seemed to be smiling at Barbara.
>There is something familiar about her eyes but< "Catgirl is dead Barbara. I saw her get shot with my own two eyes. There was no way she could have survived."
"Cats have nine lives, Helena. I know for a fact she did not use all of them before hand. Come on, Ashley take your mask off. You know I'm right about who you are."
"Not quite," Ashley said as she winked and removed her mask but not her hood. Helena gasped at seeing her. "You see, I'm not Catgirl. I haven't been Catgirl for a long time now. I was in a chair after I got shot and just recently got my legs back. Called my brother, told him I'd changed and asked if there was room for me in New Gotham. He sent me this and said to contact you after I got my strength back up." Ashley then turned to Helena. "How you doing Helena?"
"I'm good," she said bitterly. "Why did you let me think you were dead? Why didn't you contact me and tell me you were a1l right? You were the part of my mother I had left. You were like a sister to me."
"More like an aunt." Helena looked at Barbara confused. Ashley took a seat on the desk and looked at Barbara not understanding. "Oh, like you didn't know Ashley." Ashley kept staring at her. Helena looked over at Ashley who just shrugged her shoulders. She honestly had no idea what Barbara was talking about. "You really don't know?"
"Bruce is Helena's father."
"Bruce my crime fighting brother, had a child with Selina? I don't believe it." Ashley looked over in Helena's direction and actually looked at her. "Well, I'll be damned. Now that I know, I can't believe I didn't notice it. I mean there's no way in hell she couldn't be Bruce's daughter."
"You were the original Oracle," Dinah said. Everyone looked at her. Ashley's jaw hit the ground when she got a good look at Dinah.
Ashley nodded her head and said, "And your Black Canary's daughter. I can tell. You look just like her. I'm surprised I didn't realize it right away. She must be very proud of you following in her footsteps and all."
"My mother is dead," Dinah said coldly. She didn't like this woman talking about her mother.
"Oh come on. Whatever she did you can't be that mad at her." Ashley looked at Barbara and Helena who had sad looks on their faces. "Oh, god, I'm sorry Dinah. I had no idea. I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. Barbara, do you still need me or can I go to my room?"
"You can go. Helena, it you want to go home you can. I'll be fine by myself. She won't hurt me." Helena eyed Ashley suspiciously. "Really Helena, I'll be fine. I can take care of myself if she tries anything. Go. Don't you have an early shift at the bar?" Helena nodded and headed out never taking her eyes off of Ashley. Ashley waved as the doors to the elevator closed.
"She is definitely Bruce's daughter, no doubts about it." Ashley leaned in close to Barbara. "You know Carolyn's not dead right?" Barbara just quirked an eyebrow at her. "Did they find her body?" Barbara shook her head. "Why do you think that is? Huh? No matter how big the explosion something would have been found. Was anything found?"
Barbara shook her head. "Nothing was found, but there was no way anyone, not even Carolyn, could have survived that blast. I don't care how strong they were or if they were meta. It doesn't matter. No one survived that blast."
"No female body parts were found. She's alive and you know it. You just don't want to admit she made another mistake." Barbara just glared at her. "If we're done here, I have and early day tomorrow so I would like to go home. Are we done here?"
"No. How did you get the Batgirl suit?"
"I already told you. Bruce sent it."
Ashley sighed, frustrated. "Look, Barbara, I've changed. I'm on the side of good again. Why can't you just believe that and trust me? What have I ever done to you?"
"You know what you did!" Barbara leaned in towards Ashley, "You slept with Selina and switched sides. All I've ever wanted to know is why? Why did you do it?"
"I was upset. All I did was try to give you a birthday present and you freaked out on me."
*Flashback: Thirteen Years Earlier*
Ashley stood as still as a statue. Her eyes transfixed on the scene before her. Barbara was on the uneven bars as usual, but something was different. She wasn't as focused as usual. Ashley knew why and was about to change that. She fingered the ring box in her pocket. She waited till Barbara was finished with her routine.
Barbara flinched and moved around to face her. "Holy shit! Ashley, you scared the hell out of me."
"Sorry. Is something wrong? You look distracted. You should be happy. Its your birthday." Barbara looked at her surprised. "What? You thought I wouldn't remember?" Barbara nodded. "Now, why would you think that?" Barbara shrugged. "Have I ever forgotten?" Barbara shook her head. Ashley pulled the box out of her pocket, "Here-"
Barbara freaked and jumped up from her place on the floor. "Ashley wait. I know we were together but, I'm not like that anymore and there's someone else. I love you but, not like that. I will never love you like that again."
"You know what!?" Ashley yelled on the verge of tears. "You should treat the only person who remembered your birthday better, cause next time, no one will!" The tears started falling freely. Ashley than ran and jumped out of the window.
Bruce ran in, frantic. "I heard a crash. What happened?"
"I was born." Bruce looked at Barbara strangely. She waved him off and he walked out. Barbara stared at the window, crying. "Good-bye Ashley."
"I thought you were dead," Barbara quietly said.
"Yeah, well, I thought I would be. That was when I realized I had meta strength. You never saw your present." Ashley then reached behind her cape and pulled out the ring box and looked at the clock. 12:01. "Happy Birthday Barbara." Ashley threw her the box, ran. And jumped off the balcony.
Barbara opened the box. There was a note inside. It said:
You should have know I wouldn't forget. I'm over what happened. Happy Birthday!!
P.S. It stands for friendship when you wear it with the heart pointing away from you.
Barbara than pulled out a silver Claddagh ring. She put it on her ring finger. Perfect fit.
"Thank-you," she whispered, knowing full well no one could hear her, well, almost no one.
"I had no idea it was your birthday."
Barbara had already thrown a batarang before she recognized the voice. The man stopped it and came into the light. "Bruce?"
"What are you doing here, Bruce?"
"Just checking on my daughter and her former guardian. Is she here?" Barbara shook her head. "Is she doing alright?" Barbara nodded. "Are you going to talk to me?" Barbara just glared at him. "Guess not."
"Why didn't you tell me she was coming back to New Gotham? Don't say you didn't know because then you would be lying to me. I already talked to her."
"I knew you wouldn't agree and would argue with me forever. She really has changed. She's good now. She has been for a while. Give her a second chance. You've given Helena several," and with that Bruce followed Ashley's example and jumped off the balcony.
"This day just can't get any worse," Barbara said as she headed to bed. Boy, was she wrong.
Later that morning ...
"Barbara?" Dinah yelled from upstairs.
Dinah's head popped up over the railing. "Can Gabby drive me to school? Please?" Barbara nodded. "Thank-you!" Dinah disappeared then ran back. "Is everything alright? You've seemed kind of distracted all morning."
"You sure?" Barbara nodded. "Okay, well, I'll see you at school?" Barbara nodded. "Cool. See ya Barbara!"
Barbara couldn't help but laugh. She couldn't help it but to remember high school. Those were the good days.
It was the first day of high school and Barbara was waiting for Ashley. "Hey Red!" Ashley yelled from across the parking lot. She had just pulled up in her new blue Jeep. Barbara hadn't seen her all weekend and was shocked at the sight before her. "You like?" Ashley asked. She had cut her hair wicked short and her dark brown, almost black, hair was streaked with a shade of blue that matched her car. She had also gotten her eyebrow pierced.
Barbara ran towards her. "I can't believe you cut your hair! Did you do the other thing you were talking about doing?" Ashley suggestively wiggled her eyebrows and stuck out her tongue to show a silver ball. She than opened her glove department and show Barbara it was full of Listerine. "I can't believe you did it!"
"You wanna give it a test drive?" Barbara paled at this. "I'm joking Red. Calm down. I know you have a `boyfriend', who I've never met. How come I've never met him?" Barbara just glared at her. "Alright. I'll let it go for now, but I do plan on meeting him and giving the speech normally given by older siblings. By the way," Ashley reached in the sea of Listerine and pulled out a box, "did he remember your birthday?"
"Oh, Ashley, you shouldn't have." Ashley shrugged and handed the box to Barbara. She opened it and inside was a beautiful charm bracelet. There was a bat, cat, robin, and computer charm on it. "It's beautiful. Will you put it on?" Ashley nodded, jumped out of her Jeep, and put it on for her. "Thank-you." Ashley smiled at her and shrugged again.
Barbara rolled into her bedroom and over to her dresser. On her dresser was a jewelry box with a key in it. She opened it and pulled out another key. She used this key to open a box under her bed. She pulled out a bracelet, the same bracelet as a matter of fact, that Ashley had given her only now there were more charms. There was a police badge, a wheelchair, and a Claddagh charm. Barbara had thought Helena gave her the wheelchair but now knew that that wasn't true. She put the bracelet on and left for work.
At the school ...
Barbara pulled into her spot and saw a blue Jeep in Wade's old spot. She looked at the plates. They read WAYNE2. "Great. OF course she is taking over Wade's position. Its just my luck." Barbara got out of the car and moved into the school. Right inside was Dinah and Gabby.
Dinah and Gabby were in the corner whispering and giggling. Gabby was the first to notice Barbara. "Oh, uh, hi Ms. Gordon." Barbara as smiled as Dinah froze before stiffly turning around. "We were just heading to class Ms. Gordon." Barbara nodded and smiled trying not to laugh as Dinah and Gabby headed to class.
"Ms. Gordon?" Barbara silently groaned as the principal called her. She turned around to see him in the hallway with none other than Ashley Wayne. "I was wondering if you could show Ms. Wayne here around the school." Barbara nodded. "Thank-you Ms. Gordon. Ms. Wayne, pleasure to meet you," and with that he walked away, leaving Barbara and Ashley alone.
A/N: I have no idea what Wade taught but in my story he taught a computer class.
"Well, let me show you to your classroom. I take it your taking over Wade's position."
"If Wade was the computer teacher than I guess I am. Did you know him?" Barbara nodded and quickly looked away heading towards the computer lab. "I heard what happened. I saw there were several Barbara's on the staff so I didn't know you were his girlfriend. Sorry." Barbara nodded and continued towards the computer lab with Ashley following.
The rest of the day went by without anymore surprises. After school, Barbara went out to her car. She saw Ashley had yet to leave. As a matter of fact she was in her Jeep watching her. Barbara rolled up to her car and climbed in. Ashley got out of hers and walked over to Barbara's window.
"Hey Red." Barbara looked at her. "That line is getting kind of old isn't it?" Barbara chuckled, smiled, and shook her head. "I've missed that smile."
Barbara looked at her again and whispered, "Follow me."
Ashley nodded and jumped in her car. Barbara pulled out and Ashley closely followed.
