Title: Anime Real

Author: Erin Griffin


Rating: PG13 for violence and language

Pairing: Dinah/Other

Summary: Something strange is going on in Seattle when an ordinary girl gets unexpected guests the week before the finale of Birds of Prey. After a few days she realizes she is the only one who can take her guests home, which means getting the meta's sister from the show out of Harley's hands. How will she do it?

Disclaimer: I do not know any of the actresses or actors of the show, nor do I know anyone from the WB network or its other stations. To put it the short way, I am a pathetic loser who wanted to write down her fantasy... lol.

Author's Note: I just want to say that I wrote this fic about 5 days before the 'season' finale, so if there are a few things that sound like it came from the show, it didn't. Or at least I didn't take it from that episode... except for the song 'All the Things She Said' by T.A.T.U., which is sort of the theme song for the series Pop Tarts and Sunny Delight. Oh yeah, one last thing, *blushing* the character of Noel DiiVarr is actually me, but theevents, her looks, family background and what- not aren't real. (But being in love with Dinah Redmond/Lance is all me.)

August 9, 2006- Also, I wrote this story, and posted it the day of the finale on slashedge.net, which no longer exsists. My fanfic sucked back then, still does, who knows.

"Come on Noel, you can't be serious. You think 'Birds of Prey' is a better show than 'Smallville'?" My walking companion, Janet Woodrow tried to keep up with my quickened walking pace. "Geez, for a chick that claims to be in plus sizes, you walk too fast." she complained.

"I never said I was in the plus size range." I countered. "I said 'I feel like I am in the plus sizes in this shirt'. It said XL in the damned catalog and this feels like a medium." I looked back at her. "Besides, that is what you get for smoking behind the gym during lunch everyday. And I never said I thought 'Birds of Prey' was better than 'Smallville'. I just think I understand 'Birds of Prey' better is all, though I have never read any of the comic books."

"First of all, chick... I get cranky when I don't get my daily smoke." I gave her a look that said 'Right'. She ignored it. "And second," she continued before I lectured her on smoking and how unhealthy it is, "the show is about freaks. People who have added powers from birth or lab accidents. How well could you understand that?" She asked. Janet isn't someone I'd call a friend, really. She just walks with me since we live in the same apartment complex. She is a part of a popular crowd at school whereas I am a loner and proud of it. (I mean, I'm a writer, not a homecoming queen.) I bet myself 25 bucks that she is only walking with me because she a) didn't want to walk home by herself, or b) is somehow hoping that by being my friend will get her a little closer to my brother John, who is a senior. I have a feeling it is the latter. It is not like I will complain. I do not mind company, but there are times I just want to keep walking at my pace, get home in my own time, and do what I want to do after homework and chores are done.

"Hey, watch it with the 'F' word." I quoted Helena Kyle from the first episode. "I just understand it because I have seen the Batman movies, and unless you've read the comic books, that is all you really need to know. They sort of fill in the rest, unless that is left open to bring in more things about each character." I tried to explain. That wasn't the real reason I understood the show. I just feel like I have some sort of connection with these people and I wish I could be by the Huntress and Dinah's side fighting crime with some sort of meta power to help them out. "Plus, it isn't just about 'freaks' as you call them. It's about being different from the world and being able to accept and embrace these differences in others." I said.

"Right, Noel."

"In case you haven't noticed, 'Smallville' had freaks in the first season, in fact the whole series is based off of a freak. It is no different from Birds. They even have the same producers and whatnot, they are practically spin-off to each other."

"Well, I can relate to Chloe having a huge crush on Clark. I mean, at least that freak is hot." Janet said.

"There are hot metas, Janet. You forget about the episode with Darkstrike."

"Oh yes, there are a lot of hot metas on that show." Like a long blonde hair, blue eyed beauty that is just beginning to live up to her mother's name... I shook away that thought. No one knows that I have a huge crush on Dinah Redmond from the show. For some reason, I do not really have a crush on Rachel Skarsten who plays Dinah on the show, but I like the character, which is just plain weird." We entered the parking lot of the complex where we usually parted. "See you tomorrow. Have fun watching your show tonight, and tell me how it went tomorrow, okay?"

"I always do." I said before I walked away and up the four flights of stairs to my house. There are elevators, but I prefer the stairs. I took the key out of my backpack and unlocked the door. 'Where's your brother,' you might be asking. Well, John Michael DiVarr was at basketball practice until about 6, then he works tonight from 6:30 until 11 when the teen dance club closes. He's sort of a teen bouncer. John is actually my half brother. We have different fathers, but my dad, Tom DiVarr never looked at John with anything but pride in his eyes. It was Tom who put John to bed as a toddler and it was Tom whom John called 'Daddy' without a doubt otherwise. Tom DiVarr died 2 years ago. That was when we moved from our house on a different part of town.

I put my backpack on the back of the nearest chair in the dining room and walked to the bathroom to weigh myself. I kicked the wall with my now bare feet and howled in pain. "Dumb ass." I murmured bitterly. I looked at the scale again where the weight stayed the same. "Fat ass." I murmured in the same tone. I looked into the mirror in horror. Staring back at me was a brunette hair, greed eyed average girl from Seattle. Her glasses, thin-framed, needed a good washing. She needed contacts was the problem. She wasn't really fat. She was average. She wasn't overweight any for her height of 5'7, but close in her opinion. I sighed and walked out of the bathroom.


Later that night, I was sprawled on the floor of the living room. My mother had come home while I was vacuuming the carpet, then she left again for her second job. She too, will be home late. I listened as Ian Abercrombie told the viewers of the Birds of Prey. Then, after he said, 'I am Alfred Pennyworth, and this is their story', I watched as Helena Kyle walked with Dinah Redmond before they suddenly got jumped. This was, I am guessing, a routine robbery.

"Big mistake." Helena said, beating the men up. Dinah was fighting one of the larger men, and then he grabbed her and carried her a little into an ally nearby. Dinah kicked at a place the sun doesn't shine and he dropped her. I cheered and sat up for a split second. Helena was shown beating up the rest of the guys before they showed Dinah again, just barely fighting this man off. Oh no! I thought as Dinah was hit to the ground. I felt anger, not knowing why. I knew it was just a show, but the pain she seemed to feel made me sick to my stomach. Helena came to her aid and kicked him so hard he flew towards the camera, but instead of the angle showing him flying into a Dumpster or some wall, he flew through the screen and I rolled over just before he hit the ground. He landed with a thud and looked unconscious. I jumped up and looked for something to hit him with. I then looked up at the screen where Dinah and Helena were seeming to look at me, but not really seeing me.

"What the hell? Another wall walker?" Dinah asked.

"No, that can't be." Helena asked.

"I don't get it... He just disappeared, and he was a few feet away from the wall. That is strange."

"That is New Gotham." Helena murmured as if that sentence alone explained everything. Dinah walked up to where the man had disappeared (to them), and touched the screen. Her hand went through, and I gasped. Quite loudly. I looked over at the man just as he woke up and started to grab at me. I screamed. I jumped and got away from him as he tried to get at me. He tripped on the pillow I was laying on, and his head hit against the coffee table. He wasn't knocked out, but he was having troubles getting up. "You hear that?" Helena asked, as Dinah withdrew her hand from the screen. She then put it through again.

"Someone screamed. Helena, look at this, my hand... It is going through." Dinah said in both a confused and a scared voice.

"Bring it back in before it pulls you to where ever the screaming came from. We don't know if you will end up," she said.

"You actually think-" Dinah started to ask.

"It's a portal." I heard a voice say. I realized it was Oracle/Barbara Gordon into their comm. sets. "Or at least... from what I am hearing, I think it is." She said to them.

"How can that be?" Helena asked. I heard Aimee Allen's 'I'd Start a Revolution if I Could Get Up in the Morning'. The man slowly looked around confused. I stayed where I was as I watched him try to figure out who I was and where he was. I saw him look at me with death in his eyes. I picked up the only thing that I was close to that I could throw at him if necessary, which was the lamp. I slowly unplugged it. He smiled and jumped at me to scare me (and it worked), then he came at me. I threw the lamp, but he hit it away with a metal pole that came from his wrist. AH! My head screamed. The lamp shattered in the air, and the metal rod seemed to spike the ground next to me. I picked up the pole but my hand immediately got hot, and I had no choice but to drop it. I wonder if Dinah is confused about her attacker going through a portal. Is she curious about where he went? The odd thoughts left my mind as quickly and as suddenly as it had entered it. I saw that the man was looking at me with a weird glint in his eyes.

"Looks like you've run out of options." he said in a low deep voice. Why does he sound like he came out of the movie Mulan instead the TV show Birds of Prey? I asked myself. As if on queue, I hear another voice.

"Not yet." The metal rod flew from where I had dropped it and it hit him. He seemed truly unconscious. When he fell, I saw Dinah behind him. She moved to her left a little and I saw Helena trying to touch the screen, but nothing happened. "Are you okay?" I only nodded to the blonde, clenching my fists as my hands wanted to touch her hair. I wanted to hug her and say thanks for saving me. Dinah turned around but saw only the TV. "Where's the portal?" she asked me.

"Portal?" I asked as I made my eyes snap from her lips to her eyes. Not helping. "Oh, I don't know." A portal brought Dinah here. How did THAT happen? I asked myself. This can't be happening, but odd things always seem to happen around my house. Maybe I am just dreaming. All of those weird things that have happened to me over the last year and a half: the fire that suddenly stopped burning things until I put it out, the picture on the wall that moved not long after I finished reading the first Harry Potter book (it stopped moving after I looked away and counted to 10), the craters on the moon forming the face of a man that smiled at me, the twin in the mirror... small, but odd things that have happed to me that I thought were hallucinations. My mother never knew about them, but I think John knows something is wrong with me, because he was there when the fire started in the kitchen.

"Dinah?" I heard coming from the TV. I turned towards the TV as did Dinah. Helena was looking around for her. "Is everything okay out there? Can you hear me? I can't get through." She said.

"Everything is fine." she replied, but Helena didn't seem to hear her. Dinah tried to put her hand through the TV, but she only hit the screen. "Ouch. I can't get through. The portal must have closed, but why can I still see her?" she murmured. I watched as Helena put two fingers to her earpiece.

"The portal closed, Barbara. I need you to get down here. It has Dinah on the other side, and I can't get in to help her or even se if she needs my help." she said.

"I'll be right there."

"I just tried to go in after her, but I couldn't even put my hand through like she had done. I don't even know who attacked us, how the portal got there, and where it lead before it took Dinah. Plus-"

"We don't know who screamed." Barbara finished. I looked down at the floor where the man slept. He had a couple of nasty bumps, and I felt bad for hurting him, but in all fairness he tried to hurt me first. Dinah looked over at me just as the scene changed to them being in the Clocktower. I pinched my arm and felt it really hurt. Oh my-

"And then she just disappeared, Barbara."

"I've never heard of any portals ever opening up. Do you know who attacked you? Maybe if you find them, they can direct us to a way to open this portal again."

"No." Helena said. I looked up at Dinah, who stared at me.

"I have to go back. Did you make the portal?" I shook my head. "Tell me... What happened before I got here? What were you doing?"

"I- I was watching... you." She frowned. "Beat him." I pointed at the man on the floor. She looked at me as if I was crazy. "I was watching TV."

"What are you talking about? I wasn't on TV." She said softly.

"Yes, you are. You are on TV every Wednesday. Nine o'clock." Dinah looked as if she was beginning to regret saving me. Oh god. Even her 'she's nuts' look was sexy. "You are a TV character."

"I am standing here aren't I?" She was getting angry with me, I could tell. I walked around the body on the floor and around Dinah, smelling a mix of lilies and mint gum. I reached behind the TV and unplugged it. I showed her the plug. She looked from me to the TV.

"You were in the TV. I was watching you IN the TV, as you are now watching Helena and Barbara talk about you in the TV right now... Well, before I unplugged it. You aren't looking through some portal you think I somehow created, you were watching TV." I said. I sounded as if I was talking to a child, which made her get a little pissed. She glared at me and I felt bad for saying what I did. I plugged the TV in after a minute of silence and saw it was on commercial break. The commercial for VERB.com came on, and it showed all the characters from the WB.

"That's me! But-"

"No, that isn't you. That is Rachel Skarsten, who plays Dinah Redmond/Lance on Birds of Prey." I corrected her. I got another glare. Please don't look at me like that. I silently pleaded her, happy that she was only a touch telepath and could only hear my thoughts if I was touching her...

"She does not play me. She just looks like me." She corrected me.

"Meta humans, New Gotham, Batman, Joker, even Black Canary do not exist." I told her. It was probably a mistake mentioning her mother along with those that aren't real. "Neither does Dinah Redmond, Black Canary's daughter." I said. She took a large step towards me, and we were face to face now. Too close. She was too close. I noticed she was a little bit taller than me, but I wasn't intimidated by it. I just wanted to step back, but I held my ground regardless.

"Then who are you looking at right now, huh? Who the Hell do you think you are talking to... Right now in your face?"

"Look, I'm sure that in the TV, where you are... I don't exist, okay?"

"You're whacked. I am just as real as you are, and I don't l know what you are talking about with this TV thing, okay?"

"I have been watching your life along with Barbara's, Helena's Reese's and Dr. Quinzel... You don't really know her, but she isn't one you'd want to meet anyway. She's-"

"Point?" Dinah cut off the mindless babble I was about to say. She looked like she was trying not to show anything but anger. She looked as if she was trying not to laugh at how nervous I was getting.

"My point is, I have watched your lives every Wednesday for the last four and a half to five months like clockwork. I know many things about you, and how would I know about those things if I have never met you?"

"You could do research." she said as if I was stupid.

"No offence, chick," I said, using Janet's word, "but why would I spend an hour each week for months researching a 16 year old runaway? You have nothing that I want," I lied. She just watched me. "Look, what ever happened, I don't think the portal's going to open up. At least not tonight. Something tells me that all we can do is figure out where to put Hot Rod here, and watch the TV as Helena and Barbara try to figure out where you went. We both know that after a while Helena will get angry that she can't figure it out, Barbara will get all Einstein on us, and start to techno-babble... still not finding the answer. Then Huntress will go to Detective Reese and ask for his help and together, or even Huntress by herself will go find some of those guys that attacked the two of you, beat them into giving answers of your whereabouts, but getting blank answers from all of them.... Then she will go to Gibson to see if he's heard any meta creepy news. After she finds nothing from him, Helena and Barbara will discuss how much they miss you, and even Helena will admit how worried she is for you while they are on the roof. There will be big blocked letters saying TO BE CONTINUED." I explained, walking away from Dinah's closeness and wrapping a cloth around the rod to get it out of the floor. "Mom's going to kill me. 'Sorry mom, but a meta creep I have dubbed Hot Rod was just in the neighborhood... to kill me. Yeah Mom, I'll clean this up. As soon as I find out how to get these people from the TV back to where they belong...' " I was muttering to myself.

