The Task Done Together - Part Two

by Erin Griffin

Rating: PG-13(ish)

Pairing: Carolyn Lance/Selena Kyle (Catwoman/Black Canary), Helena/Dinah

Summary: " 'Wha-' she was almost angry. 'What kind of DESTINY leaves a whole city shattered?!' 'A great one...' " Carolyn and Selena continue to learn their lessons and do what they can to mend their broken family.

Disclaimer: Nothing. Ever.

Author's Note: Second half of the sixth part to the Afterlife series. Is it just me, or does Selena start to sound like Giles a little bit in this one? Also, more wrongness in comic book character faultiness for Catwoman, but let it be, Hey Jude, Let it be... Don't wait until tomorrow...

I looked up at the ceiling, thinking back on my own words to Donnie. 'Everyone needs a little help here and there, you just need to know how to ask for it.' I realized that those words weren't just for him. They were for me as well. In life, I was always too proud to ask for help, often times financial, which was how I'd become a thief (and Catwoman) in the first place. I hoped this lesson learned will carry on with me into my next life. "Please, if you can, I need your approval. I need Wade's help." I was surprised by how quickly he came out of the shadows, as if he'd been there the whole time waiting for me to figure everything out.

"Took you long enough," he said to me with a wink before he knelt before Barbara like King Arthur to Guinevere. He looked up into her eyes, and the redhead couldn't believe what she was seeing. I found it odd  that she could so easily converse with me, yet she was shocked into silence by the sight of Wade. No matter. I was the same way towards her. Maybe she just wasn't in love with me. "I'm here, Barbara. Things really are okay."

"You were an innocent."

"Which is why I am where I am. I'm at peace there. Selena and Carolyn helped me find it." We didn't, but he was sweet for saying that. "And the Messenger. Barbara, Heaven is such a beautiful place."

"It is?"

"Of course. It's anything you want it to be. For Selena, it is a large condo in, like, the best part of town. That was where I stayed at first. For me, its the old country house I grew up in. I told you about that, remember? When I'm on the porch in a comfy lawn chair, the sunset or moon rise lasts as long as I want it to. And when I'm inside, I can look out the attic window. It's like being up in a helicopter with hawk vision. I can see everything in New Gotham- Anywhere."

"It sounds... beautiful, like you said." There were fresh tears in Barbara's eyes.

"Better than any sunset, your smile is the most beautiful thing Heaven cannot offer. I've got a lawn chair there for you. Or we can walk together on the trails my grandfather made and maintained before he passed. They're still there... if you want."

"Yes." Wade continued to talk to Barbara, and I slowly faded into an orb to go to the Clocktower loft, where Dinah sat at its kitchen. When she saw me, she jumped to her feet. Her eyes were wide, and she looked surprised and scared at the same time.

"You're okay," I said in a soothing voice, much like the one I used when Helena woke up from a bad dream. Dinah said nothing to that, but she watched me and gave a grimace of a smile to show that she heard me. Such a pretty girl. The sadness in her eyes made her look more like her mother than she ever really had before, and maybe it was just in the Kyle blood to fall in love with Lance women. "I'm sorry all this has happened." She looked so strong, but she was breaking, and she only needed one thing to get her through this, but it was unavailable at the moment. I hoped that Care would hurry with Helena.

"You're not... Her. You've got nothing to be sorry for."

"No, but my family is hurting now. I can't stand it. It is destiny, and I cannot control what is meant to be."

"Wha-" she looked almost angry. "What kind of DESTINY leaves a whole city shattered?"

"A great one. One that will save or destroy the entire world. From the ashes a phoenix rises. Two people will come together and create a child. The two will fall, leaving the child orphaned. This child will grow to be the most powerful metahuman ever known. Anything his heart desired will be his. Anything his mind can think of will be his creation. With only a pen and paper, he could destroy the world with a single sentence." Dinah's eyes were focused on me and all I had to say. She looked horrified, almost as if she couldn't take anymore destruction and prophecies of more doom to come.

"How do we stop someone like that?!"

"By raising him." Everything froze. Dinah's face, which was going from horrified back to surprised, stilled, and I looked around. Before me stood an angry seven year old.

"We warned you about revealing their destiny-"

"You said only that I couldn't tell Carolyn, and I haven't. You never said I couldn't tell Helena or Dinah. She had to know that things will be alright. Just those words alone would have meant nothing to her. She's so lost and she needed something." I said, and Elizabeth said nothing to that. "You know," I dared to say, "I think you wanted me to tell her, otherwise you would have stopped me earlier."

"It would have confused her if you stopped in midsentance."

"You know you could have erased her memory of it all. You're making up excuses, Elizabeth."

"If I erase her memory, part of her will always know, be it deja vu, her dreams, or anything."

"She'll be okay. I have great faith in her."

"So does He, but she's not ready for it yet." Elizabeth looked up, then back to me. "You got lucky. He's going to keep the dreams of this conversation at bay for another year. By then all of this will have settled down some. Until then, I've to to erase this, rewind the moment, and you've got to play as a guardian of comfort, alright?" I nodded, feeling stupid for being chastised by a girl half my height. Elizabeth grabbed Dinah's hand and I walked to the spot I started from, and the scene went backwards. "And... once more with feeling. Selena, be good."