At a renovated No Man's Land ...
Barbara and Ashley entered No Man's Land. Gibson started to wave to Barbara but noticed who she walked in with. "Everyone is staring at me," Ashley said. She looked around the bar and saw all the unfriendly faces shooting evil glances in her direction.
"Don't worry about them. They're harmless. They recognize you as who you use to be. Come on, let's get a drink." Barbara moved over to the bar with Ashley practically attached to her hip. "Is the big bad cat/bat scared?" Barbara was greatly surprised when Ashley actually nodded her head and looked her straight in the eye. "Gibson two usuals." Gibson nodded and went to work. He set their drinks in front of them. "Thanks."
"So," Ashley started, "why are we here?" Barbara shrugged. "Okay. How are things with you?" Barbara shrugged again. "Look, Barbara. You're the one who told me to follow you here. Why?" Barbara sighed and picked up her drink. The charms on her bracelet clinked against the glass. "I didn't think you would have kept that after all these years." Ashley smiled at Barbara.
"Well, I couldn't part with such a wonderful piece of jewelry. I know the wheelchair charm is from you."
"You are too smart for your own good, Red, and here. This year's gift." Ashley pulled out a small box from her jacket pocket. "Don't worry. It's not another ring. It's a charm for your bracelet. I was hoping you still had it." Ashley handed the box to Barbara. She opened it. "That was the closes thing I could find to a canary. At least I always called her Tweety."
Barbara pulled the charm out of the box. "And she greatly loathed it. Will you put it on for me?" Ashley nodded and smirked as she put it on. "Thank-you. I love it."
"Well, it is tradition for me to give you a charm for that bracelet. Soon I'm gonna have to get you a new bracelet." Barbara laughed. "I mean, I do have several years to make up for."
Barbara smirked. "Yes, you do have several years to make up for. Thirteen to be exact." Ashley chuckled. "I think a nice pair of diamond earrings should do." Ashley laughed. "You know, this is fun. I've missed this." Ashley looked at her confused. "This. Just being able to sit here, talking, forgetting about everything else. Do you know what I mean?" Barbara asked and looked at Ashley. She smiled and nodded. Barbara smiled back. It had always been like this. If Ashley was happy or sad, Barbara was as well and vice versa. All of a sudden Barbara's beeper went off. "Shit. Delphi alert. I have to go." Ashley nodded, understanding. "Come with. Helena might need back-up."
"Thought you would never ask. Lets go." Ashley grabbed Barbara's jacket and helped her put it on. "Drinks on me." Ashley slapped twenty dollars on the table. "See ya later Gibson."
"See ya Ashley. Barbara."
Back at the Clocktower ...
"Dammit! Where's Barbara? Dinah!"
Alfred walked into the Clocktower. "Miss Dinah is staying at Miss Gabby's and Miss Barbara just called to say she was on her way and you were not to do anything but turn off the alarm."
"Alfred, 1: invest with a collar with a bell and 2: I thought you British people didn't have a sense of humor." Helena smiled at him as he walked over to her.
"Miss Helena in response to your comments, 1: I am not a cat and 2: we don't. I was quoting Mss Barbara." Alfred smirked and turned off the alarm. "What would like for dinner?"
Helena was about to answer when something came flying through the window and said, "Pizza would be great old man." Ashley then walked over to the computer and started scrolling and, to the amazement of Helena, faster then Barbara. Ashley looked over her shoulder and smirked as Barbara came into the room. "Told you I'd beat you." Barbara just shook her head and laughed.
"Miss Ashley. What a pleasant surprise. Will you actually be joining us for dinner?"
Everyone looked at Barbara. Helena was shaking her head no, Alfred was nodding his head yes and Ashley, well, Ashley was looking as though she was asking if she was. "Yes, Alfred, she will be. That is if she wants to."
Ashley smiled as she said, "I'd love to. Now, back to the Delphi alert, bank robbery across town. There's no way we can get there fast enough on foot. Not even me."
"Well, the hummer and your Jeep will stand out in that part of town. How are you going to get there?" Ashley looked at her as though saying, `Duh!' "Of course. The Bat bikes, but will they still work?"
"I don't see why not. Helena and I can take my Jeep to the Batcave. Oracle's bike is still there. Is Batgirl's?" Barbara nodded. "Good. Come on Helena, let's go."
"Wait. Huntress, you have your comm?" Helena nodded. "Okay. Batgirl, come over here." Ashley walked over. Barbara handed her an earring and choker. "Here is your comm. Huntress can show you how it works." Ashley nodded and with that her and Helena jumped off the balcony. Their long coats billowing behind them. Barbara could feel Alfred's unwavering gaze on the back of her head. "Is something wrong Alfred?"
"No Miss Barbara, there is nothing wrong. I just wasn't expecting Miss Ashley to show up so soon." Barbara turned around and looked at him not understanding. "Well, Ashley has lived her entire life in New Gotham, but because of what happened between the two of you, she has stayed away. She used the shooting as an excuse for being gone."
"You mean she never actually left?" Alfred nodded his head. "So you know what happened between the two of us?" Alfred nodded. Barbara blushed and looked away. "Ashley always said you seemed to know things about us even before we did."
"Yes, and I believe Master Dick would say I was smarter than all of you. Even you and Miss Ashley." Barbara laughed.
<We're at the Batcave Oracle.>
"Alright Huntress. Do you guys see the bikes? They should be where they always were."
<Batgirl just found them.> Barbara laughed as Helena gasped, knowing Ashley had just pulled out the bikes. <Holy shit! Those are some kick ass bikes! Which one am I riding? Silver or black?>
"Black," both Barbara and Ashley said. Barbara laughed.
<Oracle, what's so funny?>
"Nothing Huntress. Why isn't Batgirl communicating?"
<She doesn't have her comm on yet. It's in her pocket. I wish you had told me I would be fearing for my life. God, she drives faster than you Oracle.> Barbara could hear Ashley laughing in the background. <Why can't I drive the silver bike?>
Ashley finally got her comm on. <Because the original Oracle designed it. Everything is run with the computer and its very complicated and hard to explain everything even to the new Oracle. Laymen terms actually had to be used.>
"I resent that." Barbara could hear Ashley and Helena laughing. "Alright you two. Get your butts over to the bank. The cops are on the way. Even with our connections. Batgirl can't be seen. For some reason my father was called to the scene, and he'll recognize her."
<Don't worry. He won't see me. He might see Helena but I'm all set.> Barbara heard the bikes start. <Don't worry Red. I'll be fine. The Commissioner may hate me but he's a good man.> And with that they were off.
"Be careful," Barbara said, thinking they couldn't hear her over the bikes. Since there was nothing she could do now she called for Alfred. "Alfred?"
"Yes Miss Barbara?"
"Do you need any help with dinner?"
"No, that quite alright. I think I can dial the phone by myself ma'am. Do you need something to do?" Barbara laughed and nodded. "Talk to Miss Ashley. I'm sure she can hear you over the bike. She could always hear me when she went out."
"I know. I'm just not ready to have that kind of a conversation with her just yet. She just brings back bad memories, ones that I caused." Barbara faced the computer. She suddenly realized she was still wearing her headset. "Shit! I thought I took this off!"
<Don't worry Oracle. I think Huntress turned her comm off. Several of those bad memories were also caused by me.> There was a short pause as Ashley and Helena came to a stop light. <I shouldn't have left like I did. I'm sorry. I'm sure you know by now that I never actually left New Gotham.>
Barbara laughed. "Yep. Alfred shared that little tidbit of information with me." Ashley chuckled at that. Barbara could just picture her shaking her head. "Are you guys there yet?"
<We'll be pulling up in a few minutes. I'll stay away from him Oracle. I know he never liked me. I can't see why but ... he did.>
"He didn't until Batgirl came along. He says it was your fault she did."
<That would explain it.> Barbara heard the bikes cut off. <We're here. The place is swarming with cops. Huntress?>
<I'll talk to Reese.>
At the crime scene …
"I'll talk to Reese," Helena said as she walked over to the detective, leaving Ashley to watch over the bikes. "Hey."
"I was wondering when you were going to show up. According to the tapes only one person did this. An entire vault was emptied. We got here too late. No one was seen. The tapes don't show a face. Who's the biker chick?"
"Batgirl. She's back." The Commissioner hearing Batgirl walked over to them. "Hello Mr. Gordon."
<Shit!> Helena tried not to laugh as Barbara cursed knowing her father was nearby.
"Hello Huntress. Did I hear you say Batgirl was back?" Helena nodded and pointed over to Ashley. "How's Oracle?"
<Tell him I'm fine. Don't you dare tell him about Wade! Do you hear me?!>
"I hear you. I hear you.' Helena looked up at Comm. Gordon. "She says she's fine. An old friend stopped by."
“Really?" he asked still looking at Ashley. Helena nodded knowing he didn't see her.
"Is something wrong Sir?" Reese asked.
"No. Huntress, why is she just standing over there?"
<Don't tell him who she is, Huntress. He'll freak.>
Helena realized the Commissioner was staring at her. "Oh sorry sir. Oracle was talking to me. She's standing over there because she would stick out like a sore thumb in those clothes. You want me to call her over?" Gordon nodded. "Oracle, tell Batgirl to get over here."
<Huntress.> There was no answer. <Fine. You owe us big time Huntress. Batgirl, you might as well go on over. Hopefully he won't recognize you.>
Ashley started heading over to the trio. "I'm on my way Oracle." She got to the group. "Hello Commissioner. How are you doing?"
<You're unbelievable. I'm sure he won't recognize you. As soon as the three of you are gone, he's going to call and curse me out.>
"Its cuss Oracle. Cuss you out. I'll be fine." Ashley turned her comm off so she couldn't hear Barbara. From the look on Helena's face when she lifted her hand to turn off her own comm, she was glad she cut hers off when she did. "Oracle says you wanted to speak to me."
"Yes, I just wanted to welcome you back to New Gotham. I hope you will be staying to help Huntress and her crime fighting friends. We really would love your help keeping the crime down."
"As long as they want me I will be staying. I feel as if is the least I can do to give back to the community that raised me." With that Ashley turned her comm back on, knowing Barbara had ran out of cuss words. Helena followed suit.
<The two of you are so gonna get it when you get back. I can't believe both of you cut out. Do not ever do that again. One of you must always be online. If not I swear to god->
"What's that Oracle? You need us to come back? Okay, we're on our way. I'm out. Are we done here?" Helena nodded. "Good because Oracle want us as I'm sure you heard. Lets go." With that Helena and Ashley ran to their bikes and jumped on. They started them and took off leaving Reese and Commissioner Gordon staring at them.