"Hot Rod..." Dinah said after a minute of silence. "That's funny." I heard a beautiful giggle escape her lips as I found some bandages and a wet rag for her wounds from the fight. Then I filled a small bowl with water. trying to figure out what happened and how, I handed Dinah the wet rag, and she held it to the scrape from the fight that was on her shoulder. The commercials went off and we watched the screen in silence. Then, after a few minutes, I used all of my strength to put Hot Rod into a sitting position, so I didn't feel so bad about hurting him. In his sitting position, be looked as if he was just watching the show with us.

"Nothing, I found nothing. The portal never opened up again and I'm really worried, Barbara. Where the Hell'd she go?" Helena asked, kicking the wall closest to her in frustration. Barbara and Helena were in the training room, Helena was hitting at the larger punching bag. Dinah looked over at me with confusion on her face. I looked quickly in her direction, but the thumping of my heart made me look away. My eyes went back to the screen where Helena started to get violent with the punching bag.

"She thinks she let you down somehow." I said to Dinah. "She's regretting letting you go after Hot Rod." I said in a low voice. She didn't say anything. I wasn't really expecting her to.

"Calm down, Helena." Barbara said calmly. She started techno-babbling about the possibilities. "There was a small warm spot in the air where Dinah had disappeared when we last checked last night. It didn't feel like anything major, just room temperature."

"But it was freezing outside."

"Yes, I think she went into a room. Into a house or a building of some sort, so at least we know she's probably inside somewhere, and not freezing her butt off. She didn't bring a very heavy jacket. Style before comfort, she got that from you." Barbara said the last sentence in a murmur.

"So, now we have to figure out who's home she disappeared into."

"My home..." I said slowly, sighing. I hated to see the woman of my dreams so unhappy in my presence. I hated to see her unhappy ever. "How's the arm?" I asked her. Dinah looked up at me and our eyes met.

"Still attached." She replied.

"Ha ha." I said sarcastically.

"It's not bleeding anymore." She said, getting serious now.

"I'm sorry I am not much of a medical expert. If, heaven forbid, you get hurt again, I would only be able to give you a couple of bandages and another wet rag. I might be able to stop the bleeding, but that's about sums up my abilities." I said shrugging. She nodded.

"I'm okay, thank you."

"Thank you for saving my life." I said. Then I chuckled after a though occurred to me. Dinah's eyes watched me with curiosity. "I'm sorry. It's just, that sounded like that one scene from Beauty and the Beast." I explained to her. "You know, after the wolves attack them?" Dinah thought this over for a slit second and nodded again.

"Yeah, I guess it did." she agreed. We sat in silence for a second. "Hey! You wouldn't be calling me a beast by chance?"

"Hell no. You are the furthest from the Beast. But I am not saying you'd be Belle, either. Perhaps you'd be... that feather duster." She laughed.

"And from what I know about you... which isn't much, I'd say you'd be Chip." I smiled. We went back to watching the episode. Helena was asking Reese for his help in finding Dinah. "You know, not that I believe that I'm watching TV, but I think it is amazing what people say about you when you aren't there."

"Never got a chance to experience that." I watched Jesse Reese beat around the bush with asking Helena on a date. I sighed frustrated. "You know, Mac... Oh just kiss her already! What the Hell are you waiting for!!" I said. Dinah watched me. "Sorry. It p-" I looked at the screen.

"You hear that?" Reese asked.

"It's the voice that screamed before Dinah disappeared." Helena said. "I wish I knew where she was so I could have a serious talk with her. I'm beginning to think she's responsible for taking Dinah."

"I didn't take Dinah! I didn't create the damned 'portal' as you call it either." I said heatedly. I looked over at Dinah. "Sorry. It makes me mad that Reese stands in front of Helena, and everyone knows they are going o get together soon..."

"How do you know that?"

"Look at her. Helena's got 'kiss me' written all over her face. She practically wrote the song for Six Pence None the Richer." I said. Dinah watched the screen and nodded.

"I never noticed that before."

"It's so obvious. They both have that look in their eyes that says, 'kiss me, kiss me, take me.' They should just get it over with." Reese on the screen looked up at the air and frowned.

"Kiss me, Kiss me, Take me? Well, I hate to think what they are talking about now... It's weird how we can still hear her. We are nowhere near the portal." Helena murmured to Reese.

"You think she opened a portal closer to us now?"

"Anything is possible. Right now, I want to kick some ass and see what the losers who attacked us last night knew. So, you in or you out?"

"In." Reese decided.

"Can we turn this off?" Dinah asked me. I looked into her eyes and she seemed to shift uncomfortably in her seat on the other arm of the couch.

"Sure." I said. I took the remote and clicked the TV off.

"I have a feeling it will go just as you predicted. Has already so far." I realized that she was right. I think I was more surprised at that than she was. I looked down at Hot Rod.

"We're going to have to hide him." I said, touching his head wound, then went to get another wet rag. I put it over the bumps on his head and he awoke. "I'm sorry about that, but you sort of started it." I said to him. He got up slowly and I moved away from him.

"Who the Hell are you? How did I get here? All I remember is us fighting, and then nothing." He said, pointing at Dinah.

"Nothing?" I asked him. his head snapped towards me.

"Well, I remember what happened before the fight."

"I see." Was all I said. "You uh, attacked me."

"I had reasons to." he said. "Why did I have to attack you? That's right. You were the one she's been looking for." He remembered.

"What?" Dinah asked.

"Harley?" I asked at the same time.

"Yesss..." The poor man was so confused. He was probably still trying to figure out how he got there and what he was to do next.

"You can't attack me. Cyndi wouldn't be helped that way." The man froze. Where did that come from? Who the Hell is Cyndi? I asked myself. The man shook his head and walked away, out the door and into the night. "What the Hell was all that?" I asked out loud. Then I shrugged it off before I realized he might cause trouble, and him being meta... "Shit! I have to get him back to-"

"The show?" Dinah asked quietly. I closed my eyes painfully.

"I was going to say New Gotham." I said just barely above a whisper.

"Oh don't say that for my sake." She said. She was angry again. "So, who's... IDEA was I?" She asked.

"I-I don't know." I admitted.

"You should if you have watched my life for the last 4 months like clockwork!" She snapped.

"Look, Dorothy, you are not in New Gotham anymore. That much I know. You are in Seattle, Washington in an apartment that is now trashed because somehow a METAHUMAN from a place that isn't supposed to exist decided he has to kill us." I bit back. She looked surprised. I heard both of our stomachs rumble at around the same time. "You are real. At least, you wouldn't be sitting next to me like this if you weren't. I made a mistake. You eat, sleep, breathe... Just like me, okay? Don't get angry." I pleaded. I wanted to kick myself for sounding so frightened of her... so weak in front of her, but I couldn't help it. She made me weak in the knees as it was.

"I'm sorry-"

"Long night. I'll make us something to eat, and we will crash in my room. We can figure the rest out tomorrow, okay?" I said, not letting her finish her apology.

"I shouldn't have snapped at you. You are just as confused as I am about all of this if what you say is true... that you didn't create the portal."

"I wish I knew how. I would have let you go by now. Both of you." I said. I walked into the kitchen and started to get out pots and pans. "You thirsty?"

"Yes, actually I am." Dinah replied, following me. "You know, I never caught your name."

"I never threw it." I said simply.

"Ha ha." She said, repeating my sarcastic remark a few minutes ago.

"Noel. Noel DiVarr." I told her, looking over my shoulder at her. She had sat down in a chair in the area between the dining room and the kitchen. She was watching my movements, which made me feel self-conscience.

"Well, you know a lot about me, so you know my name. So, tell me about yourself." I washed my hands as I thought over her request.

"What do you want to know?" I finally asked as I turned off the water.

"Well, let's start with hobbies."

"Well, beating up a meta human with the ability to shoot metal rods from his wrists isn't one of them. I like to write. Stories, songs... Some poems, but I suck at them." I chuckled and she laughed a little. I took out some raw hamburger and rummaged through the fridge looking for other things to make with it. I was hungry. I hadn't eaten dinner yet, and I was not sure about Dinah, so I assumed she hadn't eaten either. (I didn't know if that was where they went before Helena and Dinah were attacked.)

"I'm sure they aren't that bad." Dinah said slowly. As I made a burger patty, I shook my head hopefully telling her that I wasn't all that great at it. She only laughed again, a sound I loved hearing, and insisted "I'm not lying."

"There once was a girl named Noel, her friends thought they knew her so well, then along came Hot Rod with his tempting bod, and she beat him up, isn't that swell?" I rhymed off the top of my head. "That's about as good as they get." I told her, turning on the burners.

"Not bad for being off the top of your head." She said, giggling at my rhyming abilities (or lack thereof).

"I like writing songs and stories better." I told her.

"Isn't a song a poem with music?" She asked me.

"To those trying to make a quick buck." I said. Dinah frowned thoughtfully. "I usually have the tune in my head first, and after a while a few lyrics float to my consciousness and there, I got a song."

"Never done it that way... well, I've never completed a song before." she admitted. "Okay that is not true. For a couple of hours a few people were putting a band together, and they asked me if I wanted to be their keyboardist, since I was the only one who knew how to play one. Together we wrote some angsty song, but when we were trying to put the music to the lyrics, there was a fight over who sung lead. Then, my foster mother told me it was time for dinner. When I went back outside to check on them, the band had split up, but everyone was still friends." It almost sounded like she was babbling instead of me this time.

"Really? So, what did you name the band?" I asked as I put a couple of hamburger patties in a pan.

"Keep in mind we were 10. We had decided to call ourselves 'The Broken Records'." I nodded my head.

"Well, there's something I didn't know about you. Your past before New Gotham isn't explored much." I continued to go through my kitchen. (I was the one who made dinner for us most nights, since I like cooking more than my mother and my brother do. I used to cook with my father each night since he loved it, but... Well, the kitchen is now mine.)


A half an hour later, I was setting the table for two, but dished out four plates of angel hair pasta with a cheese sauce and hamburger patties. "How is it?" I asked Dinah after she took the first bite. She nodded her head. I smiled and took a couple of bites myself. I frowned into my plate and all I saw was fat. I shook my head a couple of times and it became the delicious meal I made once more. Then I ate the rest of my burger patties.

"So, why did you make 8 patties instead of just 4?" Dinah asked me after a while to start a conversation.

"It's for my mother and my brother for whenever they get home. They both work late tonight, and when they get home they can just pop them in the microwave and have dinner. If I don't make them extras, then they just go to bed without eating." I replied, putting my plate on the counter and pulling saran wrap over the plate. After checking the clock (11:13), I sat back down at the table.

"Very considerate of you."

"Yeah. I just don't like the thought of them going to bed hungry, you know?" She nodded. She put her fork down on her plate, which was half empty. "You done?"


"Lemme wrap that up for ya' so you can have it later... If you will be here later." I said taking her plate and wrapping that up as well. I took out 4 note cards and a permanent marker. I wrote the names on all of the plates except for Dinah's plate, in which I put 'Also mine -Noel' in blocked letters. I put them all into the refrigerator and started cleaning up. Dinah insisted on helping me out. Then, I went into the living room where I was surprised to see that the whole in the floor from Hot Rod's metal pole was gone. There was still the issue of the lamp he broke... We picked up the broken pieces. "My mom is big on the truth as am I. In my experience, I have gotten in less trouble if I told her the truth. Of course, I can't tell her the truth this time, or she'll think I was telling stories, as I am famous around the house for doing, so I will have to tell her that I..." I trailed off, thinking of a good lie that would sound like the truth. Just bumping into it wouldn't shatter it, unless I was cleaning or dusting it in the kitchen, and then I dropped it... I wrote that down on a piece of paper and signed my name and taped it to the outside of the door. Then I added the message about dinner in the refrigerator.

I noticed that Dinah was starting to get as tired as I was. I motioned for her to follow me and we went into my room. I took one of the four blankets out of my closet and spread it on my floor, and then I got a couple more and spread them out and then I got underneath them. "Oh, you don't have to give up your bed for the night. I am happy to just be on the floor."

"You're my guest." I stalled her, but Dinah didn't budge. I sighed and then got up. I grunted as I took the blankets off of my bed and leaned the mattress against the wall so there was more room on the floor. "There, that way we both wont feel guilty." I said as I spread the blankets out and watched as Dinah lay in the bed I made first. I went to the light switch and paused. "Will the humming of my computer bother you?" I asked, taking off my glasses and putting them on my desk.

"The DELPHI is worse. I will most likely be able to ignore it." "Okay. It sort of comforts me in a weird way, so I keep it on." I was about to click off the lights again when I turned towards her. "Anything else you need before I start snoring? Once I am asleep, there isn't any hope for you..." She grinned and the butterflies in my stomach took flight.

"No, thank you. I'll be fine until the morning."

"Well, bathroom's the next door to the right. Don't go left or you'll run into a gorilla in boxer shorts." I murmured sleepily. Before I could turn out the lights, they flicked off. "Huh?" I asked, squinting in the darkness.

"That was me." Dinah admitted.

"Uh- Okay." I said. "Good night, Dinah." I walked over her and then lay down in my made up bed.


I heard the blaring of my alarm clock at 6:15 the next morning, and I was surprised to hear the blaring stop after 6 beeps. I looked up and saw Dinah was at my desk looking at a couple of the files on my computer. She was reading what looked like one of my fan fictions. "What is that file called?" I asked a little alarmed. I squinted to see the title, but I used small fonts when I type my stories.

"Uh, it's called 'Never Again', I think." She replied, handing me my glasses. I sighed in relief. She looked at me with a look I couldn't interpret. It seemed almost as if she was trying to tell me something. Almost like an apology, but there was something else in that look that I wasn't sure of. Anyway, 'Never Again' was a story where Dinah and Barbara get into a fight after she tried to kill Al Hawk and the fight gets a little physical. She doesn't hurt Barbara, but Barbara hit Dinah. In anger, she makes a few items rattle, but she controls it and leaves the Clocktower to calm down. In the end, something happens to Barbara and Dinah is the only one there to save her... and she does, proving to Barbara that she can trust Dinah. I watched Dinah and she went still.

"How long have you been awake?" I asked her, sitting up to take a better look at her. She seemed to have been up all night.

"Since 4:30." she replied with a small shrug.

"Why were you up so early?"