"Yes Mother," I said as Dinah unfroze. When she saw me, she jumped to her feet with the same surprise/fear she had before. "You're okay," I said again. "I've just come by to say that you're okay." Dinah looked hesitant, but felt she had to ask her question.

"Do you know where Barbara is? We can't find her."

"Maybe you don't have to look too far for her," I said. "She's coming back. She just had to think." Dinah nodded. "If my hands didn't go through stuff I'd play you a few hands of Rummy to pass the time."

"Never played."

"And I don't know if you've got a deck of cards around here. If you ever do though, get Helena to teach to you play. It's her favorite card game." Dinah was silent for a moment more.

"I never thought, you know, that I would ever get to meet you."

"I know you've seen me before," I said with a small nod.

"I've always wanted to meet you so that I could say I'm sorry... I'm sorry I couldn't save you."

"Oh hush now. You were just a young cub. No one would have believed you, Dinah, and you didn't know exactly if the dream was real or not. I was supposed to go when I did, Helena was meant to stay and train with Barbara, and you were meant to come here. Everything is going exactly the way it should."

"Destiny, then." Dinah said, not in a question.

"I suppose so, yeah." There was the sound of Helena's boots, and Carolyn materialized next to me.

"She's your daughter alright, sheesh," Carolyn said, and I laughed as I watched Dinah look from the three of us, Helena, Carolyn, and me. When her gaze went back to Helena, her eyes softened, and I knew we had become invisible to her.



I don't think either of our daughters knew we were there anymore. "You okay, Dinah?" Helena asked.

"Eh- yeah, considering." Helena stood watching her.

"You're not hurt or nothin'?" Dinah smirked.

"Be glad Barbara wasn't here to hear that sentence. She'd scold you for the bad grammar."

"Yeah, she would."

"But physically, I am fine. My wounds from the  fight are almost nonexistent."

"What about emotional?" Helena asked as if she was afraid to know. Dinah made a slicing motion from her neck outward.

"Whole different story."

"Yeah." Helena agreed in a low voice. "Look, Dinah, I'm sorry I've been avoiding you."

"You don't have to apologise-"

"Yeah, I do. I need to. I've well- uh.... I've been having troubles with- uh- the things I've been feeling lately- uh... for you." Dinah looked confused, but her eyes stayed on Helena. Slowly her lips smirked. "I-It's hard to- well- explain-"

"I'm in love with you too."

"She was always blunt as a kid. No doubt the Redmonds took that trait from her." I murmured, and Selena took my hand. When I looked at her, I was surprised to see that we were back in our neighborhood in Heaven. When I looked back at our two daughters, Helena looked flustered, and Dinah reached out for her hand. Helena took it.

"I think things are going to turn out okay. Good things just have to come from all of this. Come on, we've got to find Barbara," Dinah said, and Helena nodded. They shared a kiss, but it was clumsy. Dinah didn't know how to position her head, and Helena found out too late that Dinah was even leaning in. Together, after a giggle, the two of them went down to the Delphi, where Barbara had left a note.

"Okay, the three main places to ever find her are here, school, and New Gotham Park. Here, and there she's got her apartment, but ever since you got here, she's been staying here. Those are the obvious places, and she wouldn't want to go there if she doesn't want to be found." Helena looked at the note while she said all this.

"Yeah, she'd know we'd look for her there first, so where else do we go about looking for her?"

"Good question. It's pretty late, and not many places where you can be alone would be open at this point."

"Well, she's grieving. What about the places she and Wade had gone to together?" Helena thought this over for a moment.

"Got it, let's go." I watched as Helena and Dinah hurried hand in hand to the sidewalk where their jeep was and they climbed in. They sped off into the night and went to a restaurant I had gone by a couple of times right before I died, once on my way to the Clocktower where I'd heard from Alfred that Barbara was, so I could ask for her help in locating Dinah, and once on my way to No Man's Land where I needed to talk to Dinah. It had a beautiful flower garden for people who wanted to dine outside. I wondered when Wade and Barbara had gone there, since it was the first couple of weeks of winter, and I was sure the flowers had been dead for a while. At any rate, they were right. She was there.

"How did you two find me?" Barbara asked, looking between the two, then down at their joined hands.

"That doesn't matter now, Barbara. We just want you to come home," Helena said.

"I was going to. I just needed some time to figure things out."

"I understand that but..."

"Hey," Dinah cut in, and both Helena and Barbara looked at her. "This? Yeah, it sucked. It really did. None of us will ever heal from it, and there will be reminders of it everyday. But us three... and Alfred of course, we're all we've got. We've got to figure it out together, 'cause that's what families do. Was I wrong in assuming we were a family?"

"No you weren't wrong," Barbara said quickly, then smirked. "Moving speech, Dinah."

"Wasn't it?"

"Yes. Let's go home, make some coffee, and figure this out. Together."

"All for one and one for all, catch your pants before they fall." Helena added in.

"No more Casper for you," Barbara murmured as they left the restaurant.

"No even that one with Wendy?"

"Ew, no young Lizzy McGuire!" Dinah said a little loudly with a look of disgust on her face.


Aftelife Lessons Learned

Erin Griffin

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