At the Clocktower ...
"Thanks Alfred. I didn't think you would actually order pizza."
"It was no problem Miss Ashley. I remember you would always come back starving. I thought you would like to have something ready when you got back. And I didn't order it, Miss Barbara did." Barbara blushed as everyone laughed.
The elevator doors slid open and Dinah and Gabby walked in. "Pizza!" Dinah yelled. "Cool! Helena didn't order did she?" Alfred shook his head. "Thank God!" Helena stuck out her tongue as Dinah and Gabby sat down at the table.
Ashley's cell phone went off. She pulled it out and looked at the caller ID. "I'm sorry I have to take this." She walked out to the balcony. "Hello? You're at the house? Is Rachel with you? Okay. Yeah. I'm on my way now. You know the code right? Good. I'll see you. Good-bye." Ashley walked back into the room.
"Is everything alright?" Barbara asked.
"Yeah everything is fine but I have to go home and let some unexpected guest in. Barbara, Dinah, Gabby, I'll see you guys at school tomorrow. Helena, Alfred, I'll see you when I see you. Thanks for dinner. I hate to eat and run but, good bye."
"Ah, please use the door. I know you and Helena will land on your feet but it still scares the shit out of me when you guys jump."
"I was going to use the door. I only use the window when I'm upset or going on a sweep or something. See ya Red!" and for the first time since she'd been back, Ashley actually used the door.
Outside what looks like a warehouse ...
Ashley pulled up to a metal building and pushed a button on a remote in her Jeep. A large garage-like door came up and she pulled in. There was a black Jeep, a yellow Jeep, a black convertible, and several motorcycles. Ashley pushed the button again as she walked into an elevator. She pushed a button for the second floor. She got there and stepped out. The doors closed and a slab of wall covered the elevator so you couldn't see it. She walked into the kitchen.
"Mommy! Mommy!" a little brunette girl screamed. She jumped out of a blond woman's lap and into Ashley's arms. "I've missed you so much!"
Ashley hugged her and kissed the top of her head, "I've missed you too Rachel. Hey Tweety." The blonde woman looked up to reveal Carolyn Lance aka Black Canary. "How are you?" Ashley asked as she walked over and placed a kiss on Carolyn's cheek.
"I'm better now that you're here." Carolyn looked at her neck. "Where have I seen that necklace before? It looks awfully familiar." Carolyn glared at Ashley who ducked her head and smirked. She walked into the living room and set Rachel on the couch. Carolyn followed her waiting for an answer she already knew.
"Like what I've done with the Warehouse?" Carolyn look around just then realizing a lot of things were different. The walls were now a dark blue when they had once been maroon. Carolyn nodded and began glaring at Ashley again. "I'm not answering your question because I know you already know the answer." Ashley sat on a leather chair next to the couch. She began staring in the fireplace as though there was a fire. "She hasn't changed a bit."
Carolyn nodded. "I know. She's still as stubborn as ever if not more so. I'm glad Dinah found her. I should have left Dinah with her to begin with. At least then I would have known she was in good hands. I feel so bad about what those people did to her and now I'm lying to her again. They all think I'm dead?"
Ashley nodded. "Well, not Barbara. She's not quite sure. She liked her gift from all those years ago. She was wearing it today, as well as that charm bracelet I gave her. She had all the charms on it including the one I gave her today." Ashley looked over at Carolyn and smirked. "A Tweety charm." Carolyn glared at her but started laughing. "You know I only call you that because it bugs you."
"It doesn't bug me that much. Its only when you won't stop calling me that. That's when it gets on my nerves." Carolyn smiled at her. "We should put Rachel up in her bed. We don't want her to wake up if anyone comes."
Ashley looked at Carolyn before answering. "Yeah, Barbara."
<Is everything all right with your guest?>
"Yeah. Everything's fine. Do you need something?"
<I can't find Dinah. She doesn't have her comm on. She should have been home an hour ago. I'm really worried. You don't think she heard us talking about Black Canary do you?>
Carolyn mouthed `what's wrong?' Ashley waved her off. "I'm sure everything is alright. Did you call Helena or Gabby?" Carolyn's eyes went wide hearing her daughter's friend's name.
<Yes. Helena said she hadn't seen her and there's no answer at Gabby's. They were supposed to be there. Is Black Canary really alive?> Ashley didn't say anything but stared at Carolyn. <I'll take your silence as a yes. Could someone had found out?>
"Possibly. One minute." Ashley covered her choker as she asked, "Carolyn, you weren't followed were you?" Carolyn shook her head. "You're sure?" Carolyn started to nod but stopped and shook her head.
<Ashley, is Carolyn there now?> Ashley was silent again. <Shit! The two of you should get over here right now. Bring your bikes, you can cover more land apart.> Barbara paused. <You said guests as in more then one. Who are the others?>
"There's only one other, Rachel. I can call Alfred and ask him to come over and watch her. He's not over there is he?"
<No. He left not long after you did. Bring her here, whoever she is. I can watch her. I need you guys here now!>
"We're on our way. I'm out." Ashley clicked her comm off. She walked closer to Carolyn. "Get Rachel. We're going to the Clocktower." Ashley looked her in the eye. "Dinah and her friend are missing. Barbara will watch Rachel while we're on the bikes looking for her." Carolyn started crying. "Come here." Carolyn walked over to Ashley and hugged her. Ashley tried to comfort her. "Don't worry. We'll find her. I promise."
Carolyn nodded and they headed towards the elevator. They took it down to the garage. "Hold on tight sweetie," Carolyn told Rachel. She nodded and the three of them took off.
At the Clocktower ...
"Canary, stay out here with the bikes and I'll take Rachel up." Carolyn nodded and Ashley scaled the tower and jumped onto the balcony tightly holding on to Rachel. She walked in and ducked as a batarang flew above her head. "Holy crap Oracle! Who all could actually scale the Clocktower without setting off the alarms."
"Sorry I've been jumpy ever since I called you." Barbara looked at Rachel who had a death grip on Ashley. "Are you Rachel?" Rachel nodded. "I'm Barbara."
Rachel lifted her face from Ashley's shoulder. "Hi," she said followed with a big yawn.
"It looks like someone's tired. Put her on the couch while I get a comm for Canary." Ashley nodded and walked over to the couch and set Rachel down. She then walked over to where Barbara was looking for a comm. "She seems very attached to you."
"She should be. She's my daughter." Barbara turned around shocked. "You couldn't tell?" Barbara shook her head. "Well, I guess you didn't get a good look at her."
"That's not why I'm shocked. I mean now that I look at her it obvious." Ashley quirked her eyebrow at her. "I'm shocked because I always though you were . . ."
"Gay?" Barbara nodded. "I am." Ashley walked over to the computer, did a search, and brought up an article. "Read." Barbara handed her Black Canary's comm. "Okay. We're off. See you later. Rachel I want you to be good for Miss Barbara!" With that she took off the balcony. Barbara moved over to the computer and began reading the article.
Somewhere in New Gotham ...
<This is useless Batgirl. She's not here, Oracle?>
<Yes Black Canary?>
<Where does Dinah's friend live?>
<I already gave Batgirl the address. Oh oh. Huntress what's wrong?> Ashley couldn't hear Helena answer. She was heading towards Gabby's , not really paying attention to the conversation in her ear. <Batgirl, is Rachel allergic to anything?>
"I'm not sure. Why what's going on?"
<She's throwing up. I made the mistake of letting Huntress feed her.>
<She's allergic to peanuts.>
<Huntress, what did you give her? Huntress?! One minute! Black Canary how did you know she was allergic to peanuts?>
"Did you finish reading the article Oracle?"
<Rachel's my daughter Oracle. I should know what she's allergic to.>
"Yeah, just make me look like a bad mother just because I didn't know what she was allergic to."
<Huntress!? What?! What did you give Rachel? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Why? She's allergic to peanuts. Well, I didn't know that now did I?>
<Don't worry. It's her fault. She knows what she's allergic to. She shouldn't have eaten the sandwich. I'll come back. You don't need me do you Batgirl?>
"No, I can do it. I'll check out Gabby's and head back as well unless I find something. Hopefully I won't be back soon. I'm at her place now. There are lights on and people moving around. Send Huntress. I might need back-up."
<She's on her way. Don't go inside just yet. Wait for Huntress. Can you see Dinah and Gabby?>
"Yeah, actually I can. Their bound and gagged. I think they wanted us to see them. Their right in front of the window." Ashley paused sensing another presence. She whipped her arm back and connected with Helena's knee. "Oww! Argh! Huntress is here. We're going in."
<You guys are all on your own. I've never been there and they don't have cameras I can hack into. If only Dinah was wearing her comm. It wouldn't make a difference. Canary's here. Batgirl said she was gagged She could have said something before they gagged her.>
"Stop arguing you!" Ashley yelled. "I rather you two not start cussing each other out in front of my kid!"
<Sorry.> they both said. <Are you guys in yet?> CRASH! <I'll take that as you are now.> Ashley and Helena had jumped through the window. <I really wish you guys would be a little bit stealthier.>
"Get them!" One of the guys yelled.
Helena ran over to Dinah and Gabby. "Are you guys alright?" She asked as she untied them. They both nodded. "Good. Dinah, help."
"Never mind that." Dinah, Helena, and Gabby looked over at Ashley. All the kidnappers were on the floor. "Huntress I want you to use the rope they did and tie them up. Oracle call the cops. We're leaving now. Going silent."
<Confirmed. Be careful with those girls on the bikes.>
Helena looked over at Ashley. "Superkid's riding with you. I'm not risking anything happening to her on my bike." Ashley just glared at her, which she returned with a smile. "Lets get going before Oracle starts yelling at us."
<I do believe you said you were going silent.>
Helena, Ashley, and Dinah looked at each other trying hard not to laugh. Dinah had turned on her comm as soon as she could and Gabby was the only one left out wondering what they all thought was funny.
Back at the Clocktower ...
"She's gonna be pissed."
"Of course she's gonna be pissed Carolyn! I'm pissed and I'm not your daughter! You let us believe you were dead!" Carolyn opened her mouth to protest but Barbara's hand stopped her from saying anything. "Yes, you did. I know it was to protect Dinah ... and now Rachel but you still let us believe you were dead."
"They never found a female body. Doesn't that tell you something? You of all people should have known I was alive."
"Yeah, well, I should have known a lot of things. I should have known Ashley was the friend Helena saw get shot. I should have known she never actually left New Gotham. I could always feel her eyes." Barbara looked up at Carolyn, her eyes filled with unshed tears. "I just thought it was me going crazy. I didn't realize what I had until she was gone."
