Pop Tarts and Sunny Delight
By: Erin Griffin
Rating: PG-13 Lots of violence and cursing (heated kissing as well) in this.
Disclaimer: I own a Beanie Baby named Erin like myself. Not something I should be admitting to the public, but if it proves my point that I do NOT own the WB, so be it. I have no money, and I do not own the WB, otherwise Birds of Prey wouldn't have gotten canceled.
Pairing: Helena/Dinah (Switched POV)
Summary: Bruce Wayne comes back to New Gotham for unavoidable business concerning the Manor, and Huntress and Canary are assigned to watch after him. When Huntress and Canary meet Translucent Man, they stumble into a secret room of Wayne Manor, and into more trouble...
Author's Note: This storyline is a little more complicated, but I think it is the best of this little series I have going. You will meet a new member of Birds of Prey that I have created, but she will not last very long, and no, I didn't kill her off... yet. Muhahahahahahaha!!! Joking. Translucent Man, Baby Bird, Nichola (haven't given her a last name yet) and all of those people you do not recognize are mine, but the characters you do recognize are from the show and therefore they belong to the WB and DC comics blah blah blah. One more thing, I mention Canary (Dinah) and her costume a lot in this story. if you have seen Batman and Robin (the movie), then you would know that my mental image of her costume is like what Batgirl of the movieverse wears, except for the fact that if there was to be any symbol on her chest of the suit, it would be the same symbol that you see on the Battarang in the second episode 'Slick'. And her mask is as described in the story where she has to tie it in the back instead of it being strapless like in the movie. Damn this was long, but enjoy. Also, if female/female pairings make you uncomfortable, this may not be the story for you, but those who don't mind a little fluff, then be my guest.
Submissions: If you ask me nicely and tell me where it is going, I will let you have it on your site. It is as simple as me- I mean PIE!
Spoilers: Everything. (Except the last 10 minutes of Nature of the Beast, after Helena says 'She was a notorious cat burglar in her time.'. that and Gladiatrix. I never got to see that one.)
Part 3 - Baby Bird
"But it was your idea!" Dinah protested, following Barbara's chair across the room. She was wondering why Barbara had quit writing in her journal after only 2 entries.
"Some thoughts shouldn't be written down, since they aren't meant to be read." Barbara stated calmly, though all three girls knew she was getting angry. "The wrong person could find the journal and everything you had will be lost."
"That didn't stop you from telling US to do it!" Dinah said, sweeping her arm towards me, her long time girlfriend, Helena Kyle. Barbara looked at us, whom had sort of cornered her. At first we didn't mind that Barbara had quit the journal, but I had finished writing in the last page of the book I owned, and suddenly Barbara is eager to get me another one, and tried to force me to use it again. Dinah and I didn't think it was right.
"Girls," She said in a warning tone, but we weren't listening. Dinah crossed her arms, and I just stared at her, as if to ask what the deal was. Barbara wheeled herself out of the room, and into her own, where the we didn't follow her (probably to her surprise). She came back a second later with her journal and opened it. "Look, I have been writing in it. I wanted you two to think I haven't, so you wouldn't try to read it. Now I have to find a new hiding place, and I would appreciate it if you didn't go looking for it, for where I hide it, you will not find it." She said, flipping the pages showing writing on almost all of the pages. She looked us both up and down. We nodded. "Good." she wheeled out of the room.
I wish I could just live these moments forever. Dinah and I went on sweeps after we were sort of chewed out by Barbara. No bastards tonight. Dinah and I walked around until 4 in the morning. I think we would have stayed out longer, but Dinah had to go to school in 3 hours and needed to get some assignments finished, then she had to get ready for school. Dinah is in her room now, I can hear her CD player playing some Gaelic, Irish music. It is her new favorite CD. There is knocking on my door. Gotta put this up.
"Hey, come on in." I said to the younger girl. Dinah smiled a little bit and then sat down next to me on the bed. "What's up?"
"I can't sleep."
"Ah." was all I said. "Why?" I asked, after she remained silent.
"I was wondering what could be so bad, that she wouldn't want us to know why she had stopped writing in her book. Why couldn't she have just told us 'No, I haven't stopped writing, I just write in it when I am in my room.'? Does she not trust us at all?" I saw her face and knew when she said 'us' she meant herself.
"She's just not used to writing into journals. We all weren't. Maybe it was better that we didn't know."
"But she's acting weird. She says 'Nothing' whenever I ask her what is wrong." Dinah said.
"Maybe nothing IS wrong, Sunny D." I said to her. She only shook her head.
"I think she doesn't want us to know, which is cool, I just hope she handles whatever it is that is bothering her, and ask us for help, whatever help that may be, if she needs it... but something tells me that she won't want our help this time." I was silent for a minute.
"Well, Barbara does have many things from when she was Batgirl that she does not want to face right now." I said. "But if it gets too bad, she'll tell us I'm sure." Dinah nodded. "Anything else going on you want to talk about?" I saw Dinah's eyes go elsewhere, and then she looked up at me.
"Well, there is this dance next weekend. It is the Topsy Turvey dance. Each year-"
"Guys wear dresses and girls wear tux's. You keep forgetting that I used to go to that school, Dinah. What about it?" I asked.
"Sorry, I thought it was a new tradition. Well, I keep getting this feeling that something bad is going to happen there. I didn't get any thoughts on it or anything... I want to go, but am afraid to." She said.
"Ah, the Canary/Dinah fight. Dinah wants to go to have fun, but is scared. Canary doesn't want to go, but wants to kick ass." My eyebrow raised.
"Do you want me to come with?"
"I didn't think high school dances were your thing, but if you'd like, yeah." She said. This was a weird thing with us. If one of us wanted to go somewhere (a movie, or something date-like), we would make up this thing that would make the other either offer or say they'd be there. Of course, there was nothing going on that would require the other's presence, but we wanted the other's company. My excuses are always that there's this guy or girl that will be there, and I needed Dinah to pick up something from them by poking around in their minds, and Dinah's excuse was that she was sure that someone was planning something, and if they were, she needed me to help kick butt. So what Dinah really wanted was for me to rent a tux and go with her to this dance. To translate the conversation, she asked me if I wanted to go, and I asked her if she was unsure about going. She said she was, so I asked 'if I came would it make the decision easier', and of course she said yes. "Alright. I will go." Dinah had a look of relief on her face.
"Thank you, Helena." She kissed me quickly.
"No problem." she stalled for a second. "Uh, I will be going to Kemly's Tux tomorrow to work my tux rental out. If you want to come with, you may." I nodded.
"I'll be there." I said. She smiled, then she left the room.
I am getting very nervous. Bruce Wayne is rumored to be coming to New Gotham. There is more to add to my nervousness. Reece has informed me that an assassination is planned for next Saturday. That is when Bruce is supposed to come to town. He is on a business trip to auction off some items from the Manor for charity, and I am sure it couldn't be avoided. I am not sure what to say to Helena and Dinah. Dinah will not be affected, but Helena... I just don't know what to say to her. She might even hear the rumor, and get angry with me for keeping that from her. I mean, Bruce is her father. The only way this will affect Dinah is that she may have to miss that dance that night if I send them on the mission to stop the assination. Helena will do the mission just because it is a life she can prevent from getting killed, but I doubt she will stick around when all is said and done. I don't know, I will tell them about it if the rumors become more true, that there will be someone there to try to kill Bruce. I miss him. He taught me so much. I want to see him again, but will he want to see me? I mean, Batgirl is now powerless. Oracle is not... not really.
It was a Monday, and I had school the next day, so I couldn't go on sweeps with Helena this time around. Instead, I did homework and tried to talk to Barbara, since Alfred wasn't around. Barbara was in her room, and hasn't talked to me since we parted this morning at school. I wondered if she was avoiding me, but she had come out of her room at 5 to see how I was doing with homework. "I had the weirdest day at school today..." I murmured to Barbara. I waited for her to ask me if it was anything meta, but she didn't even look at me. "I heard a rumor that Batman was in New Gotham again." Barbara's head shot up and she stared at me.
"Who told you that?"
"Some dude who says he was saved by him yesterday when some guys were trying to beat him up." I said. 'Hemp', as the girls called him, was skateboarding in the park when these guys from school had tried to gang up on him, then a masked man had stopped them. Hemp says that he recognized his mask from when Batman was on the news every once and a while way back when.
"That can't be right." Barbara said. "Batman hung up his cape years ago." She said, taking off her glasses and playing with them. I shrugged.
"You know, he could have come back when he heard about Hawk and Black Canary." I said.
"Dinah, I doubt it." I said nothing. "Not that Bruce didn't like your mother, I just think that if he had come back, it would cause more problems. He knows this." I nodded, then I sat down at the counter.
"It is just a rumor. Only you, I guess can confirm it, and what you just told me already has. In a way, I am glad that it is only a rumor, since Helena..." I didn't let myself finish, as I saw in one of the monitors that Helena was on her way up the elevator. I was dying to show her the tux I rented for a week. I didn't trust that I would remember to pick it up on time, so I just got it then, and it will just be due back on Sunday night. Helena walked in casually, but she pulled Barbara aside and whispered a few things in her ear.
"...my father?" She asked angrily.
"I wasn't sure if it was a rumor or not, but Dinah..." Barbara replied, shrugging her shoulders in a lame apology.
"So it's true then?" I asked them. "Batman, or Bruce Wayne is back?"
"I guess so. Helena just said that it was reported on the news this afternoon."
"Daddy dearest..." I didn't hear the rest of her muttering. I wanted to give her a hug, but she looked like she wanted to kill the first thing that touched her. I did nothing but stand where I was in silence.
"Look, you will have to watch him while he stays here. You do not have to speak with him, but he has very good hearing, if it hasn't relaxed in his time away from New Gotham, and he will most likely hear you and ask why you were following him around... Then again, if you were by yourself he wouldn't be able to hear you at all. No offence Dinah." she added, turning to me.
"None taken, I guess. If you need me though, I will do what I can to help." I said to them. They both looked at me quickly.
"You can do this for me. I do not want to see that man." Helena said crisply.
" 'That man' is your father." Barbara informed her. As if she doesn't already know all that. I said to myself.
"Ask me if I care." Helena snapped. I shut my eyes as a headache was coming. I didn't like when they fought. I whispered lyrics and tunes to myself.
"Dinah!" I was suddenly jolted back to reality (I hate that place sometimes) by Barbara's stern, but concerned voice.
"What?!?" I asked, opening my eyes.
"Are you alright?"
"You two are fighting again. I am getting a headache." I said to her.
"We will finish the discussion without you-"
"Wasn't that what you two were already doing?" I asked, not meaning to sound mouthy. I sighed deeply. "Look, I will do this, and if he hears me, I will tell him why I am there. I will not tell him who I am or who I know... knew. If Helena decides she wants to come, which is doubtful, then by all means come along. Just... do not fight." I told them. They looked at me in a sort of shock.
"Then it is settled." Barbara muttered.
"What about your dance?" Helena asked, making Barbara look at me to see my reaction. I did nothing.
"Screw the dance." I said. "Bigger things are at stake." I knew that my disappointment could be heard, but I didn't care. I had been looking forward to the dance since Helena said she'd come with me... but I had learned early on that being a superhero meant I had to get used to disappointment. "So, where is Mr. Wayne supposed to be on Saturday?" I asked, changing the subject.
"He'll be at the airport at 4:30, says the news, so I'd go there right after school. In fact, I will write you a note excusing you from your last class."
"Alright, then." I said. I then went into my room as Barbara and Helena started to bicker about whether or not Helena was coming with me.
I do not want Dinah to go after him. I do not want to go after her, but I feel I have to. I don't want something to happen to her. Something tells me that she will end up getting hurt since whomever wants to kill him is someone from his past here, when it was Gotham City instead of New Gotham. And whomever knew Batman from his past was very dangerous. I tried to talk her out of it. You know, I told her to go to her dance and have fun, but she said that if I wasn't going to go, then there really was no point in her going as well. She said if I wasn't going to do it, then that only left her, so she had to do it. I told her that I will do it, but she only shook her head. I do not know what to do. I am going, so I guess we will spend our Saturday night following the man whom helped create me instead of laughing at the losers on the wrestling team in tights (of a different kind). Dinah shouldn't have to do this, but she told me that being a superhero meant she had to get used to being disappointed. A direct quote I had once said to her. I wish she'd stop doing that. Putting my own words back in my face to help prove her point. So I guess we are both going on this, and I am going to wear a mask. Ugh!! I hate them.
Bruce Wayne walked from his little jet plane down a ramp. Lights flashed in his face, with annoying reporters asking him annoying questions like how he felt about coming back to New Gotham. He replied them all with a weak smile and a smart reply like 'Well, I would not be returning if I am coming to New Gotham." All the reporters laugh and kiss his ass...
"That him?" Dinah asked in a whisper, already knowing the answer from the picture on the news. She was standing next to me in her new suit, and was trying to put her mask on. I already had mine on. I nodded my head, looking at her with an odd look. "What?"
"Nothing, you look like the bad guy, not the good guy. What if I end up punching you instead of the assassin?" I asked her jokingly. Her eye brows raised as if to say 'very funny'.