"I'll point a finger at the time differences. Only thing I can think of. I mean, there were no real thoughts that would have kept me awake... except for the fact that I somehow went through this weird portal last night and I cannot seem to get back through. No, what would wake me up at all hours of the morning?" She asked bitterly, mostly to herself. I didn't say a word. "I'm sorry, Noel." She said after she looked at me.

"It's alright." I said in a barely audible voice. "Where you are, in New Gotham I don't exist, or even someone who looks like me." I said. "But you are real, that was a mistake I made last night, okay?" Dinah didn't say anything. I looked over at the clock. I had and hour and a half before school started, which meant only an hour to get ready and get breakfast. I had to get to school. I looked over at Dinah and I know she was thinking the same thing. "You feel like being my guest today at school? I could see if I could find you a Dutch foreign exchange student like costume..." I laughed at the thought, mostly as a way to clear the tension in the room.

"What about those who also watch the show every week?" She asked.

"Good point. I don't want to have to leave you home alone all day, though I'm sure Blue's Clues will keep you entertained... not. Um... I have more books than I do brain cells, so I'm sure you'll find something. We have internet, but connection is so slow you'll be having your midlife crisis before you get to the home page. But if you are patient, and since you are listening to my babbling, I assume you are, then it will be no problem. You can read any document in any folder except for the ones labeled 'J.D' which is my brother's, 'Marie', which is my mother's, and 'Curiosity killed the cat' which is my only private folder." I saw Dinah's face change to the one she had on her face less than 5 minutes ago. The apologetic one, with a little something else mixed in. I chose to ignore it... I was looking too much into things or I was having hallucinations again. "Okay, I think I am done babbling. I will go get dressed and then we will get some breakfast. Anything else I forgot to mention?" I asked her.

"I'm sure you'll think of it and tell me over breakfast." Dinah told me. I smiled a little shyly.

"Sorry about my constant babbling. I don't get company often, and when I do, they are really here to see John. Not that I care too much, but- Okay, yeah that bothered me. To know someone was only my friend to get close to my brother... Okay, leaving the room now." I said in mid-babble. Dinah laughed as I left the room.


"Noel, what is your big hurry today?" I didn't reply to Janet's question, mainly because I didn't have a good enough lie for her. "Noel, wait up!" I did, though, reluctantly slow down. "You act as if you have a hot date tonight to get ready for." Janet said. She started wheezing as she caught up with me.

"No, I just have to get home." I lied. We entered the parking lot where we usually part ways.

"You didn't even babble to me about last night's episode."

"That's because my TV was having technical difficulties and I couldn't finish watching it, but I am guessing the episode ended how I predicted it would..." I murmured. I'm glad at least that part wasn't a lie.

"Well, don't leave me hanging, tell me what happened!"

"Dinah and Helena got attacked on their way to the Clocktower. Then Dinah and her attacker were sucked into a portal of some sort. I'm sure the rest of the episode was spent trying to find her in Helena's own weird ways. I think it is a to be continued episode." I summarized.

"Wow, I'll have to watch it next week." She told me, purposely stalling. "Well, see you tomorrow. Let me know how your hot date went."

"I don't have a hot date!" I insisted. That only got an eye roll and a shrug. Hot... yes. Date... I wish. I thought to myself as I walked up to my apartment. I turned the doorknob to see it was still locked. I then heard footsteps come to the door ad it opened. Dinah looked at me as if to say 'Finally!'.

"It was boring in here alone all day." She said.

"Told you it would be. Your only choice is a repeat of today, or go Dutch." I said to her.

"What's with you and the Dutch?!" she asked me as she dragged me into the apartment.

"My grandfather was Dutch. My father is half Dutch, and I am one forth Dutch, that is what's with me and the Dutch." I explained to her.

"Well, I would be the worst Dutch person in the world. I'm not much of an actress. Apparently, Rachel Skarsten does that for me." she said. I sighed. I couldn't tell what she was actually feeling about that statement.

"So, what did you do all day" I asked as a way to switch the subjects.

"I read those stories. They are all really good."

"Thank you." I tried not to go red in the face. Some of the stories I wrote were not to be read by the prudish.

"Then I watched Nick Jr. for an hour. Then I watched the last 10 minutes of Bear in the Big Blue House as he sang a goodbye song with the moon. Then I had yogurt and fruit for lunch... Oh yeah, Hot Rod came back and almost killed me."

"What?" I asked alarmed. "Are you alright?"

"Yeah, I'm fine. He tried to get information on what happened last night. Said he had gone to the bus and train stations and asked to get a ticket back to New Gotham. The ticket holder for the train got confused and the girl for the buses laughed at him, saying she liked the show as well..." she trailed off. I walked to the phone to find there weren't any messages, then I dialed my mother's work number.

"Nervous Habits, this is Kent. How may I help you?" I heard a voice crack a little on the other end.

"Hey Kent, my mother there?" I asked him.

"Yeah hold on." I heard his heavy sigh. If I weren't madly in love with Dinah, I would have fallen for Kent. He's a cute geek that I can't help but love to annoy. Kent doesn't like me all that much because I use the number that calls the company instead of my mother's work office number. The company number was easier to remember. Now, even though I know both numbers by heart, I still call the company phone, just to piss off Kent since he was the only one bothered by it.

"Hello?" Asked a shy voice that I knew so well.

"Hey mom? This is Noel." I said uncertainly.

"Hi honey. I knew it was you." she said.

"I was just making sure. You sounded sort of confused about who was on the phone."

"Well, your voice sounds different today. A little happier. Not that I am complaining."

"I am, I guess." I said. "I was calling to let you know that I was home."

"Thank you for checking in."

"Yeah. Um, I know it is a school night, but would it be okay if my friend er-" I held my hand over the receiver and pleaded for help with my eyes.

"Tessa." Dinah spat out shrugging. I nodded.

"Yeah, I'm here mom. I dropped the phone. Sorry. Like I was saying, I was wondering if my friend Tessa could come over and spend the night. She's having some family troubles and her mother already said yes." I told her. I didn't like lying to my mother, but I had to get a way to keep Dinah here for one more night without sneaking her around the house.

"What kind of family problems?" my mother asked. I froze for a split second, then I relaxed.

"Well her- sister Helena and her mother Mrs. Gordon are fighting a lot lately. Something about an online baking business." I lied. I shooed Dinah away as she started to laugh, putting her head on her arm as she leaned against the wall to silence it.

"Yeah, you can have her over as long as she feels she needs to be there. Just make sure you get what you need to do done, got me?" I tugged at Dinah's shirt to et her attention. Then I nodded, telling her she could stay. She smiled.

"Thanks. Yeah, I'll get my homework and chores done."

"Uh, no drooling over *NSYNC on my carpet." She teased me. She knew I didn't like *NSYNC, but I didn't hate them as people. They must be doing something right if they are so popular, even if it is only being good looking (which I doubt that's the case... not all people are stupid).

"Uh, no *NSYNC. I promise." I said, almost sticking a finger down my throat to gag.

"Okay then. John will be home later tonight. At 6, as you already know, so whatever you make for you and your guest for dinner, make sure there's enough for him too."

"Yeah, I always do."

"All right honey. Love you."

"Love you too, Mom. Bye."

"Bye." I hung up the phone and looked at Dinah, who was staring at a picture of my dad and me. She looked at me and tried not to laugh.

"Online baking business..." She said. "I'm not sure why I'm surprised you knew about that." She said slowly. "It was a good cover up, though. Thanks."

"No problem. My mother said you can stay here as long as you think you need to, so that gives us until at least after the weekend to work this out." I told her. She sighed and I frowned in thought.

"The 'fanfiction' as you call it, I think it is quite good." She said to change the subject. "Really good, actually."

"Just somethin' I do, you know? I can't control what happened in my life, so I try to take control of someone else's life through a story." I said. "At least then I had control over something."

"Well you do a good job. I mean, if we fight someone, we have a reason to fight them, and it isn't just because we feel like it. I think you are good at what you do. You have a great imagination." I tried not to blush, but I knew my face was a little red. I walked into my room to put my backpack away. I turned around and jumped when I saw Dinah there, not far behind me.

"Geez. You walk softly." I said trying to get my heart to start beating at its normal speed again.

"Part of training." she shrugged.

"Well, there's something I didn't know about you." I told her. She smiled. "What do you wanna do? I don't think I'm that great of an entertainer, but at least we can be bored together." Dinah's left eyebrow rose. Then she sat down on the floor where her bed was the night before. She used the folded up blankets as a pillow.

"Tell me about yourself. Did you grow up here in Seattle?" I nodded, not really knowing why she'd want to know much about me if within days she'd go back to New Gotham and never see me or know of me again.

"Yeah, I lived in central Seattle when I was younger. My dad worked in construction. He was a painter actually. So, after a long time we moved to an area near SeaTac. In a house actually, but we had to sell the house when my father died two years ago. I was 13 and a half years old then. Okay, so it has been almost 3 years since he died... He uh..." I swallowed. Dinah looked away from me as if she hated to see people cry. "He fell off of his ladder when he was painting the 2nd story of a house in Lynnwood." I told her softly.

"I'm sorry."

"Yeah... Thanks." I sighed. "So we moved here and we've pretty much been here since." I murmured. "My dad and I were close, and after his funeral I got to thinking. I realized that I clung to my father... I found I clung too hard and if he hadn't died I'd still be clinging to him. When it sunk in that I'd never see him again, I had started to look for things to cling to. I didn't want to cling to people anymore. I cling to things. For a while, it was food. Now, it is my stories. After I had gained 45 lbs., I started to lose the weight and then I started writing more. Then," I stopped, looking up at Dinah.

"Go ahead. Then?" She prompted.

"Then Birds of Prey came on and I was inspired to write from things I feel the show 'teaches' us. You know, the morals. Trust, learning to love yourself and your differences, love... I wrote stories on all of those things and more... and I haven't stopped." I knew I was rambling, but Dinah said she wanted to know more about me, so there it was. "I used to have dreams about my father and I could never figure out if they were real or not." Dinah looked up at me from the carpet.

"How is that?"

"They were mostly repeats of the day except I would see his ghost on the couch, in a chair or walking around the apartment. He was always watching me, the only one in the house most times. I could never understand if I was truly seeing his ghost, or if I was just dreaming I was... I found out that the dreams were fake one day when I thought over it for a long time. I found out that in every dream, my father had the same look on his face. It was this creepy evil smile that sort of scared me after I thought if it. My father has never had that look on his face before- Actually, once he has had that face, but it was Halloween and he went trick or treating with me as Dr. Jekyle and Mr. Hyde." I chuckled at the memory. "I never seemed to see the smile before, but all of a sudden when I remembered all of the dreams it seemed to pop into my head." I stopped talking and sighed again.

"You remind me of Helena. Well, Helena seemed to detach herself from things, unlike you, but she doesn't think people will be around long enough to cling to them." Dinah ran a hand through her hair and then she watched me. "So what story was your favorite to write?" Subject change. I thought. Thank you.

"I think I enjoyed writing 'Mysterious Eyes'. It was the one where Reese and Helena finally get together, before the Reunion with Cal the Chameleon." I told her. "You know, the way Cal died was almost like the way Professor Quirl died in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone movie... You know with the disintegrating to dust thing. Cal even looked like him to, being bald and all. Give him a turban and hey, you've got Quirl Jr."

"You really know your movies."

"Just the ones about the abnormal, with differences to deal with and whatnot. Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Stigmata, The 6th Sense, E.T... stuff like that. Every once in a while I will rent a good movie unlike those ones that I think are cool. A League of Their Own, Now and then, 28 Days..." Dinah nodded.

"What is your favorite movie?"

"Practical Magic." I said without hesitation.

"Never saw it." I looked at her with mock shock.

"You've gotta." She smiled. I felt my breath catch in my throat.

"You own it?"

"No, but I'll rent it if you are interested in seeing it."

"Sure. It has Sandra Bullock in it, right?"

"Yeah, and Nicole Kidman, and Stockard Channing who was Rizzo in Grease." I said. She nodded her head.


"You want Crunchin' and Munchin'?" I asked her suddenly. Dinah frowned in confusion.

"What?" I smiled, trying not to laugh at her 'she's nuts' look.

"Crunchin' and Munchin'. You want a snack?" I translated.

"Oh." She looked at me. No, I'm fine." I know you are. I couldn't keep that thought from popping into my head.

"Well, I'm going to get some Cheetos." I informed her, leaving the room. I came back a couple of minutes later with a fun sized packet of chips to see Dinah hadn't moved, and she seemed into her thoughts. "I wish I knew where Hot Rod went. I'm almost expecting him to break down the door. I wish he'd make up his mind. you know kill me or run away and cause mayhem."

"You say that too casually. Should I be getting scared?" Dinah said looking away from her mark on the floor. I smiled with a Cheeto in my mouth.

"Meh-be." Dinah reached over and took Cheetos from the bag. "Thought you didn't want any." I said, reaching out to hand her the bag. She grabbed a couple more and shrugged.

"I lied."

"Okay." I said, shrugging myself.

"Can I ask you a question? It is sort of personal." She said.

"You can always ask a question. It all depends on my answer if you ask the wrong one." I said. Dinah frowned as if to say 'What is she talking about?'.

"Okay." She said slowly. "You said that you clung to food when your father passed away and then you lost the weight."

"Well, most of it." I said.

"You're not fat." she said seriously. "Listen to me. You are not fat." She repeated firmly.

"Okay." I whispered, frowning in confusion.

"I wanted to know... Did you lose weight the wrong way?"

"Binge and purge or starvation? Yes." Dinah seemed shocked by my blunt ways of putting it. "Sometimes both, but I mostly starved myself. My mother found out that I had stopped eating for about 5 and a half days straight. She forced me to eat the meal I had made that night for them and -you know- I cried. When she left for work after dinner... well you know. I didn't have that meal for long. A month of that went by and she had a friend of mine, who was actually John's girlfriend at the time, watch over me at lunch. We fought over it whenever she'd make me eat something for lunch. Then she graduated a year ahead of her class with her grades and whatnot and is now in the University of Washington. Anyway, before she left, she made me watch this movie she taped from the Hallmark channel about a girl who starved herself. By the end of the movie, this girl was so skinny..." I shuddered, thinking about the movie I watched. "It was heartbreaking. After the movie, my friend and I worked on a diet plan that I stuck to -for her mostly- and she signed us up for a water aerobics class and she went to every single one with me before she left for the University. Then she broke up with John, and I had to go alone until the class ended. By the time school started, I was back to wearing my normal sized clothes, but I still weighed more than I did the year before. I think it is fine now."

"You're not fat, Noel." She repeated. I smiled my thanks and I dumped the rest of the Cheetos into my mouth.