Carolyn looked at the elevator. "Someone's coming up."
Barbara nodded and furiously wiped at her eyes, turning back to the computer. Carolyn cocked her eyebrow trying to hear something. "Barbara." Barbara shook her off. "Barbara!" Barbara turned around and stared at her. "I don't think that's them. Do you have cameras in there?"
Barbara nodded and turned towards her computer once again. "Why do you think it's not them? Who else could it ... be?" Barbara asked looking at her screen already knowing the answer. "Carolyn, we have to get out of here." There suddenly was maniacal laughter coming from the elevator shaft. "Get Rachel and get out of here!"
Ashley suddenly jumped through the window. "I saw Joker." She ushered Rachel and Carolyn out. "Barbara, come on." Barbara shook her head no. "God dammit Barbara! Stop being so stubborn! He'll kill you or worse, you could become completely paralyzed and dependent on others!" Barbara looked at her and she knew she had struck a nerve, but it got Barbara moving. "Come on!"
Barbara moved over to Ashley, tears freely flowing from her eyes. "Ashley." Ashley looked at her and Barbara could see all the love Ashley felt towards her in them. "Get me out of here."
"Your wish is my command." Barbara watched as Ashley's eyes changed, not understanding why because she was pretty light. She then felt herself and her chair being lifted off the ground. "Please keep your arms and head in the chair." Ashley then jumped out the window, praying to God that she wouldn't drop Barbara and they would land in one piece. They did.
Ashley got ready to pounce back up when Barbara called her. "Where the hell do you think you're going? You are not going back up there!"
"Barbara, he's ruined too many lives! All of us here have been affected by him in some way! I'm not going to let him get away! Go to my place. You should all be safe there."
"Ashley! We don't kill! I know you want to, hell, I've wanted to but someone gave me a little of my own advice a while ago! Now I'm giving it to you, revenge doesn't make the people who you've lost come back. Its not worth sinking to their level."
Ashley spun around fast, staring at Barbara, her eyes black with hate. They softened slightly when she saw Barbara flinch. She walked over and knelt in front of her. "I already got the person I lost back." She stood up as Barbara only stared at her. "Why can't you believe I've changed!? I know we don't kill!" Ashley grinned wickedly before adding, "But we do beat to a bloody pulp then turn into the police, except I'm not going to make the same mistake my brother did. I'm bringing him to Arkum myself." With that Ashley jumped up and landed in the Clocktower. Barbara looked over at Carolyn, knowing only she would understand what she was feeling.
Up in the Clocktower ….
"Ha ha ha! Catgirl, its wonderful to see you again. I hope this meeting is more pleasant then the last. It most likely won't be but oh well."
"You must not have noticed the logo on my suit the other night, but it's a bat." Joker looked over at her, his face even whiter then before. "Who's afraid of the big black bat now?" Joker aimed towards the Delphi mainframe. "NO!" Ashley jumped in front of the bullet, taking it right in the chest. She jumped back up with only a slight amount of difficulty. "You are not destroying this computer! If it means my life, this computer will not be touched!"
"Well, I guess you'll be losing your life." Joker pointed the gun but this time Ashley was prepared. She used her telekinesis to move the bullet out of its course and sent the Joker flying into the elevator behind him. "Now it will be sooner!" Ashley moved away from the computers right before Joker tackled her around the waist, knocking the air out of her.
Ashley wrapped her legs around Joker's neck and flipped them so she was on top. She grabbed his neck and started choking him. He punched her over and over again trying to get her off but she wouldn't let up. Barbara's face and voice came into her head. Ashley reached into her utility belt and pulled out a syringe, stabbing it into Joker's arm. "Take a nap," she said pushing him down on the ground.
Joker stared at her and laughed. "You still haven't seen the last of me." Finally the sedative kicked in and he was out like a light.
"Yeah, that's what they always say," Ashley said as she got up and walked over to the window after tying up the Joker. She heard a scuffle a little ways off and saw a black blur jump in the window and past her. "What the hell!?"
Helena limped back over to the window ready to jump back down when Ashley's question finally hit her. "There were people waiting for us a little way down the road. We had started walking towards your place when they jumped us. Barbara's in trouble."
Ashley handed Helena a box of syringes. "Take these and watch him. If he starts coming to give him another dose." Helena stared to protest. "You're hurt. I won't let anything happen to them. I promise." Helena looked her in the eye and nodded as Ashley jumped through the window.
Helena looked over at Joker and shivered. "Please hurry," she quietly whispered.
Outside the Clocktower …
Ashley ran as fast as she could towards her apartment. Either they had been moving faster then she though or they had been taken. She rounded a corner and saw them. Carolyn, Dinah, Gabby, and Rachel were backed up against a wall. Barbara was on the ground, her chair overturned a few feet away. Someone was standing over her. Someone blonde. Barbara was twitching in pain but her eyes went wide and she stilled when she saw Ashley.
The blonde turned around. "Ha! Bat-girl?" Harley's eyebrows bunched in confusion. "I thought Ms. Gordon here was Batgirl. Oh well. I'll just kill you both."
"If you touch her again I swear I'll hunt you down and kill you." With that Ashley charged Harley only to be blocked by her goons. Ashley's eyes changed as she struggled. Harley seeing this turned around to run but Barbara grabbed her leg causing her to fall.
Carolyn, Dinah, Gabby, and Rachel ran over to help Barbara. Harley had hit her head pretty hard when she fell and was knocked out. Barbara had some rope in her chair and they used it to tie up Harley and her goons. Then, they called the police. Ashley kept away from everyone else, jumping up and down the whole time.
Barbara moved over to her. "Batgirl what's wrong?" Ashley tried to walk away but Barbara grabbed her arm and spun her around. She still wouldn't look at her though. "Ashley look at me. Please!" Ashley looked at her and Barbara saw what was wrong. Ashley's eyes had yet to change back to normal. "Give me your hand."
"No!" Ashley said not wanting to accidentally hurt her.
Barbara just glared at her and grabbed her hand to check her pulse, not even seeing the claws she had grown.
"Your pulse is racing." Ashley suddenly started shaking. "Carolyn!" Carolyn looked over and saw what was happening. She then ran over and caught Ashley just as she started falling. The five of them heard sirens in the distance and took off back to the Clocktower. Barbara pulled out a cell phone. "Reese, its Oracle."
<Oracle, what's going on? Is Hel-Huntres all right?>
"Yes, she's fine. We just called in a mugging. They're tied up in an alley. Your men are there by now. One of the people is Harley Quinn. We have the Joker at the Clocktower.”
<I know about the Joker. Huntress called me a little while ago. You guys hadn't gotten back yet and she was worried. Wanted to know if I had heard anything. I'm on my way there now. I can actually see you guys.>
Barbara turned around and was blinded by headlights. "Turn your lights off please!" Reese stepped out of his truck and turned the lights off.
"Need a lift?" Reese's smile went away when he saw Barbara glaring at him. "Who are all these people?"
"Well, you know Dinah and Gabby, the little one is Rachel."
They smiled and waved as they piled into his truck. She pointed to Ashley and Carolyn. "The blonde is Black Canary and the other is Batgirl. You've met her already. You will learn their real names soon enough." Reese nodded. "Canary, put Batgirl in the back and then please help me in. Detective, I'll need you to put my chair in the back. I don't know how heavy it is."
Reese nodded as Carolyn got Ashley in the bed of his truck and moved to help Barbara. Once she was out of her chair, Reese went to pick it up. It was very heavy. Carolyn laughed, "Need a hand?" Reese nodded and watched as Carolyn's eyes turned a slight shade of yellow. Together they were able to easily lift the chair onto the truck. Barbara held Ashley rocking her back and forth. Carolyn held onto Barbara's chair so it wouldn't fall off. She sat staring at Ashley and Barbara the whole time.
Inside the Clocktower …
Once they arrived at the Clocktower, Barbara immediately went back into boss mode. "We need to hurry and get her upstairs. I think those goons or Joker might have drugged her. Her heart rate is way too fast and her eyes have yet to change back to normal." By the time everyone was in the elevator, Ashley was unconscious. Barbara was somewhat relived because she had at least stopped seizing. Once they got upstairs everyone moved over to the Delphi. "Huntress, you and Reese bring the Joker to Arkum. Do not let him out of your sight until he is locked up. Once he is, give him this." Barbara handed Helena a syringe.
She took it and looked up. "Is this ... lethal?" Barbara shook her head and looked at Helena shocked. "I know we don't kill but . . ." Barbara just glared at her. Helena looked at the syringe. The liquid inside was a weird shade of blue. She smiled. "Is this that stuff you made in case any of us got drugged?" Barbara smiled back and nodded. Helena looked over at Ashley. "Will it work on Batgirl?"
"I don't know if she's even been drugged. Go, now." Helena nodded as she and Reese left with Joker. Barbara moved over to Ashley and felt her forehead. "She's burning up." She looked over at Dinah who was sitting on the couch with Gabby. "Dinah go get a bowl and fill it with ice and water please." Dinah nodded and her and Gabby went to go get the bowl. "Get a wash cloth too!"
Rachel stood next to Carolyn, clinging on her leg, crying. "Mommy! Mama is mommy alright?"
Carolyn knelt down so she was face to face with Rachel. "She's gonna be fine sweetie." Rachel started to nod but her eyes went wide with fear. Carolyn turned around to see Barbara giving Ashley a shot. Dinah then came in with the bowl of ice.
Barbara didn't even notice. "Dinah, would you mind watching Rachel while Barbara and I try to help Ashley?" Dinah shook her head and took off her jacket. "You don't think Gabby will mind do you?"
"Nah. It will be a welcomed distraction for the both of us." Dinah looked over at Rachel and smiled. "Come on. You and me need to do some sisterly bonding." Carolyn looked up almost like she was scared. "Don't worry. We won't bond like Helena and me. She's what, only 5?" With that the two of them walked to the loft.
"Carolyn, I need your help holding her down. She's begun to seize again." Carolyn rushed over and held Ashley's legs down while Barbara held her arms. She then checked her eyes when Ashley stopped seizing. "I think the antidote is working. Her eyes are back to normal." Barbara went up to the kitchen and came back down a few minutes later with a bucket. "The antidote will have some bad side effects. She'll probably be puking all morning."
"Great. A sick, pissed off Ashley to deal with in the morning. I should take her home. Do you mind if Rachel stays here? It will really help out."
"They can both stay here. You too. We can watch her vitals easier. I have all the right equipment right here. It will be a lot easier to leave her here. If you want to bring Rachel home I can take care of Ashley, but before you go I need your help getting her out of this suit."
Carolyn nodded and helped Barbara carefully cut off the suit. Barbara and Carolyn both noticed the sudden rush of blood. "Shit!" Barbara headed straight for her 1st Aid Kit. "That bastard shot her!"
"Help me finish getting this crap off her. The bullet is most likely still in her. I just hope it's not too deep for me to get. I really don't want to have to bring Dinah in this, especially since this is her mother right? Or at least her other mother." The look on Carolyn's face said it all. "I read the article and did the math. It was right after me and her spent our last summer together in Hawaii."
It was the summer before their senior year and Ashley and Barbara were happy. They were together at the beach for the whole summer with no parents or any Batman activities. Basically they were in bliss. They had no idea what would happen when they got back.
>Here I am lying on the beach, watching Ashley, ever the daredevil, surfing the waves of Hawaii. It was Bruce's birthday present to her. She could bring who ever she wanted and of course she picked me. Carolyn was gone to do better things and Dick, well, him and Ashley never really got along.' Barbara winced as Ashley took what looked like a rather nasty wipeout. `She never had very good balance but she looks good in her wetsuit.< Barbara laughed as Ashley stormed up the beach smiling.
Ashley dropped her board and gave Barbara a wicked smile. "Oh, no you don't!" Barbara went to cover herself up but before she could Ashley shook her head back and forth, all the water falling on Barbara. Then she looked at Barbara innocently and flopped on her towel. She jumped up suddenly screaming. Barbara just quirked an eyebrow at her. She had known Ashley was going to do the hair thing so she put a handful of ice on her towel. "Is something wrong?" she asked innocently.
"You little bat!" Ashley pounced on Barbara, tickling her. "Say uncle!" Barbara couldn't stop laughing so she just shook her head no. "No? Oh, I'll make you say uncle." Ashley grinned wickedly and picked Barbara up. She ran into the ocean so Barbara's feet just barely touched the surface. "Say uncle or else." Barbara just glared at her. "I'll take that as a no. Oh well. Hope you know how to swim." With that Barbara's eyes opened wide with fear as she felt Ashley loosen her grip on her. Barbara wrapped her arms around Ashley's neck, freak out, and almost dragged them both down. Ashley tightened her grip. "Barbara, relax. I'm wasn't going to let go of you."
"You were too and I was going to end up drowning." Ashley then stood up to show that she had actually been on her knees the entire time. Barbara looked down. "Oh." Ashley then carried her back to their towels and set her down. She plopped down on her own towel angrily. "Ashley, I'm sorry. You know how I get when it comes to those kind of things."
Ashley sighed then smiled as she looked over at Barbara. "I know. What do you say we go play some volleyball and torture those dudes who have been staring at us all day."
Barbara grinned and stood up. She held out her hand to help Ashley up. "Let's go."
"We had no idea what would happen when we got back. It was only a month later we stopped talking and she went to Selena for comfort." Barbara looked down at Ashley's wound. Getting the bullet out had been easy and she had just finished stitching her back up. "Had you guys already gotten the procedure done?"
Carolyn nodded. "We had actually made the plans before you guys went on vacation. I think that's why Bruce was surprised when she invited you and not me. He knew about our plans the whole time."
"Does Ashley know Dinah's hers as well?" Carolyn shook her head. "Were you ever planning on telling her?" Carolyn couldn't look Barbara in the eye. "You weren't were you?" Carolyn got up and started pacing. "Why not?"
"Why won't you tell her you love her?" Barbara looked up at her shocked. "The same reason I don't want to tell Ashley about Dinah. I'm scared. Not of Ashley herself but, of what she will think of me. I mean, I've been lying to her all of these years." Carolyn sat on a nearby chair. "I don't want her to hate me."
Barbara moved over next to Carolyn. "Ashley could never hate you. She always looked up to you. She might be mad at first but would get over it. You need to tell her."
"Shouldn't you be telling yourself this?" Barbara laughed. "At least she wouldn't be mad. She would be very happy."
Barbara chuckled and looked over at Ashley. Her eyes were open and she was staring at them. Barbara jumped. "Jesus Ashley. We thought you were asleep." >God please tell me she didn't hear anything.<
"Sorry. I just woke up when I heard you laugh. You turned around before I could say anything. What happened? I feel like shit." Ashley looked down to where she was shot. "And I just realized I'm not wearing a shirt."
Carolyn laughed as Barbara threw Ashley a shirt. "Here. Cover yourself up before your daughter comes running down. Carolyn why don't you go get her." Carolyn nodded as Barbara watched Ashley try to put the shirt on. Barbara laughed at how much she looked like a kid. "Want some help?" Ashley nodded or at least it looked like she nodded. "Here. Stop moving." Barbara fixed the shirt and pulled it down over Ashley's head. "There."
"Thanks. For everything. It looked like you did some good work on the gunshot wound."
Barbara was going to respond but before she could Rachel came running and jumped in Ashley's lap. "Mommy!" she squealed and hugged Ashley tight. Barbara could see Ashley wincing from the pain but was waved off when she went to stop Rachel. Barbara laughed as Rachel hit Ashley in the shoulder. "You scared me mommy!"
Ashley rubbed her shoulder although it didn't really hurt, that much. "I'm sorry sweetie, but look, see, I'm fine." Ashley began tickling her to prove it. "Now its time for you to go to bed. Let's get you home." Ashley started standing up but was stopped by Barbara.
"Stay here tonight. Rachel can sleep with Dinah and Gabby. You and Carolyn can have my bed and I'll sleep in the guest room."
"You can't sleep in the guest room. You have nothing in there to help you. Besides, I hate leaving the Warehouse empty all night." Ashley tried to stand up again but became dizzy. "Okay maybe I'll stay a little longer."
Barbara looked at Carolyn, pleading her to think of something. "Ashley you need to stay here. I'll take Rachel home and watch over the Warehouse. There's no way you'll be able to stay on a motorcycle." Carolyn picked Rachel up. "I'll bring you some clean clothes in the morning." Carolyn looked at Rachel and got an idea. "Let's go say goodnight to Dinah and Gabby."
Carolyn and Rachel headed upstairs.
Dinah's Bedroom …
Carolyn and Rachel walked into Dinah's room. "Hey guys. Do you all want to help me with something?" Dinah and Gabby looked at each other, then at Carolyn, and nodded.
Back Downstairs …
"I want to stay with mommy!" Rachel yelled. She then came running down and jumped in Ashley's lap. Barbara pulled her into her own lap before she hurt Ashley more and she started crying. "I want to stay with my mommy!"
"You will," Barbara said. "But you need to be careful. Your mommy is hurt. Okay?" Rachel nodded and started sniffling. "Good. Now Carolyn?" Barbara looked around. "Where did she go?" Ashley shrugged. >What is she up to?< Barbara thought. "Well, I guess we'll have to bother Dinah and Gabby again. Dinah! Gabby! We need your guys' help again!"
Dinah and Gabby came running down the stairs. "What's up?"
"Can you and Gabby help Ashley walk to my room? I'll need your help getting in the guest bed as well." Dinah and Gabby nodded. Ashley started to protest but Barbara's hand over her mouth stopped her. "No. You have no say in this what so ever. The guest bed is only a twin and we don't want Rachel to accidentally hurt you more."
"No and I can walk by myself." Ashley started to get up but began to feel dizzy again and Dinah and Gabby caught her before she fell. "Okay. Maybe I do need a little help." Ashley let herself be helped over to the elevator. "I'm still not taking your bed."
Barbara just glared at her. "Why are you so stubborn?"
Barbara smiled knowing she had won that argument. She always won when Ashley called her stubborn. Dinah and Gabby finished helping Ashley into the bed and then took off saying they would meet Barbara in the guest room. Rachel started squirming again so Barbara let her go and watched her jump in bed with Ashley. Barbara started moving out of the room but stopped when Rachel pulled on her hand. "Where you going Miss Barbara?"
Barbara looked at Rachel, smiled, and said, "To my room. I need to sleep to ya know." She then ruffled Rachel's short hair. >They look so cute!< Ashley thought.
"I thought this was your room?"
"Well," Barbara started, uncertain where this was going, "it is."
"Then stay here with us," Rachel said brightly. Barbara looked over at Ashley who was watching with amusement. She shrugged her shoulders. "Please?" Rachel pleaded.
Barbara looked at Rachel and was confronted with `puppy dog eyes'. >Not fair!< she thought. "Well, I know where she got that look from." She looked at Ashley who just stuck out her tongue.
Barbara laughed, >Very mature!< She then saw Rachel out of the corner of her eye and her lip was stuck out with a slight quiver. "Fine!" Barbara said, throwing her hands up in an exaggerated gesture.
"Great! I'll go tell Dinah and Gabby they can go to bed!" Rachel than ran out leaving Ashley and Barbara alone.
"You know what's going on right?" Ashley asked Barbara. Barbara looked at her confused.
"Carolyn planned all of this. Rachel wanting to stay, hell, probably even Dinah and Gabby helping then running." Barbara realizing this was true, chuckled and shook her head. Rachel came running back in. Ashley looked at her and asked, "Are you proud of yourself?"
"I have no idea what you are talking about," she said as innocently as she could. She then crawled in the bed next to Ashley leaving plenty of room for Barbara. >I just hope this works and mommy doesn't get mad.< Rachel thought. Barbara moved over next to the bed and carefully got in.
"What do you think you're doing young lady?" Ashley asked as Rachel started climbing over her.
"You know I don't like sleeping between two people Mommy."
Rachel snuggled up to Ashley trying to push her over. "Come on Mom. I'm gonna fall off. I'm right on the edge." Ashley carefully moved over trying not to touch Barbara. "Thank-you!" Rachel then fell fast asleep.
"Well, we might as well try to get some sleep too." Barbara nodded and closed her eyes. A few minutes later, "Red?" Barbara groaned. "Are you sleeping?"
"No I sleep with my eyes open and talk." Barbara turned her head to look at Ashley. "What's up?" Ashley shrugged. "Can't sleep?" She nodded. "You only gave it five minutes." Ashley ducked her head. "Look, you woke me up and now you won't talk. What's going on in that head of yours?" Barbara asked as she knocked on Ashley's head. Ashley swatted her hand away. Unseen by the two of them Rachel snuck out smiling. "What's wrong?" Barbara tried one more time, tucking a piece of loose hair behind Ashley's ear.