"You don't look too innocent yourself." she replied
"Like that is new..." I said. Dinah giggled softly as she put on the small leather mask. It was almost like putting glasses on and tying it in the back, separating Dinah from Canary, like taking the glasses OFF separated Superman and Clark Kent. "You look really good in that, though." I admitted. I kissed her.
"Like wise." She responded. I had on a small mask that was making me look like I was about to jump onto a motorcycle. It covered the top part of my head like Barbara's Batgirl costume used to, well, maybe not like Barbara's. It was like putting on a black bandanna that covered my eyes as well as my head. Luckily, it was only going to be used for this mission. Bruce Wayne walked with 4 or 5 men through the airport and we both jumped off of the 2 stories. (Yes, Dinah too. She's been working on this new technique, without Barbara knowing, where she catches herself and slowly puts herself down when she jumps off of buildings. Now we can roof jump at times, but she isn't all that great at it yet, but she loves to climb roofs and jump from them with me, great for the element of surprise...) The 4 or 5 men separated as he walked into the men's restroom.
"No way am I going in the men's room again." Dinah muttered.
"Too bad, kid. Cause that's where we are headed."
"Just to annoy you, now let's go. This way. People will look at us like we are insane dressed like this. We'll go in through the back way." I tugged on her sleeve, made of rubber and leather. Barbara had made it for her. I only wanted the mask, but Barbara gave me some cool gloves as well. Dianah wanted everything, leather, the belt with some gadgets on it, the mask, gloves, and boots came with the suit. She looked good in it, but damn it was a pain to put on. The only thing exposed fully was her blonde hair, her nose, and her lips. We made our way through the back way and slowly slipped into the men's room unnoticed. I heard no one there. "Just as I thought." I muttered. I walked over to the napkin dispenser and tipped it back. There was a switch that I pulled down. It opened up an extra stall that, after I pushed a button on the toilet paper roll, moved the toilet exposing a set of stairs.
"Whoa." Dinah said, impressed.
"I know." I smiled at her awed look.
"You knew about this?"
"Alfred told me all the secret passages of the city, and I had a hunch he would use this one." I said to her. We walked down the stairs into the dark. I grabbed Dinah's arm and steered her through the dark until she shook me off gently, signaling that she was now used to seeing the dark. I didn't let go of her arm though. I was truthfully scared at that moment. I was afraid that Bruce would turn around and ask why we were following him. To tell the truth, I didn't see him. He must know this by heart. The tunnel, from what Alfred had told me a couple of days ago when I went to his house and asked him, went straight for a block or so, then it descended some. After that, it splits into 3 different pipes. Two go in circles and connects back to where it was, and the third one goes to the main city. I forgot which one went to the main city.
"Take the one to your right." Barbara's voice said in my ear. I trusted her, since most likely she had used these tunnels as much as Bruce had.
"Where do you think he is going?" Dinah whispered.
"New Gotham." The male voice said behind us. "So, I didn't ditch the press." He said, sounding impressed that we were able to get past his security goons and follow him down this passage.
"Look pal, would the press be wearing this attire?" I asked, I made a short gesture towards myself and to Dinah, who was turning around, but she couldn't see him as I could.
"Helena!" Barbara scolded in my ear, but I did to her what I did best. I ignored her. Bruce Wayne took out a flash light and shone it at the two of us. He had planned to take these tunnels and was prepared.
"Who are you?" he asked as he shined the light at us.
"We are here to protect you." Dinah said at the same time I said,
"This is the Tooth Faerie, and I am the Easter Rabbit.
"Stop that, Helena." Barbara said. I scoffed.
"I do not need protecting." Bruce said.
"Right, I forgot that you were the mighty Batman, and the mighty-" I started, but I was cut off.
"How do you know?"
"I am psychic." I said sarcastically.
"No you aren't." Dinah said in my ear, and I couldn't suppress the giggle.
"I repeat, who are you?" Bruce asked in a stern voice.
"That doesn't matter." I snapped. "You know the way through these tunnels? Lead us to the city, and we will lead you to safety." 'Ah, I'm Fabio, and I have come to take you away...' I thought.
"How do I know I am not supposed to be protected from you?"
"Because Barbara Gordon told us to tell you to remember Fewen." Dinah answered. I said nothing as it went quiet.
"Fewen." He murmured. Obviously, it meant something to him. "Alright." There was a shifting, and Bruce was in front of us, going at a fast pace through the tunnel on the right. Barbara was right. I drug Dinah along next to me as we followed him. Bruce was quick for being in his 50's now. I was surprised. My father... I wouldn't let myself finish that thought, for I was very close to telling him or asking him about Selina Kyle, my mother... Catwoman. I was close to asking him if he still loved her.
"Huntress..." Dinah whispered. "You are hurting my arm."
"Sorry." I said, releasing her arm. Finally we reached a ladder and we all climbed up and out through a sewer hole. Outside we were in an alley. It was lit somewhat, and I could see him properly. Bruce Wayne had greying brown hair and green eyes. He was about 6'1, and he sort of towered over us, but his height didn't intimidate me. It was the way he was looking at us. The look on his face told us that he recognized us from somewhere, but he had no clue where. Finally, Bruce turned off the flashlight and slowly put it away.
Bruce looked us both up and down. "There is something familiar about you two. Have we ever met?" He asked us suspiciously.
"N-Nope." Dinah said, rubbing her arm where I had just grabbed it. "I'm from Opal, Missouri." She added, as if being from there would tell him that he'd never seen her in his life.
"Zipper-girl." I muttered. Dinah nudged me hard.
"And what about you?" Bruce asked turning to me. I rolled my eyes.
"That doesn't matter." I said quickly.
"How do you know about me?"
"Barbara Gordon." Dinah replied.
"She still lives here?" Bruce asked, sounding surprised.
"Yes, she's my mentor and trainer." She replied. I nudged her this time, but she wasn't really phased by it.
"Uh, how is she?"
"Alive and well." I cut in before she could give anything away.
"Canary, Huntress report." Oracle said in my ear. I looked at Dinah and answered for the both of us.
"Wayne safe and sound." I said.
Just got the report from Huntress. She says that Bruce is fine. I am temped to go to Wayne Manor, for surely that is where they all were headed. Instead, I am writing in this journal like a school girl with a major crush. I'd have given anything to jump into action and help Dinah so Helena didn't have to. But I am no longer Batgirl. Here is my place now as see-er of crime, and the over look of the girls' progress, for I am now Oracle. Bruce Wayne and Batman no longer need my help, but whether or not they care to admit it, Huntress, Helena, Canary, and Dinah do. And what will my life be like when I am no longer needed by them? Sure, the students at New Gotham High will need my guidance to help them succeed, but what happens to Oracle? With Batgirl dead and Oracle at a stand still, I will not know what to do then, having lived the double lives for so long that I will not know how to handle myself when crime rate is up. What am I going to do then, put a pillow over my head and try to sleep? Next to Wade, perhaps? Dinah's checking in, so I better go.
Helena was very tense. I could tell because every now and again she'd grab my arm and drag me to walk next to her instead of a little ahead of her (and a little behind Bruce). She was purposely walking a few feet behind Bruce Wayne, and she'd grab me to walk closer to her, either as a possession thing, or a distrust thing. She could really be scared, but she'd never admit to it if I asked her. She never would have. I could see why she would be scared, though. I mean, her father was less than 4 feet in front of her, yet he was clueless to the fact that his daughter was protecting him. We walked down the alley and into the street. No cars were coming either way. I was surprised. Bruce walked to an old building and opened the door. He seemed to have some difficulty opening it up, then Huntress kicked it open. Bruce looked at her. She shrugged as if to say 'What?!" Inside the room was only another door. The rest of the room was empty. Empty and dusty. I stifled ! a !sneeze. Bruce stopped in front of the door and started to interrogate us, I guess to see if we were really his friend or foe.
"Barbara's alter ego?" he asked suddenly.
"Batgirl." I said, feeling like I had stepped on the set of The Weakest Link.
"Alfred's last name?" he asked.
"Pennyworth." Helena replied, sounding as if she was really bored.
"Selina Kyle is..." he shot at us.
"My mother, now let's go!" Helena spat out impatiently. The crisp tone in her voice convinced Bruce that she wasn't lying.
"Your mother?" he asked, his tone changing from stern and suspicious to a soft surprise.
"You know, whomever is trying to assonate you is... coming, so could we please get going?" I asked, trying to be polite.
"Turn around, I have to put in the security code."
"96252." Helena jetted off. Bruce Wayne looked as if he was about to have a heart attack. "Alfred told me." She said sarcastically. Bruce had a face that looked almost angry as he punched in the number and opened the door. He made a sweeping gesture of 'Ladies first'. Helena grabbed my wrist, not tightly, but it was a pretty good grip. I felt my heart jolt at her unexpected touch. I sort of like Helena's possessiveness. It felt good to belong to someone who wanted you. We walked through the hallway and I got my wrist back. We walked through a hallway and up the stairs. Then we walked down another hallway that slowly descended for what seemed like 3 blocks. Then there was another door. Wayne put in a few codes and then we walked into what I knew was Wayne Manor.
"Thank you for your assistance, ladies. I think that now that I am in my own home and have gotten here safely thanks to you, I will no longer need your help." He turned and stared hard at Helena as if to see something- perhaps Selina Kyle in her. I turned away from them to talk to Barbara.
"Oracle, it's Canary-" I said.
"Canary?" asked Bruce, who looked from Helena to me. Damn it. "But you-"
"It's a long story." I told him.
"Yes Canary, come in." I heard Oracle say.
"Mr. Wayne is safely home, and I am waiting further instructions." I informed her. "Shut up, Huntress." I added when Helena put a hand on her ear and waved the other hand around, animating me on the phone with Gabby at times.
"GIRLS!" Oracle barked in both of our ears, causing us to wince. I quickly rubbed my ears, glaring at Helena.
"Mr. Wayne is at home now, and I am wondering if we should stay, or if we should go." I continued. Huntress had that look on her face that told me she was wanting to start singing a song with those lyrics just to be a pest.
"Give it another hour. Then come back to the Clocktower." Oracle replied. I nodded, then looked up quickly at Helena.
"Will do." I said, and the other side went quiet. "She says to stay here for another hour, then we'll leave." I told Bruce. He nodded slightly. Orders were orders.
"Uh, can I offer you girls anything?" I heard Bruce ask. "Coffee? Tea?" I shook my head, and then shot a quick glance at Helena, who copied my motion. We walked into a large comfortable room with a large stair case leading up stairs, and in the very middle of the room was an armchair and a couch. "Then please, sit down." I put my hands up to my mask and was about to remove it when I felt Helena's hand upon mine, stopping me.
"What are you doing?" she whispered bewildered.
"Taking off my mask." I told her in an obvious manner, just to piss her off some. "It will be sort of odd that we are sitting down in this nice room with masks on while Mr. Wayne is sitting there looking like a normal human being. Wearing a mask makes it sort of hard to talk to him face to face." I explained to her. She held onto my arm and her grip got a little tighter. I frowned. What is wrong with you? I thought to her, but didn't say it out loud.
"No one said we had to talk to the man." Helena pointed out.
"Your smart mouth revealed who your mother was, and I most likely hinted at who my mother was, so I think a talk is inevitable!" I whispered harshly, forgetting about his hearing. Helena rolled her eyes. I sighed and added, "He's probably gonna have questions..." I was about to say something else to win my case when Bruce had interrupted me.
"I do not mind that your masks remain on. I understand, but you are right, I do have some questions." I flashed a look to Helena that said, 'See?' and sat down on the couch. Helena sort of 'Harumph'ed and sat down next to me.
"And I will answer them within reason, Mr. Wayne." I told him.
"Just Bruce, please." I nodded. "You uh... You call yourself 'Canary'. I knew someone else with a similar name. Any relation?" He asked softly.
"She's my mother... she was my mother. It is a long story, really." I murmured. Bruce Wayne looked as if he was getting comfortable, not going anywhere for a LONG time. I could tell he wanted me to tell him this 'long story'. I sighed and took a deep breath. It took me 25 minutes to explain Carolyn Lance leaving me with the Redmond's, my running away to Barbara, my mother finding me again, and my mother's death. I kept the fact that Al Hawk was dead now to myself. By the time I was finished talking, I saw Helena was trying to hide her fidgeting. She was uncomfortable and was desperately wanting to go.
"I'm sorry." Bruce whispered after about 3 minutes of silence, which didn't help the tears from slipping under my mask and falling down my cheeks. I said nothing. Helena put her hand on my shoulder. I could tell she wanted to grab my hand, and I cannot deny that I wanted her to, then. Bruce turned to Helena. "Uh... How have you been holding up?" He asked, talking about the death of her mother, Selina Kyle... Catwoman. Helena shrugged.
"I miss her, but I will survive. I have so far." she said.
"I miss her too." Bruce said barely over a whisper. I saw that Helena was fighting back tears as well. I hated to see Helena cry. I didn't care if people saw me cry, but Helena cared. She barely felt comfortable crying in front of me and Barbara. I put a couple of fingers to my ear as if I had just heard a message from Oracle.
"Well, Mr. Wayne-"
"Uh- Bruce, it is getting late and we are positive that the attempted assassin has gone now, so we will leave you now. We will tell Barbara to give you a call." I got up and held out a hand to help Helena up. Then I took Bruce's hand to shake. Huntress and I walked away, and left the way we came.