"So, who's your friend, Noel?" John asked as I watched him hang his coat up in the closet.

"This is my new friend Tessa Gordon." I lied.

"Gordon? Isn't that the name of the red headed chick from your favorite show?" He asked me.

"Yeah, which is sort of how we got to become friends. I asked her out of the blue if she had any relation to her, and she smiled and said 'I wish'." I rattled off. "I checked. No relation." I said. He smiled and gave me a look that said 'Uhhhh HUH' in the exact way Dinah had when Helena told her Al Hawk was a shoe shoplifter.

"So what's for dinner?" He asked, looking from me to Dinah and then back to me.

"We have leftover pasta from last night. Leftover meatloaf. Leftover Stovetop stuffing... You see a pattern here?" I asked sarcastically. John ruffled my hair. I pretended I was going to bite him but, he moved away from me too quickly before I had a chance to try. He then sat down next to Dinah and I sat across from her. I waited for John and Dinah to take their first bites, then I slowly took a bite. Dinah put her fork down and finished chewing.

"Okay, I have to ask. Why do you do that?" She asked me.

"Do what?" I asked alarmed.

"The 'waiting until everyone else takes a bite before you start eating' thing." she said. "It makes me think you're waiting for the Cyanide to kick in or something like that."

"Aw, if John has gotten immune to it, then you will be fine in a few days." I joked as a way to distract her from the question. John looked up from his plate at the sound of his name. "Yeah, I was talking about you." I added. Dinah laughed at John's added confusion.

"Quiet you, or I'm breaking out the baby pictures." He threatened in a low growl. He then went back to eating.

"Okay okay. Shutting up." I surrendered.

"No, I wanna see the baby pictures." Dinah said, looking interested.

"Over my dead body."

"That can be arranged." John cut in.

"I don't doubt it." I muttered under my breath." I took a couple of bites and looked up a couple of seconds later to see Dinah was staring at me. "What?" I asked after I swallowed.

"You still never answered my question."

"We don't know why she does that. She started doing that when she was 7 and started helping our dad cook in the kitchen every night. We just know that she only does it if she's the one who cooked or helped cook it." I shrugged as Dinah looked at me, asking without words if what he said was true. She laughed some, making me look up.

"Well, I still wanna see the baby pictures." John chortled into his plate.

"Eh heh heh heh- no." I said. Dinah just laughed harder. I would have shot myself out of a cannon to get the same result.

"Alright." She raised her hands in the air to the sides of her face to show her surrender.

"Psst! She's gonna cave in at any moment if you bug her enough." John said to Dinah in a loud whisper so I was sure to hear it. I felt myself get a little mad. He's flirting with her! I was very jealous, because John's charm got him any girl he wanted, and if he wanted Dinah... I mean not that I had any chance to be with her because she doesn't seem to float that way, but... I sighed loudly, playing along with them, and I rolled my eyes.


Later, Dinah and I were in my room lying on the floor in silence. I was doing Algebra 3 homework, and Dinah was reading a magazine I had yet to cut up into a collage. She put the magazine down and watched me work, which of course broke my concentration. I looked up at her. "Your brother seems so cool." I put my pencil down and stared at her.

"Not you too." I groaned, hopefully sounding playful. "Don't tell me you've fallen for him as well." I said, faking a joking tone, but I think jealousy dripped from those words as well. Weather or not it was detected, I don't really know. She didn't look like she could hear it in my voice.

"No-no. He'd great, but I don't love the guy. You seem close to him." She replied.

"We do alright, and we don't try to kill each other." I joked. Dinah chuckled, a sound I loved hearing. "Nah... it's just I have these friends who try to go through me to get close to John, and then they get mad at me if he isn't interested in them."

"No, I like someone else, but your brother's cool." I nodded, and picked up my pencil again, but I was still thinking about what she said. 'I like someone else, but your brother's cool.' I let the sentence repeat in my head for a second.

"Matt?" I asked her, thinking back to the Lady Shiva episode. She shook her head, which surprised me.

"Matt's a hottie, but we had nothing in common, remember? I kept having to go into his head to see what he likes." I nodded then looked away from her, and down at my math book. To hell with math. I thought. The question of who Dinah likes was killing me, but I didn't want to be nosy. She's only known me for a couple of days... actually she'd known me for about 24 hours. Also, I didn't want to get hurt while hearing her talk about some guy who'd stolen her heart just as quickly as she's stolen mine. I sighed and went back to the paper before me. Two more problems and I can put this shit away. I thought to myself as I wrote out the equation. "I have a couple of confessions for you." I looked up suddenly and frowned in thought.

"Really?" I let my right eyebrow rise. I put an equal sign on the paper, and sat up, giving Dinah my full attention as I closed the math book. My homework paper was used as the bookmark. I leaned my back against the wall and watched her, taking off my glasses, cleaning them, then putting them back on. She was looking at the computer and she sat up as well. Then she looked over at me.

"I read the documents in the folder called Curiosity killed the Cat." I felt my body stiffen.

"When?" I asked.

"At 4:55 this morning." She whispered. "It was before you told me not to. I read some of the poems in there, and I'm sorry." She added quietly.

"No, it's okay. So I guess you know my other secret then, eh?" I asked, faking a Lighthearted tone. In reality, I wanted to start crying from the humiliation.

"That you are in love with me? I sort of guessed that already..." She seemed to be thinking of something. "Anyway, confession number two... When I watched you sleep this morning, and when you told me about yourself, and when I saw you interacting with your brother... and when I watch the way you look at me, the 'kiss me' look was there and I... I think I fell in love with you too." My gaze, which was on the math book, shifted to her. Am I on crack, or did she just say... "I felt flattered last night when you tried so hard to impress me and to make me feel comfortable here, even after the way I kept snapping at you. I'm not used to that. I am usually the one with something to prove. You treat me like the best friend you haven't seen in years, but is always welcome in your heart." She smiled at me. "It's nice, and we have a lot more in common than Matt and I ever will. I want to try an 'us'. I have never... I mean, love is love no matter what race gender anything... Besides, I think your constant nervous babble is cute." She added. I was surprised to hear her say all of this, and I didn't know what to say. She wanted to try an 'us'? This 'us' will never work. She has to go back to the Birds of Prey soon... I decided to let my mind walk way from that thought. Even if the 'us' only lasted an hour I would still feel privileged.

"H-How did you know I was... you know."

"You had the same look you said Helena had when she looked at Reese when you sometimes looked at me."

"Oh." She smiled warmly as I blushed. Now what? We sat in silence. Then she asked, "Why don't you love Rachel Skarsten? How am I different from her?" I shrugged, trying to find my brain.

"Different things have happened to you, making your personalities a little different." I told her. "She's skilled in hockey, the cello and speaking Norwegian... among a bunch of other things, I'm sure. You're skilled at telepathy, telekinetics and computer things when you work with the DELPHI monitor system.." I tried to explain as I played with my glasses.

"And you are skilled at writing, you are skilled with words. And you are skilled with cooking." She added on. I nodded. Dinah sat up little straighter and we stared at each other, almost as if were having a contest. I won every time with John, and I knew Dinah wasn't used to looking people in the eyes from what I have seen on the show, so I sensed her discomfort after a few seconds. She still fought to keep her gaze. 'I love you, you said you loved me -or at least you think you do- which is good enough for me... Why are we holding back?' I thought to myself in a jumble. Dinah seemed to ask herself the same thing. Slowly, I scooted over towards her, but stopped when I was sitting right next to her. My heart pounded and I
felt like the preteens going in for their first kiss, slowly and feeling awkward. Finally I moved away some, losing my nerve. Dinah seemed to ask me why I was moving away then she got closer to me. Too close... but I wanted her to be that close to me. I have wanted it that way since she got there. Slowly our faces inched closer and we kissed. It wasn't really a kiss you'd see on romantic movies, but it wasn't just a peck, either. Our lips touched for a couple of seconds (Dinah seemed to stiffen at the contact), then we pulled away at the same time. She looked at me wide eyed.

"So that's why you do that." She said in a ragged voice.

"Do what?"

"The 'waiting before everyone else has taken a bite before you start to eat' ... Thing." She explained.

"Oh... yeah, that is why I do that. Did you see that? In my head?" I asked her in a whisper. In truth, my voice was caught in my throat as I tried to get my mind working again. I felt as if my mind was a computer that had shut down and rebooted. Only a geek would use that simile I know, but that was the truth. Dinah nodded.

"I didn't mean to." she said in the same whisper.

"I have nothing to hide. You know my biggest secret, and knowing that might just be a little scary, but I think I can deal with that. I don't mind you knowing about that." I told her.

"What about the hallucinations?"

"From lack of eating a year ago." I said quickly, my mind snapping to full alert. I didn't want to talk about them, even if I didn't mind her knowing of them. I didn't want her to change her mind about me.

"Some of them happened before as well as after all that."

"I don't know. Dizzy spells. I'm healthy, so there is no reason to worry about them."

"They just seem weird." She said, concerned.

"I know." Dinah reached over and grabbed my hand, and I took it with a smile on my face.


Dinah stayed home on Friday as well, and again she was bored silly. She was probably more so, since I had to take the bus to the movie rental store to get the movie Practical Magic. When I got home, she opened the door, grabbed the chest of my jacket, pulled me into the apartment, closed the door, and pushed me against it as she kissed me. The kiss was a lot different from the one we had shared the night before. This one was rougher, more urgent. For a second I was trying to figure out what was going on and - 'Oh my god, I don't know which tongue is mine!' I slowly dropped the video bag and put a hand on her waist. After a while, I got into it and I pulled away a little when Dinah bit my lip. "Dinah-" I said a little bit of a shocked voice .

"Sorry. I had to do that. I was uh-" she's blushing some now. "I was craving it." She admitted. I looked her up and down and saw she was wearing my T- shirt that says 'You laugh me because I'm different, I laugh at you because you're all the same' along with my smallest pair of jeans that I couldn't fit properly anymore. The shirt was a little big on her as well, but she still looked good in it.

"No, it's fine, that was just a little... unexpected. If I could come home to that every afternoon, my world would completely rock. So, what's with the sudden Tigress attitude?" I asked her as she stepped back and let me walk a couple steps away from the door, not that I didn't like being pinned there...

"Oh, I read a few fanfictions I didn't get a chance to read yesterday, and some from Curiosity Killed the Cat... and I saw what you wrote about me last night."

"I didn't type anything last night. I wrote a small story yesterday where I wrote you a poem, but that was in the middle of Creative writing. I haven't typed it up yet." I took of my backpack and showed her the story I wrote the day before.

"That is really odd." Dinah said, looking at the date and time I wrote on the top right corner.

"Yeah." I watched Dinah as she read the story. I felt edgy as I saw her lips sort of read the page. I took a step back and was near the door again, as if I was trying to get away from her a little bit so I wouldn't hear her laugh at it or something like that.

"This is even better." She said. I smiled as she looked up. She pinned me against the door, but this time, I felt the knob go into my back, but I kissed her anyway.

"Where'd you learn that from? Helena?" I asked as I rubbed my back. She looked at me with a hint of confusion. "Remember when you were caught skipping school your first day, and you went to No Man's Land? You know, the 'What the HELL are you doing here?' pin?" Dinah smiled and nodded her head at the memory.

"Yeah, that was her move, but the kiss was all me." I laughed. "You want Crunchin' and Munchin'?" She asked me suddenly with a twinkle in her eyes. My smile widened as she grabbed my hand and led me to the kitchen. She got a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos this time and we shared it as I spread my homework out on the table and Dinah got a Goosebumps: Choose Your Own Scare (or something like that) book that was in my room.


I woke up on Saturday morning to find I was the first to awaken this time. It was almost 9 o'clock. I set out some clothes for Dinah and then went to take an extra long shower. When I got back to my room, I knocked lightly, so I would be heard if she was awake, but it wouldn't disturb her if she wasn't.

"Safe." She replied. I walked in and Dinah was reading the book report I wrote the night before. She was in the clothes I left out for her which was the kitten t-shirt and a pair of black stretch pants. She looked up at me. "What time did you get up this morning?" She asked me.

"About a half an hour ago." I replied with a shrug. She grinned, looking back at the book report. "What?"

"You didn't read the book, did you?"

"Yes I did." I lied. "No, I didn't. I was writing a fanfiction then. I didn't feel like reading it." I admitted as Dinah's eyebrows rose. "It's sooooo BORING!!" I whined.

"Bad Noel. It sort of shows that you didn't even read the end of the 5th chapter." Dinah said with a smile.

"Yeah, well... How'd you know what chapter I stopped on?"

"I had to read it right before I ran off to New Gotham." I nodded.

"Today my mom and I usually go shopping. Today is the day I get PAYYYYD, so we are going to the mall. I want to get a CD by T.a.T.u." I told her. She laughed.

"Cool." I was sort of babbling again, but I didn't care. I will never care again about my constant nervous babbling just because Dinah thinks it's cute. Dinah and I kissed for a while before a knock came to my door. we quickly pulled apart and I looked up at the door.

"Yeah?" My door opened and my mother smiled at us. Dinah had met my mother the night before when we stayed up late watching Practical Magic. She almost caught us kissing on the couch then as well. What timing my mother, eh?

"Ah, so the dead has risen. Will you two be ready to go out to breakfast in 15 minutes?" My mother asked us. Her short hair was messed up at the moment, but if she ran a wet comb through it, it would be slicked down in no time. I looked at Dinah and she nodded.

"Yeah, I think so." I told her. I smiled widely at my mother before she closed the door. "Now where were we?" I asked Dinah sweetly.

"I think we were at that, that part."

"Oh you mean this part?" I started to kiss her again.


"Noel, come in here with me." I looked at the store she was pointing to.

"Spencer's Gifts?"

"Haven't been in here before."

"Great place to shop for knick knacks." I told her as she pulled me into the store. Over the summer they had made a few changes to South Center Mall. In the Spencer's Gifts, they added more clothing and cool T-shirts. I found a shirt with the same saying as the one Dinah was wearing the day before. I told her to try it on and it fit.

"Hey, how do I look?" She asked as she modeled the shirt. I nodded in approval and she went back behind the curtain.

"Hurry up in there would you? We don't have much time to go get my CD." There was rustling, then I heard Dinah's answer.

"Why don't you come in here and make me?"

"Don't temp me. Hurry up." She laughed, and the curtain opened up again. I bought the shirt for her so when she went back to the show, she'd have one for herself. The season finale was this week, and if she doesn't go back, we are all screwed. At least the show is. I don't want to be responsible for that in anyway.

"I wanted to wear the shirt out of the store." Dinah pouted playfully, interrupting my thoughts.