Ashley sighed. She didn't know what to say, how to put her feelings in words. "Nothings wrong." Barbara raised her eyebrow. "Well, at least not like you think." Barbara nodded. "You see, I … you know I'm not good at putting things into words." Barbara laughed. "I don't know how to say this."
Barbara looked at her. She felt a slight tingle in her stomach. "Say what?" Ashley looked at her like she was trying to make a decision. Barbara saw the exact moment she decided in her eyes. They always gave away her feelings. All of a sudden Ashley moved over and kissed her. Barbara responded immediately and Ashley ran her tongue along Barbara's bottom lip asking for entrance. Barbara complied without hesitation. When they broke apart for air Barbara looked around noticing something. "Where's Rachel?"
Ashley laughed at how dense Barbara was. When the realization hit Barbara she started laughing as well. "I told you Carolyn planned this night," Ashley said. "And I knew Rachel had something to do with it." Rachel walked in slowly like she was still half asleep. Barbara and Ashley could hear giggling in the hallway. "Where have you been traitor?"
Rachel looked up and looked like she was about to cry until she saw Ashley was smiling. Then she noticed Ashley was holding hands with Barbara. "I went to the bathroom," she lied easily. Ashley just nodded and looked at Barbara as Rachel crawled back in. "I forgot where we were and couldn't find it." Barbara nodded and Ashley turned around, grabbed Rachel and dropped her between her and Barbara. They then started tickling her.
"Tell us the truth," Ashley said. Rachel shook her head. "So you were lying?" Rachel's eyes went wide when she realized she was caught. "You won't get in trouble if you just tell the truth." By now Barbara had stopped ticking Rachel.
Rachel looked at Barbara for help. She just sat there watching Ashley tickle Rachel and said, "Don't look at me for help. You lied to me too." Rachel was laughing so hard by now she was crying. "Alright Ashley. Come on. She's having trouble breathing." Barbara was also laughing hard and was wiping a few tears away from her eyes. Ashley stopped and Rachel moved so Ashley was spooned up against her. "I take it we're going to sleep now?"
Ashley looked at Rachel and saw she fallen fast asleep, for real this time. "Looks like it. Goodnight Red." Ashley then wrapped her arms around Rachel. Barbara looked at them, >>How cute! << She then moved so she was facing Ashley's back and copied her. "Very good night," Ashley purred. She moved one of her hands and grabbed Barbara's. They fell asleep soon after.
The next morning …
Carolyn rode the elevator up to the Clocktower. She was nervous. She had no doubts her plan hadn't worked but she didn't know how mad either of them would be. The doors opened and Carolyn saw Barbara at the computer and Ashley at the table eating breakfast. >So far so good< she thought to herself. "Morning everyone," she said. She dropped a black gym bag next to Ashley. "Your clothes me lady."
Ashley looked up, "Oh. Thanks Carolyn." She finished her breakfast and got up, "Dinah, can I change in you room?" Dinah nodded. "Thanks!"
"I'm going to get ready," Barbara said then went into her room.
Carolyn looked at Dinah. "The plan backfired," she said. "They're not even talking to each other now." Unknown to Carolyn, Ashley went over to Barbara's room because Dinah's comm was on. "I don't think the plan was a good idea."
"It was a great idea! I just don't understand how it didn't work," Carolyn said. >It worked the first time.< she thought. "Well, we'll just have to try something else then." Dinah and Gabby looked at each other then Barbara's room where Ashley and Barbara also were looking at each other. >Oh, oh.< they all thought.
"Maybe that's not a good idea Ms. Lance," Gabby said. Dinah and Carolyn looked at her. "I don't mean to be rude but what if it backfires again. Now they're not talking what will happen next time? I mean, when Ashley was drugged she stayed away so she wouldn't hurt any of us. Obviously she could do some damage." Carolyn nodded.
"Come on Gabby. Lets find you some clothes to wear to school." Gabby nodded. "Bye mom." Dinah and Gabby got up and headed towards Dinah's room. Once they got there Dinah turned to Gabby and said, "That was genius! She had no idea we were lying!"
<Dinah, tell Gabby we also think she did a great job.>
"Barbara says her and Ashley agree with me that you did a great job. Signing off."
<Dinah?> "Dinah? She signed off. Why did she sign off?"
Barbara asked turning towards Ashley who wasn't there. "I hate it when she does that," she muttered. Knock knock. "Who's there?"
"Its Carolyn. Can I come in?"
"Hey. Dinah and Gabby tell me you and Ashley aren't talking." Barbara looked up at her. >What's her new plan now? < "What happened?" Barbara shrugged. "Did you sleep in here? The guest bed isn't made." Barbara nodded and willed tears to come to her eyes. She looked at Carolyn. "Oh, sweetie. What's wrong? What happened?"
"I told Ashley how I felt about her and she freaked out. I thought she still had feelings for me. I was wrong." Barbara completely broke down crying. She could hear Ashley and surprisingly, Dinah, snickering in her ear.
<You're a great actress Red. Tweety will be singing soon.> It took a lot for Barbara not to laugh at that. <You didn't laugh. Good job.>
"Oh, god Barbara, I'm so sorry. Its all my fault." Barbara looked up at Carolyn with a confused looked. She was still sniffling. "I thought if you and Ashley were forced to spend some time together you might get back together. You guys made such a great couple." All of a sudden Ashley came through the door. "Don't you ever knock!?" Carolyn yelled.
"Don't need to." Ashley walked up to Barbara and kissed her. Carolyn's jaw dropped. "How you doing?"
"Better now that you're here. I don't know how much longer I could have gone without laughing." Carolyn stared at them not understanding at all. "We tricked you Carolyn. Ashley tortured Rachel and she spilled," Barbara explained. Carolyn looked at the door. "Dinah and Gabby were in it."
"Gabby sure is a good actress." Carolyn quirked her eyebrows. "The two of you might as well come in already. We know you are out there." Dinah and Gabby opened the door and came in. "Traitors." Dinah looked up about to say something but stopped when she saw Carolyn smiling. "You know I love you."
Ashley walked over and put her arm around Carolyn's shoulders. "I personally thought it was very funny." Carolyn glared at her. "Come on Tweety, you have to admit it was pretty funny."
Carolyn looked at her to see she was smiling and rolled her eyes. She then shoved Ashley's arm off her shoulder.
"Ashley, leave her alone." Ashley nodded and walked over to Barbara and sat behind her on the bed. Carolyn smiled and Ashley stuck her tongue out at her. "Come on you two. Carolyn, we are sorry but you kind of deserved it." Carolyn opened her mouth to protest. "No, you did. It was not funny and what if it had backfired? You could have ruined our relationship and you know it."
Carolyn hung her head in shame. "Now, come on, four of us have to go to school. Carolyn, you and Rachel can stay here today if you'd like."
Carolyn nodded and left with Dinah and Gabby. Barbara leaned back, set her head on Ashley's shoulder, and sighed. "We owe Tweety big time." Barbara nodded. Ashley turned her so they were facing each other. "I love you."
Barbara looked in Ashley's eyes, "I love you too." They then shared a short and sweet kiss. "Now I have to get ready so we can go. Wait for me outside." Ashley nodded, kissed her one more time, and left. Barbara looked at the door after Ashley left. "I really love her." She shook her head, chuckled and started getting ready. Ashley was standing right outside the door, >Wonder what she thinks is so funny.<
In the teacher's lounge later that day …
Ashley walked into the teacher's lounge smiling. Everyone stopped talking all of a sudden so she knew they were talking about her. She then saw a large vase full of roses. "Whose flowers?"
Jennifer Watson, the freshman social studies teacher, looked at her in envy. "They're yours actually. Who sent them to you?"
Ashley walked over and picked up the car, it said:
This morning was wonderful. I agree with you, we owe C big time.
See you tonight, we have a date. Dress up!
Ashley smiled and sat down. She counted the roses as all the teachers in the room watched her. >Thirteen< she thought. >One for every year we were apart.< Ashley smiled. "An old friend sent them."
"Well, who?" Jennifer asked as she plucked the card out of Ashley's hands. "B? Why wouldn't they put their whole name?" She looked over at Ashley, "How about Barry?" Ashley just looked back at her. "Bob? Bart? Bill? Some weird foreign name?"
Just then Barbara came in. "What's going on?" Barbara looked around the room and saw the roses on the table. "Who got flowers?" Everyone looked at Ashley who was blushing. Barbara laughed, "All right. Now that you've all made Ashley the same color as my hair, and only on her second day congratulations, its my turn to ask. Who sent them?" Barbara winked at her.
"That is none of you business Red. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm hungry and am going to eat my lunch. Good bye, it was not a pleasure speaking to you, not meaning to be rude but, I like to keep my private life just that. Private." And with that Ashley walked out of the room (roses in hand) and headed towards Barbara's classroom.
Everyone looked at Barbara. "Well, I told Dinah to meet me for lunch so I'm just gonna get mine and go." >Hmm,< Jennifer thought, >Maybe,< she looked over at Barbara as she left, >Nah. No way would Ashley go for Red over there.<
In Barbara's class room …
Barbara came into her classroom to find Ashley sitting at one of the desks staring out a window. "That was rude what you said back there." Ashley just got up and walked over to Barbara. She bent down and kissed her. "Mmmm. So I take it you liked the roses?"
"They're beautiful. Just like you." Barbara blushed as Ashley kissed her again. They heard giggling at the door. Ashley looked up. "Hello Dinah and Gabby. How are you two doing?" Dinah and Gabby just smiled as they slid into two nearby desks. Ashley looked over at Barbara, "Well, now that Barbara is a couple shades darker then her hair, are you guys hungry?" Dinah and Gabby nodded. "Good. Let's eat."
Later that day in Dinah's Bedroom …
Knock, knock. "Who is it?"
"It's your mother."
"You can come on in."
Carolyn opened the door and slowly entered the room. "I need to talk to you about something." Dinah looked up from the magazine she had been reading. "Don't worry, I'm not mad or anything. There's just something I think you need to know … about Ashley."
Dinah quirked her brow and asked, "There's something you need to tell me about Ashley?" Carolyn sat down on the edge of the bed and sighed. Dinah sat up, "What is it … Mom?"
She used to be my only enemy and never let to be me free, / Catching me in places that I know I shoudn't be, / Every other day I crossed the line, / I didn't mean to be so bad, / I never thought you become the friend I never had, Back then I didn't know why, / Why you were misunderstood, / So now I see through your eyes, / All that you did was love, / Mama I love you, Mama I care, / Mama I love you, Mama my friend, / My friend,
Carolyn looked up, tears of joy falling from her eyes. "You see, when Ashley was your age scientists had developed a new way to have babies."
Carolyn walked into the study knowing she would find Ashley there. "Hey Blue. How's it going?" Ashley just waved and shrugged. She was staring at something on the computer screen. "What's that?"
“Bruce is sending me to Hawaii for my birthday this summer. He said I could bring anyone I want." Ashley finally turned around and looked at Carolyn. "I asked Barbara if she would go with me and she said … yes!" Carolyn looked shocked. "I know. I was surprised too. I didn't think she would actually say yes but she did."
“Wow. That's great Ashley. I know how much you like her but are you sure she understood you invitation?" Ashley nodded. "How can you be so sure?"
Ashley moved away from the computer screen to show a security video clip. It was she and Barbara, kissing. Ashley stopped it and said, "That was before I even asked." Carolyn's face fell. "What's wrong?"
Carolyn pointed to the computer and asked, "May I?" Ashley nodded and moved away from the computer. Carolyn brought up a web page. "Read this. I was kind of hoping you would do this with me."
Ashley looked at Carolyn funny but moved to read the article on the web page. Her eyes got wider as she read further down. "Are you serious about this Carolyn? I mean, the kid could be made fun of if anyone found out."
"I know, but I don't know." Carolyn started pacing back and forth. "I really want a kid." Ashley nodded. "More specifically a daughter and for some reason all these couples have had daughters."
"Carolyn that's not just some coincidence. There's no way two women can have a son." Carolyn had a perplexed look on her face. "Did you pass Biology?" Carolyn shook her head. "Thought so. It's simple genetics. Males have X and Y chromosomes and females have two X chromosomes, therefore, two women cannot have a boy." Carolyn nodded. "Do you really want to do this, cause if you do I'll do this with you."
"Thank you, but I can't ask you to do this now. You're finally getting together with Barbara. I don't want to ruin that for you. You really like her and the two of you belong together. I'm not going to ruin that for the two of you."
"Carolyn, you are my best friend. If you want me to do this with you I'm going to. If Barbara has a problem with that, well, she won't because we're not going to tell her."
"Thank you Ashley." Carolyn and Ashley hugged.
"Okay," Dinah said as Carolyn finished her story. "What's that have to do with me?"
"Well, we did the procedure and we had a daughter."
"I know. Rachel."
I didn't want to hear it then but I'm not ashame to say it now, / Every little thing you said and did was right for me, / I had a lot of time to think about, / About the way I used to be, / Never had a sense of my responsibility, Back then I didn't know why, / Why you were misunderstood, / So now I see through your eyes, / All that you did was love, / Mama I love you, Mama I care, / Mama I love you, Mama my friend, / My friend,
"No. You really think Ashley is that young?" Dinah realizing the time difference shook her head. "Good, cause she's not. She's not as old as me but … lets not get into that. Anyway, the first daughter we had was … well, she was you." Carolyn stood up and headed for the door. "I'll give you some time to let this soak in."
But now I'm sure I know why, / Why you were misunderstood, / But know I see through your eyes, / All that you did was love / Mama I love you, Mama I care, / Mama I love you, Mama my friend, / My friend,
"Yeah. Good idea. Thanks," Dinah replied without even looking towards Carolyn.
Carolyn closed the door and leaned up against it. "Well, one down one to go."
Just then Ashley walked by. "Are you alright Carolyn?"
Carolyn nodded. "Like I actually believe that. Something is obviously bothering you. Come on, you can talk to me about it. I'm your best friend."
"Well, actually I need to talk to you about something and you might get mad." Ashley just looked confused. "Come on. Lets go sit down somewhere." Ashley nodded and the two of them walked into the kitchen. Ashley got them something to drink as Carolyn sat down. "You know that thing we did when you and Barbara got back form Hawaii?"
"You mean the pregnancy thing?" Carolyn nodded. "Yeah, what about it?"
"It was successful." Ashley's eyebrows knitted together not understanding. "Haven't you wondered how Dinah was telekinetic? She obviously didn't get it from me." Ashley's eyes widen as the realization hit her. "Yes, Dinah's you daughter as well. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner but I just couldn't get the guts up to say anything."
Ashley laughed and Carolyn looked at her strangely. "I can't believe I didn't see it. I could tell she didn't have your eyes I just figured she got them from her father or it skipped a generation, but she has my eyes. Does she know?"
"Yeah. I had just told her when you saw me outside her room. She didn't take it very well I don't think." Ashley got a hurt look on her face. "Oh, I don't think she has anything against you. I just think it was a lot for her to handle."
Mama I love you, Mama I care, / Mama I love you, Mama my friend, / My friend.
Ashley nodded. "You're probably right. Hey, you should bring Rachel back to the Warehouse. She's not feeling very well. I think she may be coming down with something." Carolyn nodded.
Ashley stood up and squeezed her shoulder. "She'll be all right. Just give her some time alone and she'll be over it." Ashley kissed her on the cheek. "I'll talk to you later okay?" Carolyn nodded. "Good. Bye."
Later that evening at the Clocktower …
Ashley, Barbara, Dinah, and Gabby were sitting around the kitchen table. Everyone was staring at their bowls. "Give me some credit," Ashley said, "I think I can make a salad." She then picked up a crouton, popped it in her mouth, and made a face. "Nobody eat the croutons, they're stale." Dinah glared at her. "Hey don't get mad at me! They came out of Barbara's cupboards."
Dinah just laughed. "Where's my mom and Rachel? Or Helena for that matter?"
“Well, Carolyn is with Rachel back at the Warehouse, she didn't feel very well and Helena is out with Reese. They'll be around later though." Ashley grinned.
Everyone looked at each other. "Alright, I'll bite. How are you so sure?" Ashley looked at Barbara, lifted her left hand, and wiggled her ring finger. "No way!" Ashley nodded. "He ask you first or something?" She nodded again. "Why?"
"He wanted to get the perfect ring. I gave it to him."
Barbara looked at her weird. Dinah and Gabby just looked confused. "You know how Bruce was going to propose to Selina?"
Barbara nodded. "Well, he never did but he did give her the ring. That's the ring I gave Reese."
Dinah had finally caught on and held up her hands. "Wait a minute!" Ashley and Barbara looked at her. "Are you guys saying Reese is gonna propose tonight?" Ashley slowly nodded her head. "Do you think she'll say yes?"
Barbara was about to answer when the elevator opened.
Everyone at the table turned around and saw Helena dragging Reese inside. When she got to the table she started bouncing on the balls of her feet. "Everyone, Reese and I have some very important, very happy news," she paused for dramatic effect. "We're engaged!" she shrieked.
Everyone was laughing at Helena's shrieking and the fact that they already knew. Ashley, Dinah, and Gabby got up to hug Helena and congratulate her. Barbara moved over to Reese and gave him a very stern look, "You hurt her, I kill you. Understood?" Reese nodded. "Good." She smiled then and hugged him.
Helena walked over to Barbara and hugged her. "Will you be my maid of honor?" Barbara, speechless, just nodded. Helena was on the verge of tears. She walked over to Ashley. "I was wondering … ifyouwouldgivemeaway." Ashley raised her eyebrow not quite understanding. "Well, since my mother is dead and I don't want anything to do with my father, I need a relative to give me away and you're my aunt so … will you give me away?"
Ashley walked up to Helena and hugged her again. "I'd be honored. When are you guys going to set the date?"
"Christmas," Helena smiled as everyone's jaws dropped to the floor, except for Ashley who just nodded her head. "If I'm wearing her ring, and thank you for that Ashley, I want to get married when she always wanted to."
"Well we'll help as much as we can," Barbara said. "One condition about the bride's maid dresses, you don't pick them." Helena laughed and nodded. "Who are you other bride's maids going to be?"
"I was hoping Dinah and Gabby would be." She turned to them, "What do you think? Will you guys be my other bride's maids?" They nodded emphatically. "Great. Now all we have to do is-"
Ring. Ring. Reese looked at his caller ID. I'm sorry but I have to take this." Everyone nodded as he answered his phone. "Yes Commissioner?" Barbara looked up and then her and Ashley looked at each other. "Who is there an arrest warrant on?" He looked at Ashley and Barbara. "Ashley Wayne. Yes Sir." Barbara was motioning for Reese to give her the phone. "One minute Sir. Yes Oracle?" Barbara made a face. "I'm sorry Sir what?" Reese nodded. "Yes Sir." He handed the phone to Barbara. "He wants to talk to you."
Barbara took the phone. "Why the hell is there a warrant on Ashley!?" Reese's eyes opened wide as he tried to take the phone away but Barbara just swatted him away. "You know damn well the only reason is because you don't like her! No, I'm not gonna give the phone to Reese!" Barbara listened to him, fuming. >I wish I could hear Mr. Gordon's side of the conversation,< Ashley thought. "I am not gonna let Reese bring her in. Good-bye father." Reese's eyes went wide again as Barbara handed him back his phone.
"Yes Sir. Yes I understand Sir. Good-bye." Reese turned his phone off and put it back in his pocket. "All charges on Ashley have been dropped. Now will someone tell me what the hell is going on?"
"Ashley and I knew each other when we were in high school. My father, Commissioner Gordon, didn't like her very much. Ashley is Batgirl and he recognized her voice. That is how he knows she's in town." Reese looked between the two of them. Ashley nodded. "He blames her for the original Batgirl. Also he didn't like his daughter going out with another female." Reese nodded. "Lets discuss a happier subject please."
Everyone looked at each other. Dinah and Gabby sat back down at the table. Ashley sat in Barbara's lap and Helena sat in her seat. Reese continued standing. Everyone was silent because they couldn't think about anything to talk about. Ashley looked around. "Come on people. Reese and Helena are engaged and we're sitting in silence. I say marriage is a happier subject." Helena just shrugged and Reese finally sat back down. Ashley stood up, "Well, since dinner is done and we have nothing to talk about," she bent down and kissed Barbara, "I'm going to do a sweep." She then put on her jacket and a mask. "I got tired of the whole outfit," she said in response to the look Barbara gave her. She turned to Dinah, "The two of you want to come?" Dinah and Gabby looked at each other and nodded their heads. "Lets go. Meet you in the garage." With that she ran and jumped off the balcony. </! FONT>
Dinah and Gabby out their coats on. Dinah walked over to Helena and hugged her, "Congratulations." She then hugged Reese as well. She moved over to Barbara. "We'll be careful. My mother told me about Ashley and I know she wouldn't let anything happen to me." She hugged and kissed her on the cheek. "See ya." Then Dinah and Gabby headed to the garage.
A few minutes later, Helena looked around the room and noticed Barbara had started clearing the table. "Here Barbara. Le me do that." The Delphi alarm went off before she could protest so Barbara nodded and headed towards the computer. "Reese will you get the plates that are in Barbara's lap please?" Helena asked with a smirk.
Barbara looked down in her lap and saw the plates she had piled there. She looked up at Helena and stuck out her tongue. She handed the plates to Reese, "Thank Reese. Batgirl, you there?"
"There's a bank robbery going on about a block away from you. I thought Dinah and Gabby were going with you. What are they driving anyway?"
<The car I came in. I'm on my bike. We thought it would be better to split up.> There was a pause and Barbara heard the bike engine turn off. <I'm there Oracle. Where should I enter?>
“One sec." Barbara brought a map up on the screen. "It looks like they entered through the roof." THUMP! "Could you be any louder?"
<That wasn't me.> Ashley grunted. <Someone else jumped as well. I landed right before them.> Barbara could hear the fight continue. <Ha! Now lets see just who you are.> Barbara heard Ashley gasp. <Canary! Why the hell were you fighting me?>
<I was attacked by one of the robbers.> Barbara heard Carolyn reply as she noticed a blinking yellow dot next to a blue one. >Oops!< <One of them spit something in my eyes.> Carolyn paused. Barbara figured Ashley was helping her up off the ground, where she most likely ended up during the fight. <I can't see a damn thing now.>
<They got her. I was on my way to the Clocktower. No police are coming because they told me to call and stop them or they would kill her.> Barbara continued to sit there, just staring at the screen. She had no idea what to say.
<Oracle, we're in. Which way do we go?>
"There's a flight of stairs to your right. Go all the way down and take a left. Canary I can see her."
Outside the bank …
<Canary, I can see her.> Ashley and Carolyn looked at each other, relieved, as they headed down the stairs two at a time. <She's tied and gagged but other then that … wait a minute.> They could hear Barbara typing. <Shit! These guys are with Al Hawke. She's not gagged after all but she has on one of those collars. It's a trap.>
<Oracle, where are they? Gabby and I can help.>
"Hell no Dinah! I'm your other mother and you are not coming anywhere near here. Its obviously a trap! Stay away!" Carolyn stared where she thought Ashley was as though she had grown another head.
<Dinah, stay away from them. Batgirl and Canary can handle the situation. I want you and Gabby to come back here to the Clocktower. I could use some more help here.>
<Fine.> Dinah said. <We're on our way Oracle. Batgirl, Canary. Please be careful.>
"We'll be fine Dinah. Oracle I can see them from here."
Ashley looked around and noticed Carolyn was not behind her anymore. "I don know. She was just behind me … oh shit!" Ashley ran and tackled Carolyn, taking the bullet that was aimed for her. "Shit Oracle! I'm shot! Canary, scream!"
Carolyn turned her head and Ashley saw her eyes were white. She nodded and started the Canary Call. All the kidnappers dropped their guns and covered their ears. Ashley used her powers to throw all of them back. She moved over to Rachel and removed the collar. Rachel joined in with Caorlyn.
<If you guys have Rachel, get the hell out of there!>
"No duh Oracle! Rachel, Canary, come on already. We need to get out of here!" Ashley ran over to Carolyn and picked her up. She then knelt down and called to Rachel, "Get on my back and don't let go!" Rachel hopped on her back and she ran outside to her bike. "We're on our way Oracle. I just have to find Canary's car. There's no way the three of us can fit on my bike. Can you see where it is?"
<Its on the other side of the building. Its your yellow Jeep. Can't miss it.>
"Alright. I see it. Have you found an antidote to Canary's blindness?"
<I'm still looking. I take it she isn't awake right now?> Ashley didn't respond. <Batgirl are you there?>
"I'm here. Sorry about that. Rachel accidentally turned my mic off. One minute." Ashley let Rachel down and then opened the backdoor. She then carefully laid Carolyn in the backseat. "Sit in the front Rachel. You know what buttons to push to get in. Oracle we're on our way now. We really need to get the minors some names to use over the comms. Going silent."
Back at the Clocktower …
Barbara changed the screen so it showed her Oracle alter ego. She pinched the bridge of her nose trying to stop the oncoming headache. She moved over to the lab to start working on Carolyn's antidote. A few minutes later she had just finished and the elevator doors opened. Dinah and Gabby walked in. "Hey you guys. The two of you need to think of some names." Dinah looked at Barbara. "They're fine. Ashley was shot but I'm not sure where."
Just then Ashley limped in carrying Carolyn, "My leg." Rachel came in crying. She ran to Barbara and jumped in her lap. "You got it?" Barbara nodded and handed her a syringe filled with a green liquid. "Right in the vein?" Barbara nodded. "Okay, here goes." Ashley gave Carolyn the shot. "Where should I put her?"
“My room," Dinah said. Ashley nodded and picked up Carolyn. "I'll go with you."
“Ms. Barbara? Can I be Baby Bat? I know I'm not a baby but I like the name."
Barbara nodded. "Sure you can." Barbara looked over at Gabby who was sitting on the couch. "What about you Gabby? Have you thought of a name? You minors need some." Gabby shook her head. "How about … Silent Safari?" Gabby laughed at that. "I thought that might make you laugh. Come over here with us."
Gabby walked over to where Barbara and Rachel were. "How about The Defendant?" Barbara looked at her with a raised eyebrow. "Or not. How about Love Machine." Barbara laughed at this. "Don't worry. I was just joking with that one. I'm all out of ideas."
Just then Dinah walked in the room. She wrapped her arms around Gabby's waist and said, "How about Beautiful?"
"Nah. That's your name."
Barbara laughed as Ashley looked at her and rolled her eyes. "The two of you are so sweet I think I'm gonna barf."
"Ah. Young love." Alfred came in and looked at Ashley and Barbara. "If I'm remembering correctly, the two of you were just like them when you were their age." Dinah and Gabby stared at Ashley and Barbara in shock. "Do not even try to deny it. I still have pictures to prove it."
"Yeah, well, sorry to ruin the happy moment but I just remembered there's a bullet in my leg that I would like out please." Ashley limped over to a kitchen chair. Barbara moved over and started cutting off the pant leg. "There goes another good pair of pants." Barbara chuckled and went to get the first aid kit.
As Barbara laid out everything she would need Dinah picked up Ashley's pant leg. "At least you don't have to go searching for the bullet." She held up the pant leg to show there were two bullet holes, one in the front and one in the back.
"Good, cause who knows how deep the bullet could have been," Barbara said. "Dinah, why don't you and Gabby go out somewhere. Its only 10:00 o'clock." They nodded and headed out. "Call if you'll be out after 12!"
"Sorry about our date," Ashley said. Barbara looked at her confused. "Our date, the flowe-" Barbara was about to start stitching up the wounds. "Novacaine please!"
"Only dentist use novacaine." Ashley glared at Barbara. "All right, all right. I knew what you meant." She pulled out a needle and numbed Ashley's leg. "And don't worry about the date. I forgot about it with all the wedding talk."
Ashley was starting to get a buzz from what Barbara gave her. >What the hell was that Red gave me? Pain killers don't normally make me like this.< "Do you think we'll ever get married?"
Barbara looked up. She felt Ashley's forehead. "I'm fine and I'm serious. Do you think we'll get married?"
Barbara's eyebrows knitted together. She finished one side of Ashley's leg. "Flip over so I can get the other side." Ashley flipped over on her stomach. "I think we might. Not any time soon of course. I mean, I bet it'll be a year before one of us even seriously thinks about proposing." They were both silent as Barbara finished. "Done."
Ashley sat up. "I'll take you on that bet, only if you can't take it back," she said and stuck out her hand. "Usual terms?" Barbara squinted then nodded and shook Ashley's hand. "Kay." Ashley looked in Barbara's lap. "Don't get mad at me but it's a good thing you can't stand up otherwise I'm sure Rachel would have a concussion by now." Barbara looked down and chuckled. "She really likes you." Barbara looked confused. "I mean she must really trust you to fall asleep in your lap like that."
"Well how about we lay her on the couch and go to bed?" Barbara asked. Ashley grinned and nodded.
Candle light and soul forever, / A dream of you and me together, / Say you believe it, say you believe it, / Free your mind of doubt and danger, / Be for real don't be a stranger,/ We can achieve it, we can achieve it, / Come a little bit closer baby, get it on, get it on, / Cause tonight, is the night when 2 become 1, I need some love like I never needed love before, / (wanna make love to ya baby),/ I had a little love, now I'm back for more, / (wanna make love to ya baby) /Set your spirit free, its the only way to be,
Silly games that you two were playing, / Empty words we both were saying, / Let's work it boy, let's work it out boy, / Once again that we endeavour,/ Love will bring us back together,/ Take it or leave it, take it or leave it Are you as good as I remember baby, / Get it on, get it on, / Cause tonight, is the night when 2 become 1, I need some love like I never needed love before, / (wanna make love to ya baby),/ I had a little love, now I'm back for more, / (wanna make love to ya baby)/ Set your spirit free, its the only way to be,
Be a little bit wiser baby, put it on, put it on, / Cause tonight, is the night when 2 become 1, I need some love like I never needed love before, / (wanna make love to ya baby), / I had a little love, now I'm back for more, / (wanna make love to ya baby) / I need some love like I never needed love before, / (wanna make love to ya baby), / I had a little love, now I'm back for more, / (wanna make love to ya baby), It's the only way to be.
November at a bridal shop…
"I thought you said Helena couldn't pick the bride's maid dresses," Ashley commented as she looked at Barbara, Dinah, and Gabby after they came out of the dressing rooms.
"I did, but she really liked these." Barbara looked over at Ashley, "Is there some rule that says Bride's maid dresses have to be ugly?" Ashley just laughed. "Wait till she picks out your dress."
"She has, but its not a dress. I'm wearing a nice, black pant suit thank you very much."
"Not fair!" Dinah said. "Why does she get to wear a suit? I don't want to wear this."
Barbara looked over at Dinah and Gabby, >Their dresses are worse then mine.< "Because Bride's maids always wear dresses, ugly dresses." Barbara looked out the storefront window. "Shh. Hear comes Helena. Don't say anything about the dresses."
Helena came skipping in, took one look at the dresses, and laughed. "I'm sorry, but you guys look ridiculous. I can't believe I picked those dresses. You guys can wear any dress you want."
"Thank-you God!" All three of them said as they rushed back into the dressing rooms. Ashley and Helena just laughed.
|Section 2||Ry_Rain||Birds of Prey||Main Index|