"Thanks, Sunny D." Huntress muttered to me after we were maybe a block away from the Manor.
I met Bruce Wayne tonight. He looks different from what I had always imagined him to look like. Helena's father looks older than people said he was. Time and grief ages you, physically, and mentally. With him, it was a physical aging. With Helena, it was a mental aging. With me... Maybe mental. My powers seemed to be the only thing that has changed about me since she died. Then Helena and I got together and, I guess, now I am an entirely different girl from what people used to know. I do not feel 17. At least not the 17 that goes to malls and obsess over boys with friends. I wonder how Helena is feeling right now. She didn't say anything to me other than the short gratitude on the way to the Clocktower, but I didn't mind too much. Over the time I had been with Helena, I had learned to feel comfort in most silences, so we can sit in one room, doing our own thing or even watching a movie without saying a word for over an hour. When we did get there, she mumbled an apology for missing my dance. I didn't care then that I had missed it, and I do not care now. I just hope she doesn't still hate Bruce Wayne. Maybe she's a little happier that she got a chance to meet him. Then again... maybe not.
I had just finished putting my little 'mask' and gloves away when a knock came to my door. I knew Barbara's knock well. "Come on in." I called. The door opened and Barbara slowly wheeled in.
"How are you feeling?" she asked.
"I'm... okay. I guess I'm just sort of hurt." I admitted. I let Barbara come in, and I closed the door behind her. "Seeing him made me think of my mom and that man who killed her." I looked over at her. "It made me wonder why that man didn't just kill me as well." I knew I didn't mean that, but that was how I felt and Barbara was always convincing me to let out my feelings (and that was why I went to Dr. Quinzell, my therapist now, who is kind of creepy when we start talking about pain...). "I do not feel that way right now, but that was how I felt when I first saw my father get off of the plane. Memories of that night filled my head, and my heart filled with hate. I hated him, and I hated the man who killed my mother, I hated myself. The longer I was with him, the stronger my anger was within me." Barbara nodded, then put a hand on my shoulder.
"At least you got to finally see him, sort of meet him." She pointed out.
"Yeah, and I clung to Dinah through those damned tunnels as if she was my big sister leading me back to my room to prove there were no monsters in my closet, and if there was, she was going to slay them for me. She was the one thing that kept me from letting my anger take control. I wanted to leave him in his tunnels, I really did, and I wanted to let him get home by himself, since he had done it millions of times by himself. But I didn't want to leave Dinah there with him, since I knew she would refuse to leave until you ordered her to, or until the mission was accomplished." I rambled off. I heard rustling in the next room. Dinah was getting into bed. "Sunny D was looking forward to that dance, too, but she missed it." I said softly, feeling bad that I was to blame. Barbara's eyebrows furrowed, but then they regained it's original expression.
"She chose to miss it. That is just how she is. She wanted to help and she knew that she'd have to miss it. I think she was just proving that she'd do whatever it takes to become a superhero, though we both know just how badly she wanted to go." I nodded. Barbara patted my knee, then wheeled towards the door. I opened it for her and let her out, then I followed her, but instead of going right towards her room where she was headed, I went left. I went to Dinah's door and knocked.
"Yeah?" she answered. I opened the door to find the room was dark, but she was awake, otherwise she wouldn't have answered my knock, which was softer than normal this time. I closed the door since I saw that Sunny Delight was squinting against the light behind me which was pretty bright (man, could that sentence sound any more Dr. Seuss-ish?). I guess, though she had only been in bed for about a minute or 2, she had gotten used to the dark. Having changed my eyes, I could then see in the dark, so I walked over to Dinah's bed and sat down. "Are you okay?" She asked.
"I'm alright. I had just come in to say thank you for coming with me on this little mission, even if it meant missing your dance. And I am sorry I was sort of brushing you off tonight on the way home. I just want you to know that I was not angry with you or anything for telling him more than he needed to know." I saw her nod.
"There will be other dances, Helena. It was just a cheap dance to set up that was to help raise money for the senior class' prom. You know? Some things are just more important." She felt around and grabbed my hand, and I knew that the 'more important thing' to her was me.
"Yeah, but I will make it up to you. I'm sure there will be some sort of dance at your school for Valentine's Day. We can go then." I said. Even in the dark, I could see a smile form on Dinah's beautiful face.
"Sounds like a plan." She said.
"Something told me it would." I said. We were silent for a moment. If I didn't feel Dinah's thumb stroke my pinky, I would have thought she was asleep.
"You know, something tells me this is not the last we will see of Bruce Wayne. Even if Batman is gone to us, Bruce Wayne will sooner or later put two and two together which equals you are his daughter. From what I have seen so far, I do not think he will let that go as easily as you have." Dinah said in a soft soothing voice, as if she was talking to a kitten that was slowly drifting off to sleep in her lap.
"I know you're right." I said to her.
"Believe me or not, it wasn't his fault she's gone. Barbara... Batgirl was there, too. She could have killed him, too, but do you blame her?" she asked me. Of course, I had thought of that before, but in Dinah's words it didn't seem like I was being all that fair to Bruce. "No, you don't." she answered for me. "No one is to blame for not preventing it. It is one of those things that couldn't be prevented." I said nothing, for tears were falling from my eyes. "And one more thing. You didn't let her down nor could you ever." She said, kissing my hand reassuringly.
Wow, it is a beautiful morning. I feel better after the events that happened last night. Dinah and I spoke until 3 in the morning. It was almost 1 in the morning when we got back to the Clocktower, so we were only talking for about an hour and a half. Then I took the pillow and blanket from my bed and slept on Sunny D's desk chair, up against the wall. Of course, now my neck is a bit stiff, but somehow I was comfortable anyway. I just didn't want to be alone with my thoughts in the dark. Dinah woke up before I did this morning, and she kissed me on my forehead before leaving her room, and that was a nice way to wake up. I then went into my own room to remake my bed and get on a change of clothes. So here I am. I'm sure I will write more later.
When I woke up this morning, I wasn't sure if I was surprised to see that Helena was sitting at my desk chair asleep. I watched her for a few minutes, and if I didn't see it for myself more times than I could count, I would have thought that 'angelic' was an expression non-existent on Helena. But there she was, looking if possible more beautiful by the minute. I kissed her forehead, then left to go change for the day. I got a surprise when I got to the kitchen. Barbara was sitting at the table with a small plate of toast and a mug of what I'm assuming was tea. Sitting in front of her was Bruce Wayne! I turned around and was about to go into my room when I almost knocked Helena over. I held out my arm to help steady her, then murmured, "You don't want to go in there. Barbara's got company." Helena tried to look over my shoulder, but I was taller than she was since she had no shoes on and I did, so she couldn't see.
"Wade's here?" She ran her fingers through her hair, then gave me a quick kiss.
"N-no." I said. "The name starts with Bruce and ends with Wayne." I told her, watching her face go cold. Sunshine to a hail storm in nanoseconds.
"I think the dead are awake." Bruce said to Barbara.
"Good morning girls." she said cheerfully.
"I'm going for a walk. You know, maybe do a sweep." Helena said, then she quickly made for the elevator, ignoring Barbara's voice calling her back. Before I could think of what to do, Barbara gestured for me to sit down.
"So we meet again, Canary." Bruce greeted me. I smiled politely but nervously, and sat down on a stool a couple of feet away from them both. I noticed that on the chair right next to Barbara's was my Canary costume. On the table was a small hunk of metal (about an inch in length and width) in the shape of the bat symbol. I looked from Barbara to Bruce. From Bruce to Barbara. Finally I had to break this silence.
"Um, here I am called Dinah, Mr. Wayne." I said meekly. I was desperate for something that will break the silence. No one was speaking, and I was nervous. Actually, I was almost positive that Barbara and Bruce were having a conversation with their faces.
"Well, Dinah... Like I told you last night, you can just call me Bruce." I nodded.
"Er- Are you hungry? I made oatmeal this morning." Barbara offered. I shook my head 'no' and Barbara shrugged. The uneasiness in the room made what little of an appetite I had slip away.
"No thanks, Barbara. Well, it is Sunday, and I have allot of homework to do, so I'll-" I was cut off by Barbara.
"No you don't. You did all of your homework on Friday night so you could help protect Bruce." I started to fidget. "Remember?" she asked. I nodded.
"Uh... I'm sure you two have a lot of catching up to do-"
"That's done as well." Bruce told me. I looked over at him and looked surprised.
"You have been gone for 8 and a half years, you couldn't have caught all that up in the short time you've been here." I protested. "I'll be in my room so you two can-"
"Dinah,-" I heard a bit of sternness in Barbara's voice. What the Hell does she want from me?! I asked myself.
"Well, I have better things to do than sit here and let you two watch me squirm." I spat out, getting angry. "If you two want me to stay in here, TALK to me, otherwise I'm going to No Man's Land." I said, looking at Barbara. She looked at first shocked at my rude outburst, then she looked impressed that I didn't throw anything even though it was clear how mad I was getting, then she looked as if she was about to start laughing at me, which was making things worse. I crossed my arms, each hand holding an elbow and looked at her with a look that said 'I'm waiting'. After about 15 seconds of silence, I got off of the stool ready to go to the training room to let off my steam.
"Dinah wait." I turned to look at her. Barbara took the Canary costume off of the chair and patted it (the chair, not the costume). I walked over and sat down in it. "Listen, last night, someone tried to break into Wayne Manor. This happened at about 4 this morning. Luckily, there are security cameras and motion detectors EVERYWHERE, but Bruce no longer felt safe in the house, so he came here." She explained. My angered face softened into a look of confusion and surprise.
"How'd he know where we were?" I waved my hand in his general direction.
"I tracked you." Bruce said simply.
"What?!" I asked, not meaning to sound so alarmed.
"Remember last night when we entered Nell's Drug Store?" I nodded, hoping Nell's Drug Store was that old abandoned building. "You and Helena" he swallowed hard when he said her name, making me guess that he knew that she was his daughter "walked in front of me, I planted that on the inside of your cape." I knew 'that' was the metal on the table in front of me. "Since Helena wouldn't go within 5 feet of me, I had to plant it on you, since you were the closest to me at most times. That is how I knew where to go. I watched the screen in the Bat cave after you left and watched where you two had stopped at 12:45 last night."
"So you are good at what you do." I said, almost shrugging. I didn't feel anything.
"Bruce needs your help, since Helena bailed on you-"
"She has her reasons, so please leave her out of it." I said suddenly. Barbara looked taken aback, but she nodded. She knew I didn't like people talking badly about Helena when she wasn't there to defend herself, and it is the same with Barbara. People would speak badly about Barbara at the school, and I would chew them out for it. (Barbara knew it, since I once got in a fight and had gotten detention on the afternoon she was to be doing it. I got grounded, but that was only for a few hours since the guy came in and apologized to her for saying what he did. I made him...)
"Which I understand, but Bruce needs you to stay on guard while he takes care of business in the Manor." I frowned in thought.
"Not that I won't do it, but why me? I am a protégé of Batgirl/Oracle, who is, gasp, shock, a protégé of you. Why do you need the help of a 17 year old to protect you? You have more skill, experience, -what have you- to beat the crap out of this guy in seconds." I protested. I knew I was rambling, but I was curious, and a little scared. I didn't want to do this alone.
"Whomever tried to sneak into the Manor came in through one of the passage ways and went out the other when the alarm went off." The ex- Caped Crusader told me. "They hid themselves well." Bruce added in a low murmur.
"We think it is a meta human who did this. A meta who can go invisible." Barbara finished. "We searched the security cameras and no one was seen at all. I think you should just go for extra protection."
"So, this is a job for Canary." I said, feeling stupid for having to grab my Canary costume to go put it on. Barbara nodded. I looked at my Canary suit in disgust. It no longer seemed cool to me, or at least it didn't then in my bad mood. "Gee wiz, I'll be back in a jiffy, and when you do, you won't even recognize me. I'll be a whole new person." I said sarcastically. Barbara smiled and made a gesture shooing me from the room.
I returned 10 minutes later fully transformed from Dinah Redmond/Lance to Canary. Bruce was standing up and was ready to go. Barbara came with us and wheeled into the elevator with us. She blew on the button panel while holding onto the 'door open' button. A red laser-like circle appeared as a hidden button. She pressed it and wheeled out. Bruce held onto the 'door open' button as she did so. The door closed before I had a chance to ask about the button and where the elevator was going to take us. I sighed heavily and stood in silence as the elevator went down.
"You know Canary, you seem older than 17." Bruce commented, I guess to start a conversation.
"Yeah." I muttered, not sure where to go with that comment.
"Is Helena the same age as you?" he asked.
"No no. She's older. She's 24..." I looked up at him suddenly and asked, "Do you know?" I wasn't sure if he'd know what I was talking about, but to my surprise, he did.
"That she's my daughter? I've always had a hunch that Selina was pregnant after our encounter, but she never told me. Nobody did until this morning. How old were you when you found out that Carolyn was Black Canary?" he asked me.