"Can you do that?" I asked

"Probably not." I grinned. I looked over at her as she took a hold of my hand. She didn't seem to mind that we were in public. I guess I didn't really either, but sometimes the stares sort of got to me a little. I don't like being stared at. I think that is why I would never really want to be famous.

"Why is it that you look better in my clothes than I do?"

"Because I'm sexy." She stated simply. I nodded. Can't argue with facts. I thought. She laughed at the look on my face.

"Sounds like something the Huntress would have said."

"I know. That is why I said it, so you wouldn't expect it coming from my lips." She explained.

"Ah." I felt her squeeze my hand some as we walked into the Sam Goody. I knew exactly where to find my CD and went to pick it up. T.a.T.u was a pretty good duo, and I heard their song, 'All the things she said' on the internet. Just recently I saw the music video and I knew I liked them. I know I will end up putting the whole CD on repeat. I also found a bunch of blank tapes for my recorded Diary. Dinah was looking around at the other CD's and tapes and whatnot when the TV screens caught her eye.

"Noel." She breathed. I looked up as the commercial started.

"The search for Dinah continues..." the voice over dude says.

"Dinah!" Barbara called out as if she saw her.

"She just disappeared, Barbara!"

"We've gotta find her, Gibson. She could be in real danger!"

"It's the voice that screamed before Dinah disappeared. I wish I knew where she was so I could have a serious talk with her. I'm beginning to think she's responsible for taking Dinah."

"...on the the next... Birds of Prey." I was silent as I looked at Dinah who was watching the bird and the moon as they showed the logo for Birds of Prey. I took her hand and paid for the CD and then we walked towards the Food Court. Dinah let go of my hand when we walked under the sign.

"You never told me the show was getting cancelled." Dinah told me in a whisper. I didn't say anything. "I knew, but you never told me."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay. Maybe it was better you didn't tell me. If this were in different views, I probably wouldn't have told you either."

"There's a chance another network will pick up the show, but I do not have cable, so..." I said, picking up speed.


"The show is supposed to come on tomorrow night, but there is another show that Janet wants me to watch. She threatened my life if I didn't watch it. I mean, she's going to give me a quiz on the show to see if I actually saw it. I don't think it is all that great of a show, really." I told Dinah as I sat down on the couch next to her. We linked fingers immediately and watched the show Clark loves Lana. Lana loves Clark. Chloe loves Clark. Pete loves Chloe (but would never admit it). Lex loves... his money. Same old, same old with a new meteor rock enhanced person thrown into the mix.

"The search for Dinah cont-" I switched off the TV as they showed the commercial again. I sighed.

"We are no closer to finding the portal or what caused it, and we have no clue where Hot Rod has been for the last 5 or 6 days. We have to return him with you, otherwise he's going to cause trouble." I said in a low moan. Dinah patted my hand really quickly, and then I felt her inside my head. It was the same feeling I got from when we first kissed.

"I have an idea." She said after a few minutes of silence. She was done poking through my mind. I think I am the only person who didn't mind that. I looked over at her as she stopped talking for a second. "This idea's been churning in my mind for a few days, since we first kissed."

"What's the idea?" I asked.

"Don't get angry with me okay?" she said, looking into my eyes. "I won't," I said getting very curious now. I was also a little confused. Why would I get angry? I asked myself.

"I think- I think you opened the portal that night last week." I looked over at her. She wouldn't let me speak. "Think about it. From what I have seen in your mind, you had the biggest imagination as a child. You were the one coming up with all of the really fun pretend games with John and half of the kids you played with following your every demand. I mean, they followed you because you directed the best games, and let everyone play. Everyone had a part to play, and if there wasn't one, you made one, and it still made sense, at least in your mind... Think, Noel. Adults always tell you you have a great, even overactive imagination. Don't you think that maybe it was something else that gave you that imagination?"

"What about it?" I asked her slowly.

"Okay," Dinah said, looking for a way to explain this to me. "You know how I had found my telekinesis when I was training with Helena, and I had gotten mad at her for knocking me down all the time? Emotions were high, anger was high. When your father died and you were stressed out about your weight, I think your powers evolved, hence the so-called hallucinations. Last Wednesday, something must have happened that made you feel really strong emotion, and your power evolved a little more, making the portal and pulling us through."

"You think-"

"You're a metahuman, Noel." Dinah said quickly, cutting off any doubt. "A metahuman with the ability to make the unreal BECOME real, maybe even the other way around." I thought this over. It did seem to make some sense. from the show, I figured that a parent had to be metahuman in order to make me one, because no lab accidents happened to me in my lifetime. And since John doesn't seem to be a meta, and just me... Dad?! "I think that was the only way you knew what got to Hot Rod to make him leave that night. You mentioned Cyndi. Since he was only a character that would only get beat up and then never mentioned again, Hot Rod may not have another name, and there may be nothing in his past. I think the only way to get Hot Rod back here is if you create him, just like you created Cyndi." she said, looking at me in thought.

"I didn't create Cyndi." I said to her. She only nodded as if to say yes, I did. I got up and went into my room, Dinah walking behind me. I picked up my backpack and took out two pieces of paper, a couple of writing utensils, and my pack of gum. I handed Dinah a stick before I popped another into my mouth. "I am not a metahuman, Dinah. I can't create people that become real." She looked up at me.

"Prove me wrong." she said.

"Okay. I will start creating an info sheet about each of them, Cyndi and Hot Rod. And then what? I can't just write something out and it comes true, otherwise you and I would have met under totally different circumstances, and right now we'd most likely not be able to keep our hands off of each other... of course, I would also be a mermaid..." I let myself trail off.

"I honestly don't know, but I will help you find out." Dinah said as she kissed my forehead. I looked into her eyes. I wanted to prove myself wrong. I wanted her to be right. I wanted to take her home where she belongs and feels safe... even if it was in New Gotham, the most dangerous city supposedly in the world. I wanted her to go back to the one place that ever felt like home to her, even if I couldn't go there with her. I wanted her happy. I sighed and started to write 'Name: Cyndi' on one sheet and 'Alias: Hot Rod' on the other sheet. I stopped and sighed again, feeling my heart get heavy with dread. I'm doing this for you, Dinah. I thought to her.

"Well, there's a start." she murmured. I nodded. Then I wrote 'Name; Marcus MacIntyre'. Then I gave Cyndi the same last name. I thought over what Hot Rod looked like and wrote all that down. Cyndi has similar features, long brown hair to the middle of her spine, chocolate brown eyes, and she was 5'6. I wrote on Hot Rod's page 'Age:22' and on Cyndi's page 'Age: 15'. "Okay, Cyndi's Mucus' little sister."

"A sister that looks up to him, and he takes that seriously." I replied as I put down 'Father: Devin MacIntyre' on both pages. then I put in parentheses, 'DECEASED' on the pages. I put 'Mother: Kelly MacIntyre (DECEASED)'. My eyes locked with Dinah's. 'Sibling: Cyndi Macintyre' went on Marcus' page and "Sibling: Marcus Macintyre' went on Cyndi's page. On Marcus' page next to Cyndi's name, I put '(Missing)'. I felt my hands shake almost in excitement as I wrote that. I gasped.

"Are you okay?" Dinah asked, concerned.

"Yeah." I whispered, realizing that I have felt that tremor before as I held my hands over the keyboard to create a new villain, a new character for Helena, Dinah, and Barbara to destroy/stop. This was no new feeling. Was Dinah right? Could I be a meta human? If I was the one who opened the portal for Dinah and Marcus, then why haven't I reopened it? Is it because I secretly don't want her to go? I wondered to myself. Well, I wouldn't say that is a secret. I don't want her to go. Anyway, next to Marcus' name on Cyndi's page I wrote '(Alive)'. "What now?" I asked Dinah. She seemed to think this through as she looked over what I had so far.

"Why is Cyndi missing?" The reason clicked in my head immediately as most of the ideas I had do.


"Write it down."

"On whose sheet? It involves them both."

"Mostly on Cyndi's sheet." Dinah decided for me. I wrote a paragraph that said that Harleen Quinzell made sure that Marcus falls as a cop because he busted her goons in one of their biggest robberies and made her plan fail. She took Cyndi and said that if he wanted her back, he had to do exactly as she wanted him to, which was get the female who called herself the Huntress.

"But that makes no sense. Why did he say he was after me? He said Harley wanted me."

"Maybe he was confused. Maybe he saw your figure standing next to me, and thought you were Helena."

"How can that dumbass mistake someone like me for someone like her? That is just stupid." I sighed, and calmed down.

"Well, he did get hit in the head with his own rod, and before that he fell and hit his head on the coffee table." She pointed out. I nodded.

"Now what?" I asked Dinah. She frowned.

"Write about his powers."


We spent the rest of the night on this, and seeing as that was our only hope for getting Dinah back to the show, we worked on it in the morning before school as well. "I hope this works. I'm afraid of what will happen if it doesn't work for us." I said.

"Then don't think about that. Believe that it will work." "Believe- Hey! you're a genius!" I said excitedly, grabbing her face and kissing her.

"I know I'm a genius, but what for this time?" She asked.

"Believe. I have to test something out. Will you be my guinea pig?"

"Uh sure." I looked through my bag for a pencil and a piece of paper. I wrote down a short sentence in deep thought, and then looked up as the little tremor in my hand ceased.

"Say hello to me." I softly demanded.

"Hola. Hola? Hola?" Dinah looked alarmed. She said more Spanish, then I smiled. Dinah stopped speaking as I erased the sentence and rewrote it. When I put the pencil down, Dinah started to speak, this time in Russian.

"Ooh, start singing 'All the Things She Said'... Then you will sound just like them." I teased her. She glared at me, but it was playful and sort of confused. She took the paper and pencil from me. "I have to believe that what I am writing is true. Dinah started to write furiously.

Great. Now start believing I'm going to cuss you out. IN ENGLISH!

I smiled and took the paper and pencil back. I wrote out that she was speaking her normal English again. "Still think you would make a bad Dutch? I could give you the accent. If you do not want to be seen, I could give you some sort of invisible shield, and at lunch or during the passing periods we could devise a plan." I said. She looked hesitant. "Please Dinah, come to school with me, even for the only reason of not wanting to be stuck here all day." I pleaded. "Today is the last day you'll be here if everything goes as planned, and I want to spend what I can with you before you get back to New Gotham."

"Okay, you've somehow convinced me." Dinah said, giving in. "Let me go change. Then we can walk there." I nodded and kissed her quickly. I sighed heavily as soon as she was out of earshot and out of sight. I'm going to miss her. It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all blah blah blah. It hurts, and I haven't even lost yet! I thought as I put the paper back in my bag, and the pencil in my pocket. About a half an hour later, I had gotten out a small notepad and was using that to practice my power in. To the world I was alone on the sidewalk with my hands shoved deep into my pockets, but inside the 3-foot radius of me, I was holding hands with Dinah and we were talking in murmurs about what's to happen later that night. The reason I don't walk with Janet in the morning is because she gets ride in me morning, and I don't accept her offer for a ride. I don't want to seem like a tag along, since her friend Kennedy doesn't really know me.

Dinah hung out with me during class and we passed notes concerning the night back and forth without the teachers ever knowing. I still tried to take notes when Dinah was writing her part on the paper. During my science test, Dinah read from the notebook of stories I haven't typed yet. She'd started to read the notebook the day before. When lunch came around, I went into the restroom and let down her invisibility shield to make it look like I walked in to wash my hands and had bumped into a classmate or friend. I bought us both a slice of pizza and a can of pop and we sat down outside since it wasn't that bad of a day. It was sort of cold, but the sun was out. I just didn't want to be inside where people would start to ask questions about her that I didn't want to answer. I didn't want to share her. "Okay, I've been thinking... I think I have a plan. I will summon Marcus and hopefully he will come to us right before the show starts-"

"Hey Noel, hey Tessa. Mind if I join you?" I looked up to see my brother with his tray overflowing. John asked, cutting off what I was going to tell her.

"Uh, no. Go ahead. So where are the Titans today, did you finally forget them?" I tried to joke. It was lame, I know.

"Oh, they're inside. I just felt like hanging out with you today. Besides, I think you dropped this." He dug into his pocket and dragged out Cyndi's page. my eyes widened. "Looked important." He grunted as he took a bite of his first hamburger. Who's Cyndi anyway?"

"It was just an assignment for creative writing class is all. We slowly but surely build up this character, add new aspects to this character each week, and as a test we were to write a story using this sheet and see if we can make this person react according to the personality we gave them. For extra credit, we had to make a villain, antagonist, or enemy for this character we created first and put them in a story together. She was my antagonist before the story idea got too complicated and it only became a fanfiction. I created a totally different character and a totally different plot, so I tossed her."

"Wow, no wonder you get like 112% and 109% in your English and writing classes. You get A's on everything, plus you do extra credit." I said nothing, but Dinah looked over at me impressed. "Well, this character looks pretty beefed up. Maybe you could send her into the WB. I don't think she would have counted for your class anyway, since you based her into the Birds of Prey." John said.

"Why would I send Cyndi to the WB? The show is being cancelled tonight." I said, choking back tears. "Anyway, thank you for returning the papers, John." John smiled and we ate in silence. Then after about 20 minutes, the bell rang. John protested that he wasn't finished with his lunch and stalked off, muttering about shortened lunch times since his freshman year. I drank down the rest of my pop and gave John a hug before he had left.


"Well, I know now that it was me who created the portal, but I just don't know how I did it." I said to Dinah 4 hours later. Dinah was painting my nails out of boredom and I was using my freshly painted right hand to go over the character sheets with a pencil, editing it when needed. "I think I know how to summon Marcus 'Hot Rod' MacIntyre, but I do not know how I got you two here to begin with."

"Were you in deep thought as you watched Helena and me?" she asked. I thought back to the week prior.

"Yes. I wanted to help you kick his ass, because I hated to see you hurt." I admitted as she looked up at me. "Then I had the oddest thought about what you were feeling and thinking. I wanted to know what you thought of Hot Rod disappearing." Dinah paused on my ring finger and looked at me.

"You were thinking of me?" she asked.

"Yeah, I always did- do still. You're going to drip that all over the carpet, and after you leave, I'll be the one who faces my mother's wrath alone." I said as a way to get her intense eyes off of me for a split second. She looked like she was about to devour me, and I know right then and always that I would let her do just that. Dinah continued to do the rest of my nails and I watched in silence. "Okay, your turn." Dinah held out her hands to me and I inspected them. "Geez, you're going to have to get the full manicure make over. All that fighting in the training room... Very bad for the cuticles." We laughed as I began working on them.

Twenty minutes later, Dinah had black fingernails with yellow streaks that looked like lightning bolts. "Cool." She murmured as she inspected my work. She waved her hands around to dry the nail polish. I looked over at my computer screen to see the time float around aimlessly as a part of the screensaver. Six minutes after 5 o'clock.

"I think I have to help Hot Rod get Cyndi back. If I promise him that, it will guarantee him by 8 o'clock when the movie event starts. She's all Marcus has to live for, and I think if I promise her safety and keep that promise..." I let myself trail off.

"That would mean you'd have to go into the show!" Dinah said, eyes widening at the thought. "What about the people who know you that also watch the show? What will happen if they see you walking around with me. There will be a lot of questions... Also, the people at the WB, and people actually working on the show will be knocking on your door looking for answers you can't give." She rattled, starting to sound like me. I smiled as I put a finger to her lips, wanting to kiss her.

"I'll have to put on a mask or something."

"So you're seriously coming with me though the portal?" she asked me seriously.

"Yeah." I decided after a second or two of thought.

"And what if you can't get back through before the show ends?" she asked, crossing her arms.

"Then I'll-" I didn't have an answer for that one. I didn't know what would happen. I didn't want to think about it. "So, I will look around and see what my house has for a mask. Maybe I won't need much if I pull my hair-"

"Why don't you try to draw a costume to see if it will come to life for you? It may be a little cooler than just a mask and a good hair do."

"Who's got the power here, huh?" I asked jokingly. "You are a genius." I reminded her.

"Yes, yes I know." She said as I kissed her. I went though my closet and found the large sketchpad I had gotten for Christmas a long time ago. No one knew that I couldn't draw, but I liked to nonetheless. I rarely used the Sketchpad, unless I really was artistic and felt like drawing big.

"I'm not good at drawing. Might turn out that I need the mask and fancy hair after I'm through with this."

"I'll help you. Just- Here." she handed me one of the mechanical pencils from the desk. I opened the sketchpad open to the 5th page. "Okay, close your eyes and hold your pencil above the page. Be ready to draw, but don't actually have the pencil on the page." I did as she told me. My body knew this, liked this, and it trembled in excitement almost as much as it does when Dinah kisses me. "You're shivering. I think that is your power right there. Do you have a costume in mind?" I shook my head. "Take a couple of minutes to think it through. I will wait. Nod your head when you are ready, and keep the costume in thought as you nod to me.

"Okay." I sighed and let my mind wander. A costume that will allow me to look like I belong in the superhero world, and it has to allow me to move freely around. I thought to myself. I saw a purple baseball cap that will hold my hair up in a ponytail. I thought of goggles that were purple lensed, so people can't see my eyes. That was the whole point of masks anyway... The suit was black spandex that covered my whole body with the exception of my feet, hands, and head. On the shoulders were purple spirals and there was a larger one on the stomach. I think I heard a small sigh from Dinah, but I was on a roll with this costume and didn't open my eyes. My cape will be connected to the outfit, purple, and spandex. On the cape will be a larger black spiral in the center. I pictured black soft shoes, looking like ballet slippers, only there will be a thin layer of rubber at the bottom. I thought of the pants section of the spandex will hold pencils to the sides of my calves, and a small sketchpad will hang on the side of my hip by the purple belt I had just pictured for me to wear (hmmm, can you by now guess my favorite colors?). My right hand, which held the pencil, started to cramp as I though longer for a name for myself. Something that summed up my abilities, but nothing stupid like 'Image'... or something. I make the unreal become real. Animated Reality sounds cool, but not necessarily for a name. Anime Real. Anime Real. That's it! Who cares if no one else likes it, I will only be a superhero for 2 hours anyway. I slowly nodded.

"Look down Noel..." I opened my eyes slowly at her odd request and saw I was closer to my sketch pad, in fact I was hunched over it. My hand was shaking from the cramp, and I put the pencil down. My eyes widened. On the page were three different drawings. One was of my costume without a body, one with me in it, and the third was of Anime Real's hand around Dinah's waist, holding her to me. It was a perfect portrait of the both of us. And my name, my superhero name was on the bottom.

"Anime Real?" Dinah asked. She smiled and I nodded. "Sounds French." She thought for a second and nodded. "I like it."

"Well, it is only going to be for 2 hours tops." I said. "Even if it would be cool to roam the streets of Seattle with my power and help out in that way. I think I would be too scared to do it though." I stopped talking.

"What's the matter?"

"Nothing." I said. I picked up the sketchpad and looked at it closely. In the space between all three pictures I wrote 'Noel's eyes widened as the images on the page became her costume. With care, Noel picked up the costume and felt the spandex-like material.' I felt my hands shake almost violently as I put the period next to the last 'L'.

Light emitted from the page that had my costume and I had to shield my eyes for a second. Dinah crawled closer to me and watched the page as I widened my eyes. I saw the material seem to float from the page to being on top of the page. It looked exactly as I imagined it to look, and it was even better since I got to see it for real. As if I was no longer in control of my body, I reached out and touched the spandex. I couldn't fight the smile on my lips as I took the goggles and put them on. The goggles didn't make everything purple, it was like looking through glasses. When I looked over at Dinah with them to ask her what she thought, I saw she was immediately outlined by the goggles and I thought of her hair as being pulled back in ponytail. Dinah frowned playfully as I saw it actually begin to happen slowly. "Sorry, I am still not sure what all of the gadgets do. I mean, I know what I made them to be, but I am still trying to figure out this power." I said to Dinah as I took the goggles off.

"That's alright. I understand completely." I looked over at her and our eyes met. I think I had that 'kiss me' look again, because she did just that. She pulled back slowly.

"Dinah?" I asked after I saw she was close to tears. "I just admitted to myself that after this is said and done I will never see you again." She said as she softly let her thumb run across my forehead. "I mean, for the first time in a long time, I actually feel something for someone, not just a short attraction. I never thought I would say this so soon in my life, but I love you. I love you more than I have ever loved anything in my entire life, Noel. Before I met you, I never thought about loving someone of the same gender, and now I'm starting to think the opposite sex sucks. And now, I am supposed to live without you in some cancelled TV show? Is life really that fair?"

"No." I whispered as she hugged me close. I fought back tears the best I could, but eventually I felt my body shake as I sobbed.


I watched the clock as it reached 7:30. I watched as it reached 7:31, then 7:32. Dinah was sitting next to me, her hands linked, and was as deep in thought as I was. I heard a knock on the door and together we got off of the couch and walked to it. I looked through the peephole, knowing who it was. He was right on time, actually he was 2 and a half minutes early. I don't know if it was the fact that I was facing the one who tried to kill me the week before, or if it was the fact that the one I loved was leaving me in a half an hour that put me in such a sour mood all of a sudden. "Marcus, you know I am not your enemy. I think I know where Cyndi- Okay, I am not going to lie. I have no fucking clue where she is, but I think you do. If not, then I will write in a notepad that you do, and you will find out soon enough. I know how to get you to New Gotham, and together we can do the rest. If you'd trust me... Trust us" I pointed at Dinah with my head. "We can help you get what you want. Now, you have somewhere you need to be in 20 minutes, and you will get there by will, or by force. The choice is all yours." I was surprised at my voice. I didn't know I could sound so bitchy. It was a stern 'don't mess with me right now' voice that would have weakened the knees of Paul Bunyan.

"Will." He said simply. "I need my sister back. I nodded my head as I slowly opened the door wider.

"You are outnumbered, Marcus. Not by a lot, but out numbered either way. I am not afraid of you anymore, so your power is gone. Keep that in mind as you enter my home." It was silent as I stepped aside and he entered the room. Dinah looked over at me and I smirked. I couldn't help it. I liked being Miss Bitch for a while, and if I liked it now...

"Here is the plan so far. There is no plan B, so if we fuck this up, we're all screwed. I informed Hot Rod. Whatever I told him over the next 10 minutes was review to Dinah. "Are we clear?" I asked him.

"Yes." Marcus murmured.

"Remember, you go in and out. As soon as her hand is in yours, get her and run like Hell." I added in a rougher tone, "Revenge doesn't look good on you."


"Legend tells of a caped crusader, Batman, Guardian of New Gotham, and his one true love, Catwoman, the queen of the criminal underworld. Their passion left behind something extraordinary. A daughter, Huntress, half metahuman. She has taken up her father's mantle-" I looked up at Hot Rod, then over to Dinah, then at myself, now Anime Real. I was surprised that the suit fit perfectly, but then again, I don't know why I'd feel big in a suit I created. I scribbled word on the notebook attached to my hip, and then reattached it. Then I slowly pressed 'Record' on my VCR and slowly reached out to touch the screen. My hand went through, and I looked up at Dinah.

"Go slowly after Huntress to follow her. When she sees you and says your name in a question, it will take me a while to come after you."


"Sort of. The opening theme song." I said slowly, not sure if she's still angry that... well, never mind. "Once you mention where you've been I'll come through with Marcus." Marcus nodded, probably a sign that he was with me as I talked. I took the notebook off of my hip and wrote something in it, and Hot Rod froze in place. I waved my hand in front of him, and he still didn't move. Dinah looked sort of confused. "He's frozen." I explained in a grunt before I grabbed Dinah and pulled her into me. We kissed quickly. "I don't think I will get to do that again. I froze him, so I can tell you this: I don't think Marcus is fully on our side. I will still come in with him, but I am going to get him far away from you two as possible, okay? That way I will handle him." Dinah frowned.

"I want you to know that no matter what happens, it is Noel DiVarr I fell in love with, not Anime Real, okay? If something happens... the time runs out or whatever, just get the heck back here, okay? Don't try to be a superhero, not tonight." I nodded. She kissed me this time, and it was almost as rough as that Friday's had been. She bit my lip again as I fought for breath. I looked over at the TV as Huntress slowly walked down the streets, doing a sweep, but mostly thinking about Dinah.

"Go." I said softly as we broke apart. She walked into the portal, and I turned to unfreeze Marcus.

"Where's the other one?"

"She went home, which is where we go in a minute or so." I said. I watched as Helena walked a couple more steps before she heard Dinah land sort of clumsily.

"Look, pal. I am not the right person, nor am I in the right mood to be messed with, okay?" Huntress spun around, ready to attack, then Dinah held out her chin to prepare for an assault as she walked into the light. "Dinah!"

The familiar rock sounded and then the commercial break clouded my screen. Then the show came back after what seemed like years. Helena inspected Dinah suspiciously, but she clearly looked relieved. "Where've you been kid? Barbara and I have been worried sick. We were beginning to think we'd never see you again."

"I-" Helena wouldn't let her finish.

"Are you hurt?" She growled, ready to beat up the next person who looked like they might have stepped out of a portal.

"No, I'm fine now."

"And the meta?"

"He's coming back, but I think things will get settled soon."

"What about the portal?" Helena spat.

"Someone created the portal without knowing it. She didn't even know she was meta until I got there." Dinah explained. Helena looked the blonde up and down and looked at her nails.

"Cute." She muttered. Dinah held them up and smiled fondly at her hands. "So, you were getting manicures during the two weeks you were gone?" Helena asked sarcastically. Two weeks?

"Two weeks?" Dinah asked, repeating my shocked thinking. "I was only gone one week."

"Maybe where you were, time goes by a little bit slower. Did it come with spa treatments too, because I'm thinking about finding a portal of my own..." Helena trailed off.

"Huntress, I was just taken good care of while I was there. Look, we have to go." Dinah said, probably trying to get her away form the portal where Marcus and I were going to enter. I drew a pair of gloves to go across my fingers for warmth... black and purple (of course).


"We need to get out of here. I think someone's coming." She said lamely. Helena frowned at her.

"What are you talking about. I don't hear anyone."

"Yeah, what are you talking about?" I repeated playfully. Helena looked up at the same time Dinah looked directly, it seemed, at me.

"Oracle, I found Dinah, but I think she's sick."

"Yes, I'm sick. Take me to the Clocktower." Dinah added, hoping that alone will get her away from the entrance to the portal.

"I'll be there in a few minutes." I heard Oracle say. "How is she? Any cuts or bruises?"

"Just a large bandage on her shoulder, but it doesn't smell infected, so she's taken care of her cuts."

"Actually Noel-" She stopped.

"Who's Noel?" Helena asked.

"She took care of me. I owe her a lot." She finished quietly. I touched my hand to the screen and saw my hand go through. Good, still open. Stay that way until I get back. I mentally ordered it.

"Marcus? Got through the portal now, and run, hear me?" Marcus nodded. The spandex gloves became real with the little note I attached to the picture. Marcus went through at a quickened pace.

"Who the hell was that?" Hot Rod saw Dinah and started to run. Helena looked as if she was about to run after him, but stopped when she saw Dinah had her arm.

"Hot Rod." Dinah breathed.

"Who?" Just then I walked through the portal. It felt like I was walking through a bunch of static electricity. I saw Helena Kyle/Huntress immediately right in front of me, trying to figure out what was going on. She looked as if she was about to hit at me. I blocked myself.

"I'm a friend." I said quickly.

"Yes, she's a friend."

"With really unique fashion sense, I see." Huntress muttered, but I heard it. "Who are you?"

"I'm called Anime Real by my... well, only by Dinah so far." Helena chuckled softly as if to say 'amateur'. "I'd love to stay for the heart warming family reunion, but I've got a meta to go after, so my nights and weekends are booked." I touched both of their shoulders and said (mostly to Dinah), "I'll have my people call your people and we'll do lunch." Then I ran off to find Marcus, who was running into an alleyway. "You're going to lead me to her!" I shouted to him, knowing where he was truly going.

"To who?" He asked, faking innocence. Then he looked pleased.

"You know who, Marcus." I said steely.

"I'm sure you're just DYIN' to meet her, huh?" He said. I heard footsteps, lots of them. I turned around. Four men and one woman were approaching me. I knew the woman well.

"This is who you prophesized would bring me to my downfall tonight?" the woman asked a the tallest man, standing at about 6'6, to her right.

"The very same. In my visions, she's more clever than you give her credit, and she's br-braver than you think." he said. The woman, Harleen Quinzell, took a step closer to me.

"Braver than you are, you over grown blubbering idiot!" Marcus hissed in the tall man's direction.

"Boys!" the woman barked, looking back at them. Then she inspected me with a smile on her face. It was that same creepy evil smile my father always had in my dreams of him. "So, what fancy nickname have you come up with to match this ridicules excuse for a superhero outfit?" she asked, tugging gently at the spandex as if to say 'tsk tsk'.

"Anime Real." I replied slowly in a low tone. I was surprised that I wasn't afraid. I had already known that Marcus would lead me to her and that he did. But was he really on her side if she has his sister that needs to be rescued.

"Anime Real?" she asked, sounding a little impressed. "Well, it is better than most I've heard." She said.

Suddenly we were in an unknown place. Helena and Dinah were chained to the wall next to my vision of what Cyndi looked like. I felt like I had firecrackers going off inside my head. I saw that Dinah was still unconscious and Helena was slowly waking up. Cyndi was awake, but her eyes were looking anywhere but in my direction, for I was chained as well, only, not against the wall. I had the chains only hands, and I was tied up a little in a chair. Marcus was the same next to me. Why was he chained up? Wasn't he with her? I searched my mind to figure out what had happened. What seemed like 10 men were guarding Helena, Dinah (who was coming around), and Cyndi. I looked down in front of me to see my costume, except for the body suit and cape, was in front of me on the floor. I was exposed to the viewers at home. Since the scene changed so quickly, I am guessing Dinah and Helena had gotten into a fight and had lost, then I am guessing there was a commercial break. I guess I was in one of those scenes where everybody knows what was to come. But what the Hell happened to Marcus?

"Anime Real, huh? Well, now that you have nothing but your humiliation, what do they REALLY call you? Mandy? Amy? Kristina?" Dr. Harleen Quinzell seemed to walk out of the shadows as she asked me this. "We've gone through so much trouble to try to identify you, and... nothing. Nada. Zilch. You either hid yourself well, or you're not from around here."

"Why do you want to know Harley? So you can scream my name along with profanities in your jail cell where you'll rot? Ah, what sweet music to wake up to in the morning." I said. Dr Quinzell looked at me. I don't think in that time gap she told me she was Harley Quinn. Then Harley laughed.

"I just know it. You're the one I've been looking for the whole time. You are the voice in the air that whispers 'kiss her, kiss her, kiss her', the shout of rage or the whoop of laughter that is often heard all over New Gotham..."

"If they tell you that they're God, then it PROBABLY wasn't me, but if they told you to jump out of the window and kill yourself, then I take full credit." I said. I heard a small laugh from Helena. I locked eyes with Harley Quinn, not looking away for a second. Fear was what she wanted, what she needed from me, and that was what she couldn't have. Nor could she have Dinah.

"You know, when Jonah came to me and told me that my downfall would come tonight, I asked him, 'Who would have the power to do that?'." She stood above me and slowly paced in front of me. " 'A caped person,' Jonah had said. I wondered if Batman could have made his untimely return, but then I thought to myself, 'He would have done that by now.' "

"Does this interesting story have a point? It's a Wednesday night, and I have a Physics test tomorrow." I said to her. Harley kept going as if she never heard me.

"Jonah said, 'One who likes the color purple.' "

"I'm not much of a Whoopi Goldberg fan. Angela Basset or Halle Berry is more my style. Hale Berry... Now there's a fox if I ever did see one." I heard Helena laugh again, and what sounded like Dinah having a coughing fit as she silently remind me who I kissed earlier that night. Like I ever need a reminder. I fought back the grin I wanted to show. She's getting a little jealous it seemed. I didn't want to make Dinah that, but it was nice to know that I could by eying someone else... I wanted her happy, and I only had eyes for her. Harley was getting sick of my comments and punched me in the gut to silence me. I heard a cry of rage. I tried to get my breath back as Harley strutted towards Dinah.

"You liked that didn't you? Made you all fiery in your blood didn't it?" I knew her eyes widened at the word 'fiery'. "Wouldn't you just love to kill me if I did it again?" She asked the blonde in a taunting manner.

"I dare you." I said to her as a way to get her attention back to me and away from Dinah. She looked at me and chuckled. I gave her the evil creepy smile that egged her on. She went to one of her goons and stole his knife. Oh crap. I thought to myself, but I somehow still couldn't keep my mouth shut. "That's right Quinn, I DARE you to. Give me all you got, and I still won't fear you." I challenged.

"I wouldn't say that." she stood close to me, and leaned over me. Too close. I hated being close to anyone but my family and Dinah. I smelled the perfume she lightly sprayed on herself earlier that day. I felt her breath on my neck as she inspected my face for any sign of fear. I looked ahead and not at her, for if I looked even in her direction I knew I'd break into a fearful sweat.

"Get away from her!" Dinah screamed.

"Dinah!" Helena said in a warning tone. Harleen Quinzell slowly but surely let the knife run along my skin, and then when I was just about to think she wasn't even going to get me, I was nicked on my left cheek. I felt the blade go deep into my skin. It was almost like a small curve like a twisted letter J she put there.

"Oops. I KNOW that's going to scar." She said innocently as I felt the blood fall down my face like the tear drops of Death. I hissed in pain.

"BITCH!!" A grunt was heard as if she was hit.

"Dinah!" Harley Quinn was enjoying this. Too much. If I wasn't chained I would have gone after her. I glared at Harley Quinn as she walked back and forth in front of me in a predatory way. Cat playing with the mouse. "The letter J is not really my letter. I like the letter 'W' better. So many good words with that letter." I rambled, mostly to keep things going along and another to keep my mind off of the pain on my cheek. "Warm... Wish... Wealth..."

"I agree. Words like Weird, Wail, WAR!" Dr. Quinzell added. She laughed. I ignored her.

"Well... Wheel... whisper..."

"Whipping, Warped, Wince... Weakling." she said giving me a pointed look. I glared.

"WHENCH!" I snapped loudly. She looked like she was pouting.

"Aww... No need for name-calling. Why can't we be friends?" She asked, letting her last word squeak out. She was trying to be cute. Not gonna work. One I saw her other side, there was no 'cute' with Harley Quinn.

"I THINK it has something to do with the fact that- hmm- You're PSYCHO?!" I retorted.

"Tsk, tsk" Was all she said. I thought to myself about the different things that were literally smaller than this already petite woman standing before me that freaked me out, but she didn't really intimidate me much anymore. I looked down at the remainder of my costume. I have to get Anime Real before people find out who she really is. I thought to myself. In my mind, I kept repeating that I was telekinetic like Dinah. I felt my mind seem to click on somewhere in the back. I concentrated on my pencil. If Harley said something to me, I didn't hear it. Slowly, shakily, the pencil rose to the air. It didn't seem as hard to move. In the corner of my eye, I could tell Dinah was helping me hold the pencil up. Harley only watched it as it started to write.

Dr. Quinzell, angry with the games the amateur superhero was playing, hit Dinah Redmond just to rile the girl. In her rage, Anime Real broke the chains and binds, freeing her at last.

My head felt dizzy and heavy, but I didn't focus on that. I watched as Harley tried to fight her own body. She failed, and she found herself standing in front of the one I loved. Once I heard the sound of skin against skin, I felt blood rush all over my body and I let out what sounded like a deafening lion's roar. Then I felt like the chains were made of silly putty and the ropes were made of floss. I jumped up and stretched my arms as it went quiet. I looked from Harley Quinn, to Dinah, to Quinzell again. My pencil and my note pad seemed to float to me by Dinah, and I smiled as I saw the little message she wrote in it "I love you, Noel."

"Don't tell me you did what I think you just did." I threatened. I looked at my watch. 9:35. I had twenty minutes. "Alright, Quinn, here's how the rest of my visit is going to go. You'll sick your goons on me; I'll beat them up. Okay, so maybe I wont. One or two... No problem. I'll find the key on the 2nd man I beat up and free the Huntress, no? She'll finish the job. Sound good to you over there?" I looked over at Helena who smiled wickedly. "Take that as a 'yes' then. Let's see, that will give me another 18 minutes to spare, so you'll run away like the scared punk you are. Then you'll talk to someone telling the that there is a bomb in the building. Oh no!" I said mockingly. "Of course, you'll be talking just loud enough for someone on my side to hear you and they will warn us. We will get everyone out of the building and then fire and explosions for the action junkies, and THEN I find you, kick your ass before Dinah gives me lesson number one for superheroes, which is we don't kill. Understand? And... ACTION!" I yelled like a director.

"Kill her!" Harley Quinn barked at her goons. Then she covered her mouth. She hated that I was right.

"And the fun begins!" I say as I faintly hear heavy rock play above us. I block mostly the best I can, but I get a few good hits into the first guy that came at me. I hit and block almost blindly as they seem to wait their turn. I see keys hanging from the belt of the second guy who hit at me. When he was on his way down, I grabbed them and ran to unlock the Huntress' chains. She seemed happy to be let out and with her first free hand, she cloth-lined a man that was going to get me from behind. "Thanks."

"Don't mention it." She said as I finished unlocking her feet binds. I then went to Dinah and unlocked her binds. She held onto my shoulders as I unlocked the binds n her feet. I looked at her briefly as she reluctantly moved her hands.

"You okay?" I asked, seeing the redness of her cheek. I'm going to kill her. Or at least I will attempt to until some one drags me off of her. I heard the song in the background dissipate.

"Yeah, I'm alright, Anime." She said. I could tell she wanted to use my real name, but she couldn't while I was here. I went to Cyndi and unlocked her chains and went to do the same for Marcus.

"Take your sister and go."

"Thank you."

"No problem, Hot Rod." I said, forgetting that he didn't know of the nick name I was calling him all week. He seemed to like that nickname though, and smiled before he picked up his sister and ran with her in his arms. She seemed too exhausted to do any walking or running.

"Anime Real, look out!" It was Huntress. I turned around right when I felt myself get hit on the back of my head. I staggered and block his next hit. Dinah came to my aid and helped me beat him up. I almost fell over before I had my notepad in my hands.

Anime Real's head doesn't hurt right now, but it will when the other wounds are starting to heal.

My head stopped hurting immediately. Eventually, the men all ran off. I looked around and tried to catch my breath. No Harley Quinn, as expected. Dinah stood next to me and I fought the urge to grab her and do that 'What the Hell are you doing here', 'Dinah against the wall' kiss just to make sure that she was truly there and alive. I walked over to where I was chained and I picked up the rest of my costume. "So much for a secret identity. Now everyone where I come from will know who I am.

"Noel!" I looked towards the door as I started putting my goggles and gloves on. I heard footsteps, heavy ones.

"John! What are you- How did you- What are you doing here?" I asked, not sure which question to ask him first.

"You know him?" Huntress asked, looking John up and down as he did the same with her.

"He's my-"

"Noel, you have to get out of here. There's a bomb in the building. There's only a couple of minutes. Let's go." He grabbed my arm and he tugged me towards the door. Then he let go as we all started to get to the bottom stairs. When we crossed the street, I heard the loudest *BOOM* in the history of the noise. I grabbed John and Dinah, the closest to me, and all four of us fell in the ground as the ground rumbled with the noise. As debris fell over us, I drew a metal sheet that would cover us from it. I looked at my watch. 9:42. I hear shuffling and jump up without effort as if it was a normal reaction to that sound. I felt my body seem to lose control of it's own actions as I looked to my left. HER! My head screamed, before I felt it start to hurt from the blow it took earlier. My whole body went into a rage and I tried to control it, but I couldn't. I grab her and throw her against the wall. In the back of my head, I wished it was Dinah so I could then kiss her senseless. Dr. Quinzell's eyes widen. I slap her... Hard... Twice.

"That was for Dinah." I punched her oh, 10 times before a hand grabbed my wrist.

"Noel!" It belonged to John. "Don't. You know it is wrong."

"You are a superhero. You know we don't kill." Helena added.

"I am no superhero." I murmured.

"You're my superhero. Please. We don't kill." Dinah said softly.

I looked down at Harley Quinn. "That, Bitch, is for the cut on my cheek." I said in a low deathly tone. I stepped away from her and she slumped to the ground. I felt my fist start to throb from the pain of punching her. Dinah took my chin and gently made me look at her so she can inspect my cheek. She sort of winced, then she looked away from me.

"We can get you to the Clocktower for that." She said just above a whisper. I shook my head and she looked saddened. She then looked away from us as if to not have anyone question the way she looked at me, or the way she still held gently to my cheek. Slowly, her hand lowered.

We seemed to have all shifted. Helena and Dinah didn't seem to notice it, but John looked around and I saw Barbara holding my face as a blue laser touched my where Harley Quinn cut me. I could only move my eyes. "So, if you accidentally pointed that thing in my eye instead, would I go blind?" I asked. She shrugged, then she let go of my face and looked down at the bandages. I looked as well, and it wasn't looking too pretty.

"I don't know. Care to be my test subject?" She asked me. I grinned.

"Can't make me much blinder than I am." I told her. "Sure. Oh wait, I THINK I have an appointment with my oven. Something about sticking my head in it at 500 degrees..." I looked up at John, who watched me. Then he suddenly started digging through his pockets and came out with a pretty thick piece of paper (folded quite a few times) which he gave to Dinah. Then I saw that he had also given her a tape. I looked over at John and he smiled as if to say, 'don't worry, it's safe'. "Thank you, Oracle." She looked up at me with surprise in her eyes. "Uh-"

"I told you she knew a lot. It's okay, though... She's a friend." She gave me a look that said 'More than a friend.' Barbara could only nod. I looked at my watch. 9:50. I gasped. At 9:55 is when they show who the producers of the show are and the scenes from later in the week or the next week's episode. I only had 5 minutes left to say goodbye. I felt a tear come to my eye just as I was thinking of making the portal. I wrote some words down on my notepad and looked up as I saw a mist-like swirl. I put my hand through. I felt the warmth of our house and looked over at John.

"John." I sad softly. I switched my gaze to slowly look over at Helena and then Dinah. "It appears we have run out of time. We must go back."

"Already?" Dinah asked. Barbara looked between the two of us, and I tried to keep the love out of my eyes. I didn't want anyone Dinah didn't want to know to find out. I nodded. "But I didn't get a chance to thank you for taking care of me in Seattle."

"You were in Seattle?" Barbara asked her before she looked over at me.

"Yes, a different Seattle... sorta..." She trailed off.

"There's only one Seattle, Dinah." Helena informed her. "Or at least I think there is only one..." She thought this over.

"You wouldn't understand Helena." Dinah turned to me. "Thank you Noel... for everything." Then she realized her mistake of calling me my real name. She gasped. "Sorry."

"It's okay, my cover's been blown for quite sometime. The audience isn't stupid. Those who know me will know I was here. I just have to find a way to explain it." I said. "You were great company." I said after a second of silence. I wrote something down and gave it to Dinah. I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to John. Dinah hugged me really quickly and I felt her presence in my head. (Slowly she had taken my wrist, the skin there, and was in my head.) I felt her echo through my head as if she had screamed it.

"I love you Noel." the echo said.

"Go ahead, John."

"You only have a couple minutes max, Noel."

"I know. I'll see you in a minute." I turned to Dinah. "I feel as if I will never see you again.

"You'll see me again. I don't know when, but I think our paths will cross again." I smiled weakly.

"I wish with everything that you are right. You were such a good friend when you were with me in Seattle. I hope to find another like you."

"I'm sure you will" I began to protest, but she put a finger to my lips. "Go." She softly demanded. I nodded, and followed John. As soon as I turned around, I saw her hand coming through the portal. I looked over at John, who was walking away from me, on his way to his room. I gently took it and placed a kiss on the knuckles, then just as gently let it go. I watched as it slowly withdrew.

"Goodbye Dinah." I whispered as I wrote out that the portal closed.


Anime Real is dead now. I made sure of it. (Okay, so I hung it up in the closet in my room, and if anyone asks it is a costume for a skit in school...) John and I sat on the couch and watched the episode of Birds of Prey we had just exited from. This time we got to see what was going on with Helena and Dinah at the same time I was confronted by Harley Quinn. I fought back the urge to reopen the portal and drag Dinah back out so I could hold her. I watched as Dinah and I talked and how we acted when the other was hurt. If the audience didn't find out by now that we were together than they weren't as smart as I thought them to be. I know it will inspire a lot of slash fanfictions on the net... I was surprised at how creepy I looked when I was beating up Harley Quinn. I didn't realize I could get that angry. It was like the ugly emotion of hatred put that face on me. I rewatched our goodbye, and I watched her hand go through the portal and her eyes widen a little at around the time I would have kissed it. Then I saw her watch as the portal closes. She walks away from Helena and Barbara and opens the door to the roof. She slowly opens up the paper to see the drawing of Anime Real and Dinah standing side by side. hidden inside the folds was a picture of a baby. She grinned as she read it was Noel from age 1. That was when they showed who the producers were. I looked over at John wide-eyed. "You didn't!"

"I did." He said. I was about to yell at him, but he shushed me. "Rewind that last part. You didn't see the words floating on the bottom of the screen, did you?" I shook my head and grabbed the remote and rewound the tape some. I saw the words loud and clear floating on the bottom of the screen.

Stay tuned to your WB station at midnight for news regarding this show.

It floated by twice. I looked up at John, who stood. "What-"

"11:33. We have time." He said. I nodded, not sure what I was going to do until then. I wasn't sure if I wanted to talk about what happened that night. He walked to the kitchen and got a can of pop. He held one out to me. "You know, I am not as thick of an athletic brother as you think I am. Okay, maybe I am... But just because I am not home a lot doesn't mean I know nothing about how you live your life now." I had the can of pop to my head, the way Dinah had once held a fruity drink to her temple in the episode her mother came back to get her. When I had thought of that, of her, I slowly put my arm down and opened the can. I looked up at John. "I look out for you, just like I promised Dad I would, and I know more about you than you might think." I didn't say anything. "I know that you check your weight every morning and every night before and after school, and you cringe if it is even a pound over what you knew it was the day before. I know you don't sit with anyone during lunch. That is, if you decide to eat lunch. I know you try hard in all of your classes, or not so hard but pull A's anyway in Creative Writing. And when cooking dinner, I know you make more than necessarily, and though you are eating normally now, you send what is mostly left over to the homeless people two blocks away. I know you write fanfiction on your computer more than you go on the Internet." He looked at me seriously. "I know you glowed all week, showing everyone who you really are, and we all knew you were pretty damned proud of it, too. Mom and I both saw it. When Tessa- I mean DINAH was here, you glowed. I know you love Dinah, and I know she loves you." I stared at my brother. "I know you are truly metahuman, but I sort of guessed that when there was that really weird fire in the house. I sort of always knew you were special, Noel. I always knew you would be like dad." I felt a tear come to my eyes at the mention of our father.

"Dad used to make things come to life for me when I was a kid. He told me that if I kept that a secret, then he will continue to do it for me when he watched after me in the mornings. We would play Old Maid, my favorite game then, and he would make the characters, talk and of course I always lost when he did that because the Old Maid talked too much... but I still enjoyed the game. It was our little secret... that he really was the most magical man in the world."

"If he had the same power I now have, why didn't he create something to catch his fall? Why didn't he save himself?"

"Don't think for a second that he didn't try, Noel." John said a little sharply as if I was accusing him of something. "He dropped his note pad. He wasn't used to creating things with just his mind yet. He still carried the notebooks about and used them very rarely. Mom knows about metahumans being real, or at least that Dad was... something special." 'Thing? You think I'm a thing?' My head quoted the show, but I wasn't really offended by it, yet. "She knew that someday you'd have the same power as Dad did. She just didn't know when. You never showed signs like that in front of her. And I never told her about the weird fire. Since I was the one who started it, I would have gotten in trouble. The thing is, metahumans here are more rare than they are in the show. Maybe there's about 1000 in the whole world. You really are in a million, Noel, and even if you weren't meta, you still would be." John put a hand on my shoulder as I felt the tears escape my eyes.

"Thank you John."

"I know that Dinah showed you that over the week as well."

"How did you-"

"I found out about you loving Dinah a long time ago. You talked about her character a lot. I knew about Dinah loving you because A) she didn't seem interested when I tried to flirt with her at dinner the night I 'met' her." He grinned. "And B) I... I watched her fall in love with you at the dinner table that night. I could see her, and she was falling hard. I saw it in the way she watched you. You were so busy trying not to watch her that you didn't see it like I did. I think... that things worked out though with you two finding out." I nodded.

"She read some of the poems I wrote about her." I murmured, thinking about the last Friday, and the kiss against the door when I had gotten home from school.

"Can't get anyone better than you." He said. I felt myself blush a little. I looked at my watch. "Time." He said. He turned the TV up and we waited for the commercials to end. Then some news anchorperson came onto the TV.

"Welcome everybody to a special report brought to you by your local WB station. Earlier tonight there was a slight mishap with the broadcast of Birds of Prey. There were trailers for the episode, but as you know, that episode didn't air tonight. So what happened? The people of the WB aren't sure. In last week's episode, it had appeared that Dinah Redmond, played here by Rachel Skarsten, had gone missing. According to the actress themselves, that wasn't how the show was supposed to go, and they are appalled. Though Dinah came back to New Gotham, she brought a friend along, known as Anime Real. Who is this person? They aren't aware of her, either. All the WB is aware of is the fact that the appearance of this new and exciting character has quadrupled Wednesday night ratings, breaking the record set by Dawson's Creek 2 years ago. So where does Anime Real stand in the world of the Birds of Prey? No one even knows who portrayed her in the show, as her name wasn't even mentioned in the credits. The officials at the WB claim that if they can find this mystery girl seen here" They showed a picture taken from when I was bound and just getting ready to get cut by Harley "then they will continue the show despite the claims of cancellation early on in the season. I'm sure the fans of the show will be grateful to hear that."

"No pressure Noel." I murmured to myself. John wrapped his arm around me in a half hug as the anchor goes on to explain the tons of emails already pouring in with requests to see more of Anime Real, and how the actresses had already signed on for a new season, but they are just waiting for 'that girl' as they can only call me. "Oh crap, John. It is like they are saying, you must find her or they are going to cancel the show. Now I have a feeling that if I ever did that, they'd start to wonder about when and how I got into the show. Also, if I did the show, I wouldn't be seeing the Dinah as I know her. I will be acting along-side Rachel Skarsten, and as much as I think that will be cool, I do not think I would be able to stand it much. I mean, I just know they are going to make her a lesbian after this episode, and it'd probably be a Buffy thing with the Willow/Tara repeat thing, only instead of witches it's metas!" I felt my voice go up a little on the word 'metas'. "She said I'd see her again. Sure I'll see her on tape, but she will never see me." I said.


Though the goggles and spandex were put up, I still wore a mask over the next month. I pretended I didn't miss her. I pretended I liked the attention from people who stared at me and asked if I was 'that new chick on Birds of Prey'. I pretended I liked walking alone again. I pretended to like the friendly banter with Janet, who swears up and down it was me and John and no coincidence on names and looks while I swear up and down that it wasn't me and John, and that she was on something when she watched the show. I pretended I wasn't a metahuman. I pretended I wasn't dying inside. John saw my mask, and he had pulled it off time and again.

"I can't concentrate, John. I will be in class one minute and I think I am taking notes, then look down at my notes to see I was thinking of her again. I'll be watching this weird thing on the overhead that my teacher is trying to tell us about, and then BAM! There she is all over my worksheet! She smiles up at me, and I love her smile- more than I love grilled cheese sandwiches dipped in hot chocolate- but then she gets sad. The smile always disappears and she looks as if a tear will fall at any given second. And like Garfield hates Mondays I am growing to hate Wednesdays now!" I said while I paced my room on a Wednesday 4 weeks later.

"Yeah. I am starting to worry about you, Noel. You haven't written anything all month." John said, grabbing my hand to still the pacing.

"No, I've written. I have written love letters and poems on how I feel, and depressing stories on dying loves... All of which I shredded, by the way. I couldn't keep them, I just couldn't." John looked helpless.

"Why haven't you gone to her then?" I didn't say anything. I had already told him that if I had a way to stay with her, I would be there by now holding her and never letting go. If I went into the show and lived there, I would confuse the actresses who actually do the show. If I stayed here, my heart will continue to deteriorate, obliviate... waste away into nothing. If I left here, then my mother would lose another family member. If I stay here and Dinah came out here, that would just cause a bunch of problems. John knew all of this, and he stayed silent as well. "Why don't you just use your powers to see her just for a little while if anything?"

"She doesn't belong here. New Gotham is her home, and Seattle is mine. I won't do that to her. Besides, it will give hope that Anime Real is going to save the show, when she is just there to see her girlfriend."

"What if she wants to be here?"

"You know what will happen if she stays here." I said.

"So there is no solution to this, is there? I am just supposed to sit back and watch you suffer?" I refused to look at him as I gripped the wall tightly. A flash of memory when I was telling Mom about Helena and Barbara's online baking business came to my head, for this was about the spot she leaned against the way to stifle her giggling. I told Mom when Tessa left that the corporate building was moved to New York, and that was why Helena and Barbara were fighting, because one wanted to stay and the other knew they needed to go... otherwise the business won't last much longer. "There is no solution to this, is there, Noel?" John repeated with a heavy sigh as I rummaged through my backpack. I stopped when I saw one of the many sad drawing that had once smiled back at me.

"Not a solution we can call a good one." I murmured. I looked fully at Dinah's picture in my hand and sighed almost as heavily as John had. Those eyes were always literally in my dreams. I would always dream of her and she'd always have those eyes. That look. Even in the dreams that left me speechless and red in the face in the morning... she had those eyes. (Let's just say that things in those dreams shouldn't even be mentioned in NC-17 fanfics.) John eventually left the room, not liking the silence that followed my last statement. I looked back down to the picture and saw her face was smiling briefly, and then seeing me again, her smile vanished. I felt my heart sink. What I am I going to do? I thought to myself as I few tears spilled down my cheeks.

"Don't cry Noel." I jumped at the voice. It came from my doorway where John had been only seconds before. Had they crosses paths on the way in here? I asked myself. John must have seen her. Putting the picture of her down (dropping it more like it), I turned to look into the most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.

"Dinah!" I breathed. I was about to ask her a billion questions, but she had come into the room in 3 quick strides and had me in an embrace. All of my senses were in hyperdrive as they took her in. I felt her lips on mine almost immediately. I felt her, I tasted her, I smelled her, I could see her, I heard her breath in through her nose. She was really there. If this was another hallucination, I would surely die. After what seemed like only seconds to me, but I knew was much longer than that, Dinah slowly broke away.

"I love you Noel." She whispered as she held me a little tighter.

"You know I love you." I said, the shock still not wearing off. "I hope this isn't a dream I somehow created coming to life." I said, mostly to myself.

"I'm as real as anything else in this world." She whispered as her hand touched my cheek.


"You opened another portal."

"But the show doesn't come on tonight."

"I think we were on the news, or your brother was watching the tape. You must have accidentally." I looked at her and tried to figure this out. "John saw me and pulled me through."

"You need to go back before the news or whatever ends." I said to her.

"What's the hurry?" she asked. She kissed my forehead as a way to distract me.

"You're happy in New Gotham. The city needs you, and the occupants of the Clocktower need you." I said as her kiss went from my forehead to my neck. I closed my eyes for a second.

"New Gotham needs you, too. The city needs Anime Real. I need Noel Divarr." She told me.

"I need you too, but this is so complicated." I murmured. After a minute of silence I felt her break away. Then she engulfed me in a hug and we kissed again. "I once or twice thought about finding the girl who looks like me, you know, find her if she exists and trade places with her... move to New Gotham, find my girlfriend again and kiss her senseless... ARG! I just can't do that to my mom, though. Everyone who truly knows me will tell the difference in seconds."

"I know." Somewhere distant, a phone rang, but I couldn't figure out if it was in our house or on the TV that I heard it from.

"And you can't do that to Barbara and Helena after all they've done for you... if for some reason Rachel Skarsten were to agree to the other way around." I continued after a short pause. I kissed her.

"I know." She repeated. From the look in her eyes, I could tell she was thinking about the same things throughout the month we'd been away. "You were a cute baby." She said.

"I beat John up the next day for that." I joked. "Nah... I was sort of glad that you got a chance to see it at least." She chuckled, then she got serious.

"Well, I thought I'd try at least you know? See if you had come up with something different." she told me. I nodded. "So we have no choice but to..." She wouldn't let herself finish her sentence.

"Looks that way." I whispered. I felt her heart sinking. I could only hold her in the uneasy silence that followed. "Come on, I'll take you back. Not that I want to, but-"

"I know." I grabbed her hand and I together we walked out into the living room. I thought about the portal, and I knew it was already opened, but this time I opened it wider just in case. "I don't want to go." Dinah sobbed.

"Come on Dinah, you aren't making this any easier. If I could I would-"

"You can!"

"No, I can't. Even with the biggest and strongest power there's always a consequence after you use them, either good or bad, and no matter what I do that will make us happy... it won't work for the rest of our worlds."

"right now I'm willing to say fuck our worlds. My world is not complete without you!" I shut my eyes as she wrapped her arms around me. Damn she was strong for how thin she is. I thought to myself as she placed a kiss on my neck.


"I know." She growled frustrated. I sighed. "I know." She repeated.

"I love you to much to mess up your world, baby." I said.

"What do you think you are doing right now."

"It hurts me to see you hurting, but if there was another way I'd-" I stopped talking when she tightened her hold on me. Then she let go. She gave me one last helpless teary look before she walked backwards into the portal, and she was gone. I thought for the portal to close, and I walked back into my room. There I cried.


Erin Griffin

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