Butterfly Ink

By Erin Griffin


Rating: PG

Summary: Barbara writes a letter.

Pairing: Slight B/H

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I don't even own butterfly ink. I don't even know what butterfly ink IS! I just made that up because I couldn't think of a better title for this.

Author's Note: This was written in under an hour today (10/27/03), so it is unbeta'd, and any and all mistakes are my own.

Feedback: Oooh yes, Danka (thank you). Praise, flames, constructive criticism, notes claiming you've taken all of my Rachael Skarsten pics and are holding them ransom (which I won't be able to pay, just to let you know). It's all welcome in the House of The Magicmumu.

WARNING! This fic has Character death, so if you don't need that today I'd strongly suggest you find a different fic to read. Thank you and enjoy.

To Whomever Finds This (Most Likely Alfred):

Of all of the websites I have gone to, all the research I have done, the codes and commands I have put into the Delphi, none of it would have prepared me for this. None of the websites mention what it feels like to die, to feel the last breath leave your lungs and your bodiless spirit in a place no one is ever supposed to reach. None of them will ever show you the link to Heaven. They will never know that if you are good, and if you lived -and I mean truly lived- that you get to write a letter to those that matter. So I am writing this to you, the occupants of the Clocktower... my family. I love you all, I am sure you already know this, but it never hurts to say it again.

Alfred, I know this doesn't need to be said, but for my own piece of mind, take good care of my girls for me. And they always have been 'my girls', even when Dinah had lied and had given us a false name when we first met her and when Helena destroyed a Delphi monitor in her rage. They were still mine, they will always be mine, my girls, and so I need your help in caring for them, and teaching them like I used to do... Well, maybe not quite like I used to, but just as closely as I would. I know you know where Bruce is, so I want to let him know that I thank him for helping me when I was younger as Batgirl and teaching me everything he knew about 'the life'. You say he's dead, but I see something in those wrinkled wise eyes that says something differently. I have, after all, known you for almost 20 years. Even Helena knows he's alive, but whether or not she cares might be a slightly different situation.

Dinah, I want to get something out of the way right now: Fried chicken and orange juice is not a good breakfast and you know that. Don't look so surprised. All seeing all knowing up here, and with this new view, I see more than ever. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to skip school to hang out with Gabby again. I want you to know that you are the strongest girl I have ever met. To know what you have gone through before and after you have come to live with me and Helena in the Clocktower... It is nothing short of amazing. You have always kept a smile on your face, bringing us sunshine through the rain, and when I thought this little family we had was about to fall apart, you were there to pick us up and piece us back together. Your laughter was the glue that held us in place, and for that I thank you. I love you, and I want you to know that you have made me proud. It was a great honor to have met you, Dinah. In legends, folklore, and tales passed down in many generations and in almost every culture there are stories of past lives and reincarnation. I believe that some of it is true, that people can be reborn in another body with a new life. I believe that you were once a butterfly, a caterpillar at first, but a graceful creature with the most elaborate designs on their wings after breaking through that cocoon. Perhaps that is what you already are, and I hope that by living here and knowing who you are (and knowing who your mother was), you will use every opportunity to flap those wings and fly. I know you can do it.

Helena. My best friend, my lover, my wife. Words could never tell you how I feel at this moment, how I will always feel. You must know that it wasn't your fault what happened to me. You couldn't have known. He was a meta that could travel through electrical currents. Not even I could have made a shield in time. You and Dinah were on sweeps, being the good people that you are, and you just couldn't be in two places at one time. You don't have that power (apparently some farmer in Kansas does, but that is beside the point). Had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have changed a thing, and you know it. The blame game stops now, and I know you Kit Kat. I know how work. Even now as I write this, I know you're in the training room, beating the life out of the punching bag. I know nothing I say in this letter will ever change that, and that passion, that fire was one of the billions of reason why I fell in love with you. Just save some for Dinah. She needs you now. I don't want the way I died be the only way you remember me as it was for your mother. I want you to think of the first date, the 25th birthday, the proposal... I want you to remember us. Don't be afraid to fall in love again. I want you to be happy, Helena. Don't push people out like you tried to do with me. Not everyone is as stubborn as you and I are, and they may not push back. Let them in, trust them.

Most importantly, I want you all to keep living.

Take time to smell the flowers. True, people will think you look funny doing this, but hey, this is New Gotham. There are weird people everywhere in this city, and you protect them, so there.

Never forget to smile; it is the only thing that always goes great with your outfit. (And you all just look cuter that way.)


Be thankful for every sunrise.

Tell the ones you love exactly how you feel.


There is no better person to play you in a made for TV movie than yourself.

Laughter is the best medicine, so make sure to do it at least 5 times a day.

Try to understand Alfred's jokes.

Kick a few asses for me.

Get a cat (even if it is just a limping black ball of fuzz). They are just cute, and I know you've always wanted one, Helena. Now is as good of a time as any to get one.

Don't be afraid to fall. You know your family is there to catch you (or at least I hope you know).

Don't lose sight of who you are.

Always reach for the stars.

Live your lives without regret.

Howl at the moon, dance naked by the fire. Be you, get crazy every once in a while.

Don't fear death. Embrace it as a part of life and move on from here. I guess the one thing I always wanted to know when someone dies is 'Are they alright?' Yes, I am ok. 'Did they feel any pain?' It stung, but after a few seconds it was numb. 'Can they see me?' All the time. 'Do they know I love them?' Yes, I know. I fear I have said all I need to say, and my time has been spent wisely. Always know that I am there in everything you do, in your heart, in you head, in you dreams. So dream a little dream of me.

With all the love in the world,

Barbara Gordon

Erin Griffin Birds Of Prey Main Index