"16. I found out about a year ago. Just days before she died." I wanted to get off of the elevator right then. I realized that we should have been to the ground floor by then. In fact, we seemed to have gone the length of the Clocktower (which was 75-90 stories high) underground! Finally, it slowed down and eventually stopped.
"Here's our stop." Bruce announced as the elevator doors opened. I let him walk past me and into this new room first, not caring that there could be something dangerous in it and I was supposed to be protecting him. But then again, Barbara wouldn't have had us go this way if there was. "Afraid I'll put another bug on ya' Canary?" he taunted playfully before walking a little in front of me. I looked around while searching my brain for a snazzy come back to find we were in what looked like the same tunnels we had traveled through the night before, only these were lit by electricity. It was then that I wondered silently about the Clocktower's electricity bills.
"Does this go to Wayne Manor?" I asked him.
"Among other places." He replied. "It depends on the path you take." I nodded.
"Well, I'm following you since I would only get us lost pretending I knew where the heck we were going." I told him as he started to walk the tunnels.
I hope I did the right thing by allowing Dinah to watch after Bruce without the help of the Huntress. I do not know how she will do alone. Well, technically she won't be alone. She'd be with my mentor Bruce Wayne. (To my dismay, Batman is no more, and whomever had roamed the streets of Vancouver wasn't him. Must be someone who knew of Batman and decided to do good in his city. I just wish I knew who it was. But then, who was the caped man that Dinah said rescued a boy from her school?) I just hope Dinah doesn't run into the meta. Maybe it is just a man/woman great with disguises, but I do not want to take that risk. I do not know where Helena jumped off to. She left her comset here, actually in Dinah's room on her desk. I put it on her bed, the cleanest thing in Helena's room. I hope she gets back soon.
Why'd he have to come back to the Clocktower? Having breakfast with 'daddy dearest' was not on my 'To Do' list for the morning. I thought as I walked around New Gotham. What'd he want? I wondered after cussing out some jerks making cat noises from a passing car. Whatever. I felt strange, as if a small person was tugging on my shirt, signaling for me to go back to the Clocktower. Something is wrong. What if he needed our help? What if he needed to be protected and me having bailed, Dinah was the only one there to do it? Oh no! Dinah's gonna have to do it alone, and she's not comfortable with that yet. Dinah is capable on her own, but what if she gets out numbered? By a lot?! I wanted to jump, that wood be the fastest and easiest way to get to the Clocktower. People could see me, being almost noon, but I could run like hell. I took off running through the crowd on the street. I knocked over a teen on a skateboard on accident. I helped him up an! d !apologized, then continued to run. Finally, I got into the Clocktower.
Barbara wasn't expecting to see me running in through the elevator doors. "I betcha anything Dinah's mad at you for bailing. She had to face the uneasiness of the room alone. At one point I thought she was going to hurl something at our heads." She chuckled. "Poor Dinah, she had kept trying to find a way out of the room, and I kept canceling out her reasons. She looked as if she was going to blow a fuse."
"Are they gone?" I asked. Barbara nodded. "When?"
"About 20 minutes ago. Is something wrong?"
"I have this gut feeling that something is... 'Always go with your instincts', I always say." I said, walking into Dinah's room where I had left my comset last.
"I thought I always said that." Barbara called. I walked out of Dinah's room when I found it wasn't there, and went in to my own room in case that was where Sunny D had put it.
"Well," I said as I walked out of my room putting on my earrings, "whomever said it is a wise person." I said.
"That would be me..." Barbara said. I smiled at her, then my face went serious as I put on my mask. I do not know why I wanted to wear it again since Bruce knew what I looked like without it, but I put it and the gloves on anyway.
"Fastest way to Wayne Manor?" I asked.
"Follow me." We walked back to the elevator and Barbara blew quickly on the button panel, revealing a red circle.
"How'd that get there?" I asked. I thought I knew all of the secrets Dinah didn't about the Clocktower (secret passageways to different rooms, hidden rooms and hidden places for weapons... the list goes on).
"It's been there." She said simply.
"So what, you've been going to Wayne Manor when no one's looking?"
"No, how do you think Alfred comes and goes most times?" Then the door closed after she smiled at me. My mouth was open, but words refused to leave it. The elevator went down what seemed like 150 floors before stopping. I was on full alert when the door opened. All that was there was a tunnel. I walked slowly at first down the lit tunnel, then I heard a small whirring noise. "Happy Birthday." Was all the voice on the other end said.
"Oracle?" There was no response. I was about to get all sarcastic and say that my birthday had already come and gone, but I couldn't. I looked in the direction of the sound to find a motorbike, not unlike the one I had gotten when I had joined that gang undercover. (It, unfortunately, got destroyed.) "What the-" I asked bewildered as it stopped right in front of the door to the elevator. I walked slowly to it, afraid it was being ridden by some invisible person. There have been rumors of a drug that was created for metas that made them invisible, but no one has confirmed or denied the rumor. If it was ridden by an invisible person, why would Barbara say 'Happy Birthday' you paranoid freak? I asked myself. As I got closer, it seemed to come to life again. The lights blinked on.
"Please state your name." said the mechanical voice. It went silent, then when I didn't move or say anything, "Please state your name." It repeated itself.
"Huntress." I said.
"Name invalid." It said, then it turned off. I moved back and the bike went to life again. I wasn't sure what to do. I didn't want to activate any alarms, but this not being able to move was pissing me off. "Please state your name."
"Helena Kyle." I heard a whisper in my comset. "It will respond to that name."
"Why?" But the voice left again. "Damn it Barbara!"
"Name invalid." The bike responded when I said Barbara's name. I moved away from the bike. "Please state your name."
"Helena Kyle." I said. The whole bike lit up and then it went to normal. A green light came on what I knew then was a screen on an area in front of the seat right under the handlebars.
"Welcome, Helena Kyle." The mechanical voice changed in midsentace to Barbara's voice, and I was now looking at an old video clip of Barbara. (She had shorter hair and she was in the electric wheelchair she had when she was first paralyzed, before she beefed it up.) "Ah, I knew sooner or later you'd find this tunnel. Either that, or your father has finally come back and is in danger of some sort.
"To start the engine, wrap your hands firmly around both handlebars. Make sure that at least your left hand is exposed, for your fingerprints alone is the key." I looked at the handlebars and they were made so I only had one way to put my hands on it comfortably. I got onto the bike as the clip kept going. "I'd advise you touch, on the map, the coordinates of where you want to go." On the screen there was a map of New Gotham and it's outer cities. "I have already put in shortcuts to New Gotham High School, No Man's Land, the 5 police stations and fire departments, the Clocktower, Wayne Manor, and Opposite Attractions." I laughed out loud. Opposite Attractions was a place for normal teens that was like a YMCA. It was also where I worked before I turned 21 and became a bartender. Obviously, Barbara thought I would go on a rebellious streak and ignore her when she said that most of the places in the Clocktower were forbidden. I never did explore too much of the Clocktower, but when I did once, I found half of the things that are hidden that Dinah doesn't know about. Barbara showed me the rest when I was ready. Dinah will learn about those when she's ready. "If you want me to, I will put more in if you ask, or I will teach you how to do it yourself if, for whatever reason I cannot do it. Once you touch the area in which you want to go, the bike will know what to do. The bike goes 65 miles an hour, so I advise you hold on tight. It will not start moving until both of your feet are where they are supposed to be. Ride safely."
The screen went to the map. There were 6 different colors of labeled stars on the map. Opposite Attractions had a yellow star, No Man's Land had a blue star, the fire departments and police stations had red stars, Wayne Manor had a purple star, the Clocktower had a green star, and the high school had an orange star. I pressed the purple star and the bike's lights flickered as if to take in the information. "Hell yeah, this is what I call transportation!" I said as I took off my gloves and put them in my jacket pockets. I wrapped my hands firmly on the bike's handle bars, and the engine started up. I waited for a few seconds, then I lifted my feet and set them on the rests, and the bike started to go. It went slowly at first, but it quickly picked up speed. I felt the need to steer the bike at times, but it usually did that on it's own before I could get a chance to do it. 'The bike will know what to do.' Barbara had said. Did she design it? I wondered as I watched the screen, which showed how far from the Manor I was. I saw a small black dot enter the purple star, and looked up to see the bike was slowing down, then it stopped as the star flashed. I took my hand off of the handles and dismounted the bike. The bike had stopped in front of a metal door.
"Oracle, thank you for the bike." I said.
"You're welcome." she said. I walked slowly through the metal door, and changed my eyes. I could see in the dark and I saw all the lasers immediately. I was able to maneuver them easily while I felt the danger warning in my gut again. Something was REALLY wrong. I needed to get to them fast. "Huntress?"
"Go ahead." I acknowledged.
"Are you in Wayne Manor yet?"
"I am just inside." I answered her.
"Is Canary there?"
"No, not that I can see." I replied.
"She's not responding." she told me. I felt my blood go cold. Not responding?
"I'm almost in." I whispered.
"Hurry, I am starting to get worried. You were right to come after them." Oracle said. I nodded, knowing she wouldn't be able to see it. I was getting worried as well. I walked in through the nearest door to find I was in the same room Canary and I argued in the night before about our masks. On the floor was a broken coffee table with a vase knocked over.
"Oracle, I found her comset. There was a fight. Who won, I do not know." I told her. I walked over to pick up the pieces of jewelry.
"Keep looking. I'll check the security cameras to see if it caught anything." she said to me.
"Right." There was silence on the other end, and I continued to search the room until I felt I was being watched. The more I searched around, the more I felt another presence, but I never saw anyone else.
"Huntress, it looks as if Dinah was fighting someone in the room, but they are invisible. He reveals himself a little, but he has disappeared again. He's taken them both." She told me.
"Where did he go?"
"Motion detectors reveal he went to a different part of the house, a part I didn't know existed." She added softly. I looked around as the presence seemed to creep closer. I took a step away from it, but still it seemed to come.
"I better get out of here. Perhaps I can track them down."
"Huntress out." I said. I looked around a little bit more before turning to leave.
"You are not going to find them." I whirled around, but no one was where the voice was being heard.
"Who are you?" I asked in a tough tone.
"That doesn't matter." the male voice answered with confidence.
"It does if you want your body to be identified." I threatened.
"Such harsh words for such a harmless kitten." He taunted.
"Harmless? I think not." I said.
"All you need to know is that Bruce Wayne is going to die tonight, and Blondie would have walked away without a scratch had she not attacked me. Now she joins him." The voice was for certain male. It was soft, menacing. I think his mouth was covered, for his voice seemed muffled. "I suggest you leave now if you do not wish to join them." he said to me.
"I suggest you show yourself if you do not want to be added to my body count."
"Very well." Right in front of me, a man appeared. His mouth, his whole face was covered with a simple white mask, and he wore all white. I wondered what it was like seeing Canary fighting this guy. Some one would have thought that Dinah was the bad guy and this man was the good guy from the colors. Only his hands can be seen. "You may call me Translucent Man." he informed me, waving his hands around as if to say to me, 'Tada!'.
"Well, I suppose it is better than the Invisible Man. That has been overdone." I said sarcastically. "Where are they?" I barked.
"You'll find out soon enough," He became invisible again, damn it! "when you find their bodies in a ditch, cut in pieces." he added as a afterthought. I mentally cursed at him. You won't touch a hair on Dinah's head! I listened carefully to find the man hadn't moved. I tensed up, ready to fight. Finally, I heard footsteps going through a far door in a corner. I ran after him, but the door wouldn't open for me. DAMN IT!
"Shit." I muttered. I walked over to where I had dropped Dinah's comset, and pocketed it.
"Huntress this is Oracle."
"Go ahead." I said with a heavy sigh.
"I have good news. Motion detectors have gone off. He's going back to Dinah and Bruce." She said to me.
"How stupid can one get? He knows I will follow his ass."
"You alright, Canary?" I heard Bruce Wayne whisper to my right. I turned my head in his direction, but my eyes were blindfolded by some sort of foul smelling leather, so I couldn't see him. I tried to use my powers to remove my blindfold, but they were as useless as my hands were at the moment.
"Yeah." I replied, wriggling in my bounds. Already my wrists were raw and they had started to bleed from the rope burns. I could feel the blood run down my fingers. "What about you?" I asked.
"I'm not dead, so it's been a good day so far."
"Don't sound so happy about it." I muttered sarcastically.
"Sorry." He said with a shrug in his voice.
"Any idea on how to get us out of this?" I asked him.
"You're the superhero." I grunted in pain as I felt more blood trickle down my fingertips. I winced.
"Right, but you have been in this situation many more times than I have, this being my first kidnapping and all..."
"Look at that, Blondie's gonna die of blood loss if she keeps trying to get out of her ropes THAT way." The voice belonged to the one whom called himself 'Trans- something-or-blah-blah Man'. Before he could say something else, he grunted as if he was hit to the ground.
"Hey," Relief washed over me as I heard the Huntress' voice. "You ran off before I could introduce myself." There was kicking, punching, cursing, and grunting to be heard by both parties, and eventually there was a thud. "By the way, the name's Huntress. Remember that when you end up begging for me to just kill you." I had to smile. The noises of violence continued, then suddenly they stopped as quickly as they had started. I felt a presence really close to me and started to struggle to get away from them (fearing it was the meta ready to hurt me again) before I heard her voice. "Canary, it's alright. It's me, Huntress."
"I'm so glad you're here." I told her as she took off my blind fold.
"Are you okay?" She asked after she took off the ropes and saw the burns.
"Yes, I'm fine. That Trans 'loco' Guy gave me the creeps." I told her, wrapping my arms around her in a large hug. She laughed some. "Man, I hated being blindfolded." I mumbled as she hugged me back. After I stepped away, we both walked to Bruce whom was also blind folded, but unlike me, his bounds were almost off of him. He looked up at the two of us as I took his blindfold off, and Helena helped him with his bounds. Then we helped him up.
"You shouldn't have struggled, Canary. Not only will you have those nasty burns for awhile, but whomever had taken us knew you were panicked." Bruce lectured me.
"Thanks for the tip." I said to him sarcastically. What did I expect? For him to magically rip out of his bounds, untie me, and together we beat the tar out of Translucent Man? Become a great temporary team? Ha!
"Come on." Huntress said to us. Bruce lead the way out of the room we were in. Helena had put an arm around my shoulder, and when I looked at her she mouthed 'I love you.' I smiled and repeated her motion. We ended up using a different passage from the one we had entered the house from, and we were at the Clocktower within a half an hour. During that time, Helena told me about the motorbike Barbara had given her. Well, the bike Barbara had supposedly given her years ago. "I didn't know Barbara was able to design something that cool." she was saying as we saw the Clocktower come into view.
"Great, now you can give me rides to school on some mornings." I told her.
"We'll see." was all she said.
"Well, it's better than 'No', not as good as yes, better than 'I think not, which is worse than just 'No' not as good as Hell yeah... but it's good enough for me." I said. Helena stopped walking and watched me as I walked a couple of steps ahead of her before I stopped as well. She does this when I start talking too much to see if I am in my own mind so much that I wouldn't notice if she had stopped walking beside me. (Once, we were walking home from the movie theater, and I was talking about how cool it was when she stopped walking, and I walked for almost a block before I realized she wasn't there, and I was talking to myself.) I looked back at Helena, and she smiled, remembering what I had, then she closed the space between us and walked by my side again.
"Ah, thank goodness all of you are alright." Barbara said, relieved. She wheeled over to us, and looked us over. "Anyone hurt?"
"Dinah's got rope burns and a cut on her side." Helena announced.
"How'd you know about-" Helena gently tugged on my Canary costume. I looked down to see that it was ripped, and there was also blood coming from the wound inside the rip. "Damn it, he ripped my suit." I said.
"I'll fix it later. Go change, I'll be in to help you in a minute." Barbara said softy. I did as I was told and went into my room. A few minutes later there was a soft knock. By then, I was in underwear and a sports bra.
"Who is it?" I called.
"Barbara." Came the muffled reply.
"Just checking. Give me a minute." I wrestled into a pair of jeans before slowly opening the door for her. She had a first aid kit on her lap.
"Ooh. Looks a little worse than I thought." she said when she saw it exposed.
"It doesn't hurt. I didn't even know I was cut until he kicked me where he had swiped the knife at me." I told her, sitting down on my desk chair.
"For the cut, I need you to stand." She told me matter of fatly, so I stood, facing her as she inspected the wound. She looked it over, patting with her index and middle fingers, the areas around the wound. Still, it didn't hurt. "Okay, it is not as bad as I had at first thought, but it is no mere scratch." I nodded. "Luckily, being metahuman, this cut will heal in a couple of days... hopefully without a scar." She was mumbling things I had already found out from experience. When I first started to train with Helena, I made the huge mistake of challenging her to a fight to test what I had learned so far. She, at first laughed at me and told me that I had a few years yet, and even if I got that good, she'd still whoop me. I taunted her and finally she agreed. Long story short, Helena kicked my ass. Yup, she beat the crap out of me, and I walked away with more bruises than I could have ever counted having in my entire being up until then. (I think even then she was holding back.) I had them for only a day and a half, but I never challenged Helena again. Even being my girlfriend, she'd beat me within 3 inches of my life, she'd said. After Barbara bandaged the wound, she gently grabbed my fingers, making an inspection of the rope burns on my wrists.
"They're okay, I was just trying to struggle out of the ropes." I told her.
"That's not good." She murmured, mostly concentrating on putting bandages on them as well.
"Well, duh." I said. She looked up at me and smiled. "I thought they were loose enough to get out of. I was wrong obviously." Barbara nodded.
Something tells me that whomever had taken Bruce and me is not finished with his plan. I feel almost as if we had walked into a trap. We were careful later when we went back to the Manor, but all was still. Bruce and Helena talked some during the time Barbara had bandaged me up. At least Helena doesn't seem to hate him anymore, but she still avoids him, even if at times it means avoiding me, since I was to watch over him as Canary. Bruce goes back to his hiding spot, wherever it was he has been living for the last 8 and a half years, the day after Valentine's Day. In about an hour I have to leave for No Man's Land. I still work at the same spot, but sometimes I take time to visit the children whom have run away or been abandoned. Every once in a while if a child is threatened by the home, Gibson has me enter their mind and I help them adjust and feel more at ease when they get there. I better get this entry finished. I have to go to Wayne Manor before I go to No Man's Land.
I knocked slowly, deliberately on Dinah's door. She, I think, was getting her Canary costume on. I heard my permission to enter and saw I was right. She had the boots off in the corner, and at the moment she was putting her gloves on. She turned to look at me. "Hey, Din-ary." I said, for that was who she seemed to be when she was only halfway into each life.
"Hey." she replied. I watched as she laced up her boots. "What's up? You come in to chat, or you just in here to look at me because I am that sexy?" she teased. I put both hands in my jeans pockets, where I wrapped my left hand around 2 strips of paper. I smiled.
"A little bit of both." I joked. Dinah looked around the room for her mask to find it was on her desk. She looked in the mirror, then over at me with a question in her face. "Hey, uh, Barbara told me she has to chaperone for the Valentine's Day Dance at the high school, and she bought a couple of tickets for us to go. You interested?"
"Wayne?" She nodded. "He'll be in his hotel room all night getting ready to leave for his flight." I walked over to Dinah and took the mask from her. She turned around as I helped her tie it in the back.
"Yeah, but he will be leaving, and that will be the last day he will be here in New Gotham, which means the last chance to kill him." She said, adjusting the mask over her face. I looked her in the eyes through the mirror.
"Alright then, we will go check on him before we get ready, then we will go to the dance together." I explained. She shrugged.
"Alright." I looked at our reflections in the mirror. Helena and Canary... Huntress and Dinah. I am 2 people, but both identities love Dinah... "Sounds like a plan." She added with a smile, cutting into my thoughts.
Dinah and I rode in silence as we made our way to the high school's auditorium. "I think we'll be a little late, but I do not think that will be much of a problem." I said to her.
"We'll be fashionably late." I smiled. "Besides, people do not end up arriving until like 9 anyway. Until then, everyone goes into their own groups, or they stick to their dates." she said. I looked over at her. She was wearing a simple dark blue dress which went down to her shins. The straps were slipping down her shoulders because they were too big, but the dress looked lovely on her anyway. As for me, I was in a black strapless dress that was made of leather. The length of my dress was sort of smaller. Just barely below my knees. We were ready to party, ready to dance.
"Redmond!" Mary Garfunkle, Dinah's friend (from No Man's Land mostly), was waving to us as we got out of the rented minivan, since it was too cold for the Jeep. She was in a white dress with hearts on it, fitting for the holiday. She was standing next to a black haired boy in light blue dressy shirt and slacks. He reminded me of Gibson, since that seemed to be the type of thing he would have worn to prom, not that he'd gone.
"Hey Mary, hey James." Dinah greeted as we got closer to them. "Mary, James, this is Helena, Helena this is James Dergon and you already know Mary Garfunkle." I shook their hands and smiled. Yes, I already did know Mary. She was the only one besides the residents in the Clocktower who knew that Dinah and I were together. She sort of figured it out. "Uh, where's Gabby?" Dinah asked her friends.
"She said she wasn't coming if Elizabeth, her new girlfriend, had to work." Mary answered, glancing at the two of us. "You both look nice this evening. A nice change from the street rat you were today at school, Dinah."
"Thanks." Dinah said dryly.
"Thanks." I echoed in a polite tone, a first in a long time for me.
"Well, let's go inside." Dinah suggested after a minute. "I'm sure that Gabby will find us if she decides to come after all." We all walked into the building. Barbara was taking tickets and I dug into my purse and grabbed ours.
"You guys have fun." Barbara was saying to the couple in front of us. "Ah, I was wondering when you two were going to get here." she took the tickets from me. "Have fun, and Dinah, curfew's at midnight unless you page me and ask nicely for an extension." That was code for 'Curfew's at midnight unless you have to go to Wayne Manor.' Barbara had brought our costumes to her room, room 203, so we could change if we had to. Our comsets were linked to the DELPHI system, so it would go off as well as Barbara's pager if we had to go. Then we could call the computer with my cell phone and get the information that way. Wayne had his own signal if he needed us.
"We will, Ms. Gordon." Mary said.
"See you later, Ms. Gordon." I teased.
"You better hurry before I deduct time from Dinah's curfew. Then you will not have happy person standing by you."
"Okay, okay." I said. She waved us off as Dinah pulled me away urgently. I knew she didn't want to have to end the night before she was told.
The auditorium was lightly lit with soft lamps, mostly red. There was a disco ball hanging up, but so far no lights were shining off of it. Some couples danced lightly on the floor to the song that was playing. Other than that, everyone was huddled by the refreshment table talking to their own cliques. Nothing has changed since I was here. I thought to myself. Mary said hello to someone, and our group slowly made its way to the refreshment table. I looked around at the different colored dresses and smiled. So far, though, everyone seemed to be having a nice time.
"Hey Dinah." said another blonde curly haired girl, I assume, from her class. When I walked Dinah home, I would always see her talking to this girl after school before her bus had come, but other than that, we haven't met. "Who's your friend?"
"This is Helena. Helena, this is Gabby." I shook her hand quickly and nodded.
"Hey." I said to her.
"Some dance. Sort of a waste of 20 bucks, but I am sure it will get a little better soon." Gabby said to the four of us. Dinah nodded, handing me a cup of punch.
"Sorry, it's not vodka." She murmured to me. I smiled.
"Well, why the hell not?" I asked playfully.
"Because, people don't go spiking the punch until after 10:30." she told me. I laughed some as the slow mushy song went off and a newer upbeat song about heartache came on. It was pop, but I liked it well enough. I was just ready to dance.
"Come on, join me on the dance floor." I told Dinah.
I sat down 20 minutes later and have been watching as Helena continued to dance with a few of the people she had just been introduced to. I was letting my feet rest, since I was not normally in heels for so long. Helena fought in heels, so I'm sure she would be in them all night if she wanted to, or at least until they broke. I saw a figure in the corner of my eye sit down to my left. "She's not here just as your friend, is she Dinah?" It was Gabby. She was looking at me with curiosity.
"Yeah." she said in her 'Duh!' tone.
"Of course she's here as my friend. I do not invite my enemies to come to dances with me. That would be dumb." I said to her, knowing exactly what she was truly asking me.
"I don't think so." Gabby said, shaking her head. "You watch her way too much for her to be just a friend, and she watches you just as much. There has to be something going on between the two of you." she said. I frowned. "How long have you been together?"
"We are not together. She is just my friend who needed to get out of the house for a while. She has dad issues right now." I said over the bass of the song. At least the last sentence wasn't a lie. She looked over at me with a look that clearly stated that she didn't believe me. I rolled my eyes. "About 6 months." I told her, giving in. I was being technical. If Helena had not gone to Reece that one night, it would have been almost year. But I sort of took that time as we had broken up without saying anything.
"Why haven't you told me?" She asked me.
"Helena didn't want anyone but Miss Gordon and ourselves to know since we both know too many homophobic people." I admitted.
"Is she ashamed of you?" Her sudden question stopped my heart for a second.
"Why should she be?" I was shocked that we were having this conversation. "I mean, she doesn't care that I am a female."
"But you said she is older than you are. Is she not wanting people to know because she's with a female minor?" No one's ever put our relationship into terms like that, but Gabby spoke her mind, and usually the truth was not far from her opinions.
"I-I don't think so." I stuttered.
"But you are starting to." She pressed.
"Well, if you put it like that..." I said uncertainly, then I changed my mind. "If she was ashamed of me in any way, Helena wood have broken it off a long time ago. That is just how she is." I said to her, feeling myself getting angry.
"Alright." Gabby said, backing off.
"How'd you know, anyway?" I wondered.
"I saw you two were acting more like one of those dancing couples than 'just friends'. I asked Mary, and since Mary is not one to lie, and she told me to ask you, giving me some idea that yes, you were a couple. Then I saw that Helena was dancing out there while you sat here looking like the jealous boyfriend."
"I am not being the 'jealous boyfriend'." I said coldly. "Helena is good looking. She knows it, those guys all know it, I know it. She's just having a good time. Helena missed a lot of her senior dances. Why would I be jealous of that?" Gabby shrugged. Bruce's signal sounded in my ear, a lower toned version of the DELPHI signal, and I searched franticly for Helena in the crowd. She was still dancing. Did she hear it? I didn't think so since she didn't stop. Did she turn off her comset? "I will be right back." I told Gabby, whom turned her head from the crowd of dancers including Helena, to me. "Tell Helena that I just got paged by her step dad, and I have gone to answer the call. Let her know in 10 minutes if I do not return."
"Will do. Hey," she grabbed my arm as I got off of the seat. I looked back down at her. "I'm sorry for what I said about Helena. I didn't mean to piss you off." She looked me up and down quickly before letting my arm go. "You look great tonight. So does Helena."
"Uh, yeah, thanks. You too." I said rushed. "Don't forget." Then I walked quickly out of the room. I trotted down the hallway in my stockings to room 203. Barbara wasn't in there, and I knew she wouldn't be if she was chaperoning. I looked around before opening and closing the door. I lifted the bottom half of the chalk board and saw a cubby hole with my suit in it. I took my Canary costume out and transformed.
"Hey, have you seen Dinah?" I asked Gabby, the last person I had seen her with in the past 5 minutes. Gabby looked up at me and nodded.
"I was just about to come and get you. She got a page from your step dad about 5 minutes ago, and went to go call him." She told me. Oh shit! I knew I shouldn't have turned my comset off. Even for my favorite song. I knew what Dinah was really telling me. It was actually a clever way to put it, you know, so I knew, but Gabby didn't see anything weird about it.
"Why didn't she come tell me?"
"She saw that you were having such a good time, and she probably thought she'd be right back." she said, taking a sip of her punch. I thanked her and went to get our purses. Then I left. I took my heels off and ran to Barbara's classroom in a sprint. Dinah was already gone. She's got the transformation thing down. I got my favorite jacket, gloves, and my mask and saw Dinah's dress where her costume used to be. I went to the desk in the very middle of the room and felt around underneath it. There was a button that looked like a wad of gum, I just didn't know which one it was, so I had to touch 3 other wads of gum before the desk slid to the right and a rail raised up around the area where the desk had taken up space. I jumped over it and stepped on that square, and down I went. I immediately, saw my new bike and smiled. There was a note attached to where the screen is, or at least it was trying to sit up against it.
Something's wrong, I can sense it. Bruce hasn't talked to me when I tried to call for him. Let us hope he's alright. Sorry I didn't tell you as soon as I heard it. There were 6 people around you that would have heard every word. Plus, you were having a good time. The longer I take writing out this letter, the longer it will be before I get to Bruce. Contact Barbara, for I haven't been able to get a hold of her either.
I love you,
I put a finger to my ear piece. "Oracle." There was silence. At first.
"Huntress?" Came a whisper.
"Canary went after Bruce. He's not responding and got scared when you refused to answer her as well." I reported. The bike asked me to state my name and I gave it. I put Dinah's note in the inside pocket of my jacket after folding it 4 times. Then I mounted the bike. I took my gloves off as I waited for her reply.
"I was speaking to a couple of staff members. I'm in the classroom now, and I see you have forgotten to put the desk back." Barbara told me.
"I though it did that automatically."
"Not this one." I looked behind me to see that the rail wasn't put back.
"Oh, sorry." I said as my bike came to life.
"It says on my computer that Dinah is at Wayne Manor right now, though how she got there so quickly is unknown to me." She said, sounding worried.
"Maybe she used her telekinesis to make herself fly." I said sort of sarcastically to keep other unwanted possibilities (like being kidnapped by Translucent Man again) out of my head. I knew that the only time she holds her own weight is when she jumps from the rooftops with me. Barbara said nothing else and I took my feet off of the ground. I got to Wayne Manor in about 10 minutes or less. I was at the entrance where I saw a scooter parked by the door. It wasn't one of those cool motorized scooters either. It was one of those scooters that 9 year olds rode to school. "Scooter? She rode a scooter?" I asked in disbelief. It did make sense. A lot of the roads on the way there was down hill, so she could have picked up a lot of speed along the way.
"She must have taken it from my confiscation pile." I started to laugh as I dismounted the bike.
"Shh! Translucent Man?" She reminded me. That shut me up. I walked into the door after slowly putting in the codes. I was in the room where Bruce, Dinah and I had talked the first night he was in New Gotham. I saw a man sitting against the wall in a far corner asleep.
"Where in the Manor are they?" I whispered to Oracle.
"Walk up those stairs, then go left. In a room that looks like a closet... the 3rd door to the left... is a tuxedo that is on a hook covering the wall in the back. Move the coat and you will see a door knob. Turn it." She instructed. I followed all of her instructions and found myself in a larger room. It was bigger than the living room of my old apartment. The walls were what I thought was a light green color, but I couldn't tell with it being so dark inside.
"It's empty." I told her.
"Not quite." she said. "Go over to the far right corner. You will see one simple button. Hidden by holograms is an elevator that took Bruce Wayne to the Bat cave. Press that button and for a few seconds the holograms will disappear, exposing the elevator doors and its button panel." I did as I was told, for once without a word.
"Are you saying we are going to the Bat Cave?"
"That is where they are, well, in a room right next to it.
"And Dinah got down here... how?"
"My only guess is that she ran into trouble on her way in, and took the information from them after she beat them up." Barbara said. I was by then going down. When the doors opened, I saw that it was really dark where I was. There was a light, but it was at the far end of the room. I heard a voice as well coming from that same direction.
"I have waited so long for this moment. Eight and a half years without my Sweet Mistah. J... It makes me a very angry woman." I know that voice. I thought, going on alert. Who does it belong to? I racked my brain for the answer while slowly advancing. I forgot to change my eyes, so it was hard for me to see in the dark. Suddenly a hand grabbed my arm, and I reacted. I kicked, punched, and jabbed towards them, but they were all blocked. Then a hand grabbed me quicker than quick, tugging me hard towards them, and I felt lips upon mine. I stopped fighting instantly, knowing then who it was. The kiss was mind melding, and I could feel many emotions coming from Dinah. It almost seemed as if she was jumping into my mind and she told me without words that they, whomever 'they' were, knew we were coming to get Bruce and might be waiting for us. She said she thought they had a trap set up.
"Glad you could make it." she said in a very low tone, but that didn't disguise the hunger in her voice that made me shiver. We parted a little and we walked in the shadows together.
"Where's your superheroes now? With Batgirl dead and that duo distracted by our bank robbery, who's gonna save you now, Bruce? Batman?" The woman laughed (it was high pitched, an annoying laugh that made Fran Drecher tolerable). Dinah pushed some of her hair back.
"What bank robbery?" Bruce asked.
"I have 6 of the most powerful metas in New Gotham waiting with 90 hostages from the street for them to come save them. Lightning, Nimbus, Translucent Man, Knife, Wolf, and Heat. They will be gone in seconds. Two against 6? I think not." She told him confidently.
"Shit." Dinah muttered.
"And what if they aren't at the robbery? What if they have already gotten word of trouble and are on their way here?" he asked.
"Then my metas will start killing the hostages... one... by... one." the woman said simply. "And I know the blonde one - the more gentler one - wont want that."
"Blonde one?" Bruce asked, but the look he had gotten on his face told me he knew who she was referring to.
"One of the girls is a blonde who lets all my men go after she beats them to a bloody pulp. I don't know why she doesn't just kill them like her partner does. Half of them deserve it. It would make things easier on me so I don't have to kill them myself. I know at least the blonde one will be at the site."
"Oh crap. And I do not kill them!" I muttered. "Oracle." I whispered.
"Go ahead." She said.
"We're in deep. There is a bank robbery in progress with hostages, but the robbers are 6 metas. Really strong ones at that. We are still in Wayne Manor, and can't be in two places at once without assistance from the other. If we don't get there, the 6 metas will start killing the hostages inside." I told her.
"Ask her to call Gibson. Six against like, 25? I think not." Dinah said in my ear, imitating the woman. The grin I got on my face made me look and feel like the Cheshire cat.
"Canary just got a great idea. No Man's Land is booming this time of night with older metas and teens, so call him and see what we can do about creating a meta army of our own." I said.
"Great idea Dinah." I saw Dinah smile, so I knew she heard what Barbara had said. She looked like she had a look of pride on her face. I squeezed her arm quickly. We walked towards the voices a little more. I looked down at the voices that spoke and gasped when I saw her face.
"Oh ho ho... that bitch." I muttered, feeling my eyes change. I trusted her!!! I trusted her!
"What?" Dinah asked.
"That is my shrink!" I whispered harshly.
"Dr. Quinzell?" she asked a little more loudly that I would have liked. I put a hand over her mouth to quiet her. I was about to tell her to tone it down when one of the goons keeping a close eye on Bruce looked up at us.
"Boss... company's here." he noted. She looked up at us as well.
"Ah, you're right on time for our Grande Finale." she laughed and looked at us. "It is sure to be a big bang." she laughed again to herself.
"So, you're the one who engineered Guy." Dinah spoke up.
"Guy? Is that what you named the boy?" the woman said without interest.
"You took that little boy's life before he even had a chance to live it!" Dinah shouted, but instead of throwing something, I could see that Bruce's bounds were coming loose. She must have needed something that would get her angry so she could use her power a little better. Bruce didn't move. He must be waiting for the right time. I thought.
"He was made to destroy. But you stopped him, didn't you?" She asked thoughtfully, as if to just realize it was her.
"I didn't," I said, taking her evil look away from the fidgety Dinah and over to me. "He did it himself." I jumped over the hand rail and stood in front of her. "Now I know why I hate shrinks. They are all asses." I told her.
"It's a gift." She said with a shrug. "And... who are you?"
"Don't do it..." I heard Dinah say.
"You won't get the privilege of finding out." I said. She shrugged again as if it didn't matter one way or the other. "Get to the robbery!" I yelled over my shoulder at Dinah. I didn't look at her.
"NOW!!" I snapped.
"Be careful. Crazy and smart equals really dangerous." Canary said before she was heard exiting at a run.
"She's gonna die." Dr. Quinzell said in a sing song voice. Then she snapped her fingers behind her, and what seemed like 15 men and 12 women came out of the shadows and surrounded me. It was as if they had just appeared out of no where. Oh... Shit. I thought.
I got to New Gotham Bank in time to see 30 teens and adults slowly approaching it from the back. I saw Gibson near the front leading them. He had 4 children that were under 12 with him. He must have brought the kids from his safe haven. Why did he bring them? Was it because he didn't have anyone to watch them? How could he NOT?! He's got his pick of the 30 people there! I thought franticly. I was concerned for their safety, even if they were all powerful metas for their age. "Oracle, call the police. I see more than only 6 people among the metas robbing this bank. I should have known. 6 metas couldn't hold 90 people hostage by themselves. How dumb can I be?"
"Anyone could make that mistake. I'm sure Helena had as well." She said to me.
"Yeah, but her mistake isn't going to get over 100 people killed!" I ran over to Gibson and tugged on his sleeve.
"It's a trap!" I whispered harshly in his ear.
"I know, I can smell them." He said, looking around.
"Then why are you still advancing?!" I asked him.
"We can still take 'em."
"You have children with you! They will get hurt." He looked at me as if to fall out of a trance. "If you must still advance, put the children at a safe distance or send someone with an inactive power to take them home."
"You're right." he said. He told the three boys and one girl to stay where they were, and if they were in any danger to use their powers and scream for help. Then we all burst into the scene. I was first, telling Gibson to come in at my signal.
"She's here. She actually showed up. Where's your little crime fighting buddy? Not that you will have anymore of a chance to win this with her around." said Translucent Man, going invisible. A few of the hostages gasped in shock and fear.
"She's at home watching 'Jeopardy'." I told him sarcastically.
"Ah, so Harley's got 'er then." He said this as a statement, not a question, and his voice was right next to my ear. I hit around and found him, getting him in the nose... I think. I felt a blow to my stomach and I hunched over.
"NOW!" I yelled in a wheeze. Gibson and the rest of the metas came in activating their powers: 6 elementals, 9 animal shifters like Helena, 2 with bizarre powers and three time travelers ran in, plus there were 10 or so others with inactive powers that had muscles to help kick butt. The children, a snowcreater, a timestopper, a half bird, and a metal maker, didn't stay put. Luckily for the children, the people of the other side didn't have the gall to hit a child, so they had no choice but to take the beating they offered them. The oldest child was 10, and the youngest child was 4.
I tried my best to find Translucent Man, but he has become used to walking quietly. I bet if Helena was here, he'd be easy to find for her. I had no choice but to take his blows until from nowhere it seemed a bunch of paint was splattered on the area around me, and I got paint on me as well. Light green, not my color.
"Sorry, Canary." I wiped my eyes and looked in the direction of the voice. Did I still have paint in my eyes or was that really... Batman?! I looked over at Translucent Man to find he couldn't disappear anymore. "Huntress needs your help." the caped crusader said to me. "I will handle these men." I nodded, turning to leave.
"Dinah, take me with you!" I turned to see Melanie, the 6 year old timestopper trot after me.
"No, Melanie. It is too dangerous." I told her.
"But I can help! I can do better things now!" she whined.
"Melanie, you're 6. Bad guys are everywhere, and you cannot protect yourself. Stay with Gibson and Robert." She looked as if she was about to cry. "Gibson needs you to be his superhero, okay? Take care of them for me." she nodded and I disappeared into the night. "Gibson shouldn't have brought them." I muttered.
My hands were tied together behind my back and my feet were tied as well, and they were tightly done. They almost hurt when I moved at all, not that I had much movement other than my head being able to lift from the floor. When I opened my eyes, I saw some blood next to me, knowing it was mine. "She's awake." some goon with an Australian accent alerted.
"Ah, and right on time for the 11 o'clock news." 11 o'clock? It was a little before 9:30 when I found out that Dinah was headed for Wayne Manor, and I wasn't there for more than 15 minus before I was unfairly attacked by 25 or 30 people. That means I have been out for at least an hour. Where was Dinah? Is she alright? "Turn on the TV's!" Dr. Quinzell ordered.
"Yes ma'am." came a voice. I forced my head to lift from the ground. I watched as a TV screen brightened, flashing a fire somewhere.
"... New Gotham Bank. Hope arrived soon after with a storm of teenagers with remarkable abilities. They have been known to be called Meta... Humans. These teens arrived shortly before the police were called by an anonymous caller. The teens were trying to evacuate the building before a huge explosion occurred. New Gotham mourns the loss of all the people in that building. No one survived. Only the bodies of 14 people have been identified." the announcer had reported. I threw my head back on to the floor when I heard the last sentence. NO! Please no...
I didn't want to look up to see a picture of a dead masked girl on that screen as they showed them, but someone grabbed my hair and made me look. I saw Gibson's face along with a few of the gang at No Man's Land that I talked to when I waited for Dinah to finish her shift. Then there was a picture of a little boy Dinah had to play tour guide to named Patrick. He was so scared when Gibson had found him in an alley beaten within an inch of his life by a gang of bullies. The picture they showed was one they had found on the security camera, as was the rest. Patrick had the same look on his face Guy once had on his when I told him he would get a birthday 'with cake and candles and everything'. The last words I had said to Dinah wasn't I love you, it was "Get the to robbery, now!" Tears ran down my face. "No..." I sobbed.
"Be careful. Crazy and smart equals really dangerous." she had said. She was right, and it killed her. She killed her. "She's gonna die"... Harley Quinn had sang when she left. I should have run after her and helped her out, but would I have gotten killed as well? I didn't attempt to blink the tears away from my eyes as I silently sobbed for Dinah, wishing her back in my arms (once they were unbound)... I love you. Please don't leave me... I felt my heart plead. I wanted to touch my lips from when she had just kissed me a couple of hours ago, but seemed only minutes to me-
"Is your little hardened heart breaking, Helena?" It was then that I realized that my mask was taken off. I looked around, but didn't see it. "What's this? The last love letter you received. 'Hey you,' " She read out the letter, and each word was torture to me. Dr. Quinzell started to laugh before it was cut off by the shadow of a figure behind me. Batman? I asked myself uncertainly. "Kill the blonde!!" Dinah! My heart seemed to beat again, overjoyed knowing she was okay, even if she looked like the Jolly Green Giant. The 25 people whom had jumped me plus a few more that seemed to come from nowhere (they might have followed her) started to go after Dinah. She fought the first 8 or nine nicely, but she was too soon getting tired. Her eyes got an odd look in them, then the TV screen ripped from the wall and was hurled at 3 of the advancers making them fall like dominoes. Everyone's back was turned away from me putting their attention on Dinah. Someone touched me, but I couldn't fight them off. I heard the grunts and hitting and laughing from Dr. Quinzel suddenly stop. Then I looked up to see everything went still. The fighters, including Dinah, were all still with their hands or feet in the air ready to strike the person near them. Harleen Quinzel's face was amused, but frustrated at the same time. I noticed a small girl of 5 or 6 grasping my arm.
"See? I can help." She said proudly.
"You did that?" I asked in disbelief.
"All by myself." She boasted.
"Very good." I told her. She beamed and then she found a knife. She used it to cut me free, telling me that she saw this in a movie and it should work (as if I was the child and she was the adult trying not to scare me). Of course, it did (work, not scare me). While the men and women were stilled, I knocked them all over and beat the tar out of one when the child wasn't watching me in awe. Then I looked over at Dr. Quinzell and punched her. "See? I feel better already, and I didn't have to say a word. And that, Dr., is therapy." I told the stilled figure, now lying on the ground. I looked over at the child whom was watching me. "Can you... undo this? You know, make the people move again? Not at this moment, but in a little while?" I asked her.
"Yes, I go backwards and forwards too." she told me.
"Backwards and forwards... in time?"
"I broke a toy and I was scared of Freddy and the toy fixed all by itself, and all the people walked backwards." She explained to me. I sort of understood what she was saying. I had to think about it through a child's eyes to fully understand.
"Can you help me then?" She nodded. "I need to go backwards. People got hurt, and I want to fix it, just like you fixed the toy."
"I didn't fix the toy, it fixed all by itself." the girl told me as if to ask in her mind if I had heard a damned word she said.
"Alright, then you can help me go backwards and together we can fix all the broken people. You can be a superhero for the night. How does that sound?" I asked her. She looked excited, but then she got a sad look upon her face as if she wanted to cry. Oh please don't cry. "What's the matter?"
"I do not have a name."
"You do not have a name?" I echoed.
"I have a name. I am Melanie. But not a mask and a name like Dinah is Canary and wears a mask." She told me. I nodded.
"No name? Well, all superheroes have to have names, and if you want to help me save the day, you will need to be a superhero, with a superhero name. Let's see, I am Huntress, Dinah's Canary... you want to be Baby Bird?" I asked her. She smiled brightly and I couldn't help myself. I smiled back.
"Can you hold onto my hand and take me backwards too?" I asked her. She nodded her head. "Okay, I need you to come hide with me, and then I would like you to make the people move again." I took her hand as we hid in the shadows. It was like a comedy to watch those who where on their feet a nanosecond ago wonder why they were on their asses instead. I watched as Dinah finished her kick, having it connect with no one's jaw. Before Dinah could say anything, Baby Bird grabbed my hand and we ran to Dinah, where Melanie took a hold of one of Dinah's ungloved hands. The men and women froze again. We looked at each other. I looked at my leather coat to see it was really badly ripped. I sighed, then got an idea. I tore a strip of the leather and took the knife that my bounds were cut with and cut slits. Then I told Melanie to come to me for a second.
"Mel-" Dinah started to say.
"Her name is Baby Bird now, Canary. Baby Bird, when more people are around, call me Huntress, and then call Dinah Canary. No one is supposed to know our real names. They are strangers and really dangerous. You understand?" I asked as I tied the leather around her head, making sure there was plenty of room for her to see. I looked up at Dinah who was watching me as if I had gone mad. "She just saved our butts, and she can help us, so she will be apart of our trio tonight. I'll tell you later, but for now, say hello to Baby Bird."
"I told you I could help. I helped protected you from a- a million men!"
"Yeah Canary, a million." I repeated, widening my eyes a little with the last word of that sentence. She looked at me then down at Baby Bird, who was admiring her new 'mask'. Then I looked over to where Dr, Quinzell was, and got my own mask from her pocket. I had seen some of it sticking out. Then I took Dinah's letter from her hands and kicked her softly to push her away some. I don't know why I wanted Dinah's letter if she wasn't dead. I guess I just didn't want her to have it.
"I guess you did. Thank you Baby Bird, for saving my life." Melanie took our hands at the same time and I started to feel dizzy until it stopped. I looked at the wall where a clock was. 9:45. How did she know to take us back this far? Could she already tell time? And if she could, how did she know that coming to this time could mean the difference between many lives and death? I shrugged it off, but Dinah seemed to have the same thoughts. Then I thought that maybe Baby Bird got a glimpse inside Dinah's head and saw the first time we arrived at Wayne Manor tonight. We had to think up a plan. "When did Bruce Wayne leave after I untied him with my mind?" Dinah asked me suddenly.
"An hour maybe, why?" Dinah frowned. "What's the matter?"
"At New Gotham Bank I saw Batman. He saved my life, hence the She-Hulk Halloween costume." That was lost on me. "He threw the paint so I could see Trans Loco even if he disappeared." She quickly explained seeing my expression. "That happened right as I got in there, which couldn't be more than a half hour after I left here." She murmured.
"Either that wasn't Batman, or that wasn't Bruce Wayne." I reached my hand out to put on Melanie's shoulder. "Either someone is impersonating Batman, or someone was impersonating Bruce." I explained my odd words.
"But who would/could put on the cape?" Dinah asked shocked, since the chance of someone (a meta) impersonating Bruce was slimmer than the chance of someone simply putting on the Batman costume. "Well, whomever it is he's on our side."
"Are you sure? Maybe it is a trick. Be careful if you encounter him again." I whispered to her. "We'll go unbind him like before but this time, we leave before we get discovered." I said to her. "Then we will get to the bank without involving the kids from No Man's Land." Dinah asked why not, but I refused to answer.
"Alright." she finally agreed. I don't think she knew about the previous explosion. She was on her way to help me out. I turned on my comset and said, "Oracle," as we all walked slowly towards the voices again (Baby Bird had undone her time stopping).
"Yes Huntress." She acknowledged.
"First off, there's something strange going on with Bruce Wayne and Batman. They are no longer one and the same. I think someone else picked up the cape. Secondly, there is a bomb inside New Gotham Bank." I looked over at Dinah's shocked face. That was when she understood why I didn't want to involve Gibson. "I need an entrance in as well as a couple of exits. Third, we have a new member of our team of Superfriends, for tonight."
"What?" She asked.
"Melanie has transformed herself into Baby Bird." I explain. Barbara knew who Melanie was since Barbara had come to the safe haven a couple times to check on the kids with Dinah before school.
"What is a 6 year old child doing with you?" Barbara asked alarmed.
"She- it's a long story, and we do not have the time to talk about it right now." I said quickly.
"Oracle," Dinah added. "Call Reece. Tell him to bring about 100 of his friends to Wayne Manor, and then to the Bank." I watched as Dinah loosened Bruce Wayne's ropes with her mind, then the three of us (Dinah, Melanie and I) split. Dinah had picked up Melanie and was running with her so we could get there a little faster.
"Huntress? Canary?" she hesitated. "Baby Bird?"
"All here. What's up?" I said a little out of breath.
"I found all the emergency exits in the Bank, but if you opened them, the whole building goes on alert. If your plan is to sneak the hostages out, you are in big trouble. I haven't found a way to stop the alarms, nor have I found another way to exit the building."
"Shit." I said as we all slowed down. I looked over at Melanie whom had a shocked expression on her face. "Sorry, Huntress has a potty mouth." I told her. She smiled, and I could tell she was getting tired. I felt bad that she was brought into this. She was 6! I might have put her life in danger... Oh no... I thought. Her powers seemed to be draining her. What if she falls asleep before I could get her to stop time if we need it. I looked over at Dinah, who looked as if she had the same thoughts.
"Wait!" I heard Oracle call in my ear. "Okay, on the top floor is where the security watch over the building and the monitors. In that room is a control panel for safety tests on the building. The lever shuts down the whole building's security for 10 minutes, meaning that you can go through those doors during that time without getting noticed. You have to get all 90 people plus yourselves out of there within that time unless the bomb has different plans." She said in an authoritive voice.
"You mission, if you choose to accept it..." I mumbled, since Barbara was starting act as if we were stuck in a Mission Impossible movie. Dinah got a worried look on her face.
"How are we going to get all those people out of the building in 10 minutes?" She asked, panicking. This was not the time for her to panic.
"Stop time." Melanie said simply. I looked down at Baby Bird, then up at Dinah. To tell the absolute truth, during the time Oracle was telling us our mission, I had forgotten she was standing, holding Dinah's hand and listening to every word. "Stop time to give more time to find the secret room." she explained sleepily.
"She's a smart 6 year old." Dinah explained, shrugging. "I think... we can use that actually..." she seemed to be forming a plan as she put her gloves back on.
"But how?" I asked.
"I think I've got a plan. Oracle, can you do us a favor?"
"What is it, Dinah?"
"Huntress and I will most likely be in two different places at one time, and since we cannot talk to each other, can you be our walkie talkie?"
"Sure, just tell me the plan."
My plan was simple, it was risky, but no one seemed to have come up with anything else (not even a plan B), so Dinah's Plan it is. When we approached the Bank building, Helena took my hand real quick and squeezed it in a short simple message, 'Be careful'. Then, I grabbed Baby Bird's hand and together we ran inside. "You know the drill, Mel- Baby Bird. Sneak over to the other side of the room where the hostages are and wait for Huntress or myself to join you. Don't make a sound." Melanie nodded, knowing this wasn't a game, and she did as she was told.
"Canary, Huntress says she's at the controls, but the bomb seems connected to the security tests. They were a few steps ahead of us." There goes most of my plan... but I only looked around for metas, never voicing my doubt.
"How much time on the bomb?" I asked.
"Less than 9 minutes." I felt my heart leap into my throat. "This is your plan, what do we do?" Barbara asked as if she knew the answer but was testing me to see if I 000will come up with the correct response. Now is not the time for a test, so if she knows something I don't, she better speak up now! I thought angrily, frustrated that I had let everyone down. Then I held my chin up and kept myself alert.
"The police are on their way. Melanie's in place... Tell Huntress to get out of there and start evacuating the building."
Barbara repeated my words to Huntress "And the 6 metas..?" Barbara asked after a short pause, telling me she was relaying Helena's response.
"I'll distract them."
"Don't. Huntress says she will be there to help you."
"Tell her she's got to get out of there and help those people!" I said loudly. "The police will be here shortly to help me." I told her. "Canary out." I didn't turn off my comset, I just wanted her to think I did. I found the 4 men and 2 women in the same place I found them before Baby Bird had turned back time.
"She's here. She actually showed up. Where's your little crime fighting buddy? Not that you have anymore of a chance to win this with her around. So, have you changed your name from Blondie to Kermit the Frog?" The other metas laughed, reminding me of my first few days as Zipper Girl.
"So we meet again, Trans Loco." I said in my toughest voice. I attacked, kicking and punching him. The other metas sprung into action. One woman (a dark haired, tanned skin and light eyed woman) turned into a wolf and jumped on me and bit me. I stared in her glowing eyes before I kicked her away at the same time an invisible hand had punched me. I hit blindly, knocking out a man whom had appeared suddenly in front of me. I didn't see him come or fall over as I tried to get these metas away from the hostages and my teammates.
Suddenly, I recognized the man whom was coming towards me. It was Nimbus, I'm guessing. He was the drug dealer who killed Jason Wert a few months ago. I used my mind to move the paper weight on some teller's desk and it hit Nimbus on the back of the head before he could use his wind. I heard sirens, but they were headed in a different direction. I then heard growling. Wolf was back, and her back was stiff, ready to pounce if I made a move. A man seemed to produce knives from his hands and was ready to... and a woman had the body engulfed in flames, yet she didn't seem harmed. Suddenly water was flung from the stair rail and onto the woman named Heat. She returned to her normal self, her powers useless for now. Everyone, including me looked up. Translucent Man returned to his normal white suited self.
"Batman! But that's impossible." Nimbus was cut off from saying anymore when the caped man swung down and started to fight by my side. I was inching away from him slowly as I fought off the metas. 'Well whomever it is, he's on our side.' 'Are you sure? It could be a trap...' Batman, whomever he was, had on heat sensor goggles and was fighting whom seemed like an imaginary being, but I knew it was Translucent Man. I fought off (the best I could) Wolf and Knife at the same time I had just knocked out Heat.
"Watch out, Canary!" The voice I heard was not rough around the edges as Bruce's was, but a softer gentler voice and I knew whom it was immediately and I trusted him. I turned as Alfred Pennyworth fought off Wolf. That was when I realized that those whom had not fallen over unconscious ran off, leaving only Heat with us. I grabbed her under her elbows and Alfred took her feet, and together we went to where Helena and Melanie were slowly getting the hostages out of the window with the shortest way down. Below, men were helping the women and the women were helping each other.
"Baby Bird, now!" I said. She stopped time, and everyone but Helena and me were frozen in place. Even the teenager who was on her way to the ground from the window sill was frozen in midair. We finished getting the people out including Heat (even though Huntress wanted to leave her) out of the building, then we went back for 'Batman'. I never got a chance to tell Helena the identity of this Batman.
"Baby Bird, you can start time again." Huntress informed the little girl, who fidgeted with her mask. She did as instructed and everything went right again. Even the teenaged girl landed safely in the arms of a really hunky guy, whom had only gotten taken because the takers were meta, otherwise he would have easily taken them. Huntress picked up Baby Bird and jumped out of the window, the girl squealing in her ear with delight. She had fun, and asked for Huntress to do it again. Then I jumped out as well, and used my mind to help me land. The people below applauded as I looked around for my teammates.
"Freeze!" What seemed like 50 men and women in black pointed guns at our heads. They seemed to appear out of nowhere. I didn't know what to do. Batman... Alfred walked slowly towards us until a few of the guns aimed at him. I reached out to my side slowly and touched his arm.
"Huntress, Canary, are you alright? I heard yelling."
"We're fine except for the 50 or more guns aimed at my head!" Huntress whispered sharply.
"Is Bruce with you?" She asked, ignoring Helena's statement.
"Yes." She said at the same time I said 'No'. Then Huntress looked at me.
"Well, which is it? Yes or no?"
"Yes." Helena said in unison with my 'No' again.
"No." I repeated firmly. "We do not quite know if he escaped or not." Helena millimetered closer to me. I reached for her hand, and thinking I wanted to hold it, she took it. I reached my thumb to her bare wrist, the closest exposed skin I could get to. She got flashes of my fight and my revelation about Batman. I took my hand away, and she nodded in understanding. I mustered up a lot of courage before saying in a clear tone, "Let the children go." I told the men in front of me. There was another little boy about 8 with his mother that was walking to the bus stops to get home.
"I wanna stay with you." Baby Bird protested. Alfred put his hands on her shoulders.
"Please, Baby Bird-" I started to plead.
"Police!" I heard to our right. Most of the men put their hands up and I felt relief wash all over me.
"Reece! There is only 3 minutes left on the bomb inside!" Helena screamed. He nodded and helped with the arrests. Then we helped the hostages get further away from the building as the police officers evacuated the building's outer boarders with the arrested criminals.
If Bruce wasn't the man in the Batman costume, than who was the man who helped Dinah, and who was helping us now? I couldn't believe the answer Dinah had put into my head. Alfred! Alfred had put on the cape! ("Somebody had to do it, Miss Helena" Alfred had told me later.) He was a damned good fighter from what I saw in Dinah's mind. But where's Bruce? Is he still in the Manor, held hostage by the evil bitch from hell? "Oracle, Batman was the butler we all know and love. We haven't heard from Bruce." I reported.
"Let me get your bike online and feed it your coordinates. It should come to you in a couple of minutes. You can go back to the Manor and see what's going on."
"Thank you Oracle." I said to her.
"Just doing my job." I smiled then, and watched as all 56 men and women were arrested, read their rights and shoved into the police cars. Dinah approached me and we stood in silence together. Finally, my bike came for me, and Dinah saw Gibson, who picked up Mel. She looked so sleepy, but she still wanted to be apart of the action, for she is now Baby Bird.
"Good night Baby Bird. You will always be my hero." I said to her. She beamed, eyes half closed. Dinah said good night to her as well. Mel could no longer resist the comfort of Gibson's shoulder as a pillow. "Take care of Gibson, he needs it, trust me."
"Hey, I resent that, but I will take it as a sign that you feel undying love for me and don't want to see me hurt." he said. My eyebrows raised.
"Let's just say I don't want to see you hurt, okay?" I said, as Dinah resisted the urge to say something along the lines of 'Dream on!'. We watched for a moment as Gibson's shadow became a blur. Then I looked over at Canary. "Come on, we have a father to save." I told her. I had taken off my gloves and asked Dinah to hold them for me. I waited as Dinah had gotten on the bike and held onto my waist. Then I grabbed the handles and we started to soar.
We entered a secret driveway of the Manor that if the bike hadn't turned into it, I would have never seen it. Barbara must have put that secret into the bike for me so we aren't seen entering the perimeters of the house. A garage door opened up for us and once the door closed again almost silently, we dismounted the bike. "Wow, it's dark." Canary murmured. She was so close to me that I could smell her shampoo. I felt her grab on to my arm gently, seeking a guide in the dark.
"Oracle," I whispered. "I think we are in a garage, but I do not see any door into the house. Nor do I know how to get us back to the room Wayne is held in. Can you help?" I asked her, surprised at how polite I was being. I was trying resist the urge to grab Dinah and kiss her the way she had done before time went backwards. I didn't know if I would make a mistake that will cost her her life, and I wouldn't get the chance...
"Go through the door right in front of the bike. It looks like a shelf, but if you put your body weight against it and step back for a second, the door will open a crack. You will see a number pad to your right." I did as I was told, taking Dinah with me. The room we entered was just as dark, and even I had a hard time seeing until I was standing in front of a soft glowing square. The number pad had well... numbers, but also other coded symbols as well. "Press 8-7-7-4-7-3-9-2." I tried to punch in the number at the same speed she said them, but I couldn't.
"8-7-7-4-7... huh?" I asked, forgetting the last numbers.
"3-9-2."She repeated slower.
"3...9...2." I mumbled.
"Hold onto the rails." Barbara said. The lights glowed and the door closed behind us, and I saw which rails she was talking about. We gripped them at the same time. Then we descended at a fast pace. It almost felt like I was falling. Dinah looked scared and if I wasn't just as so, I would have laughed at her pained expression. None of us cried out though, amazingly.
"Shit!" I said when we stopped. The door opened less than a minute later. We walked out slowly and calmly, or at least we were trying. We were in the same place I was when I got out of the elevator the first time I got to the room (right before that exhilarating kiss with Dinah). Dinah had let go of my arm, now able to see, but I took hers instead as I heard familiar voices.
"Happy Valentine's Day Mr. Wayne. Since my Sweet Mistah J is all locked up, I didn't want to spend this holiday alone." We snuck along the wall and Dr. Quinzell quickly came into view. She was standing over Bruce who was bound again. Her goons were gone. I guess she didn't hear that they were ambushed (sort of). Bruce was bleeding this time. "I just hope this doesn't TIE into any of your other plans..."
"She's alone." I murmured, not feeling or seeing anyone.
"So we just go in, get him, and get out right?" Dinah asked in an uncertain whisper. I looked over at her.
"Right." I let go of her arm.
"How will we do that?" She asked me. I shrugged.
"Use your head." I told her.
"Right." She said. We both nodded, and jumped over the rail and down on the floor beneath us. Shocked, Dr. Quinzell didn't have time to react before Dinah grabbed her face and head butted her, making her fall to the floor. My eyes widened.
"I'm sure that wasn't what Huntress had in mind, but I s'pose it works." Bruce said to her. Dinah looked at me and rubbed her forehead.
"They make it look fun in the movies." She said. "That just plain hurt." I laughed and helped Bruce out of his bounds.
"Are you okay dad?" I asked. Both Dinah and Bruce looked at me as they processed the question I had asked him, the last word blurted out on accident.
"Yes, I'm fine." He patted my arm once he could move his hands. I smiled, finding that I liked saying that word, and I suppose from the way he looked after I asked him that, Bruce liked to be called by that name.
"Oracle, is Alfred now with you?"
"Yeah, he just got back about 5 minutes ago." she replied in my ear. "Are you all right?" she asked us.
"We're fine Barbara. All three of us." Dinah interjected, rubbing her forehead a little more. I had to hold back my laughter.
"Good, get back to the Clocktower ASAP."
"Right." I said. "Right. What about Harley?"
"I'll get Reece to come get her."
"Great." Dinah said.
Some Valentine's Day. I cannot say it was the worst I've ever had (there have been lonely holidays where I locked myself in my room, knowing that I didn't belong), but it certainly wasn't the best. It was a little scary, but certainly not boring. I am just glad that the whole ordeal is over. Helena will have to find a new shrink, if she ever starts to trust them again (I highly doubt it). Bruce is spending the last night in Helena's room, and Helena will be in my room. I think Helena's hate for Mr. Wayne has melted away, at least a little bit. They talked some and I think things will be better between them, though if she inherits the Wayne fortune, she's giving it to charity. She doesn't want his money, just his love, I bet. Maybe even more than revenge... whether or not she wants to admit it out loud. I looked in my mirror a couple of minutes ago, and my forehead is red. I think it will be that way for at least a few days. Oh well, it will be a battle scar to admire for a few days. Happy Valentine's Day.
The stars were bright as if to smile down upon all of the people in love and at home celebrating that love. I watched the buildings as lights went out in apartments. People can go back to the ones they love tonight, and it is all thanks to a 6 year old little girl. This was an almost tragic night, and I am thankful that Melanie decided to be stubborn at that moment. I bet she's in her bed dreaming up schemes that Baby Bird and her sidekicks Huntress and Canary get themselves in and out of. I chuckled a little.
"What's so funny?" The sudden voice made me jump, and I turned to face Helena and collected myself before answering her question.
"Jeeze, you scared me." I told her.
"I know." she said, walking to my side.
"I was thinking about Melanie. How the greatest gifts really do come in small packages. She gave 90 or more people the gift of life tonight, and she's not even tall enough to ride Magic Mountain!" I looked down at the streets in thought. "And none of them will ever know." I chuckled again. "I bet she is in her room dreaming of Baby Bird and her two sidekicks, Huntress and Canary, fighting crime of New Gotham together." Helena laughed a little and put an arm around my shoulder. We were silent for a while.
"So, how are you feeling, you know the head and all?" she asked.
"Not baa-aa-aad." I bleated, copying the Mountain Dew commercial. She laughed, grabbing my hand. Then I said seriously, "The dance was fun while it lasted..." then added as an afterthought, "but afterwards I bet you were having a blast." I said. Helena looked down at me (she was taller than me at the moment as I was wearing my Canary costume, but had taken the boots off; I was wearing some sandals, and my toes were freezing.) as if to say I was nuts.
"Oh yeah, playing Mission-Almost-Impossible-For-Any-Normal-Human-Being was a real hoot." she said to me. I smiled.
"Come on, you cannot stand there and deny that you were not having the time of your life kicking the asses of like 35 people... while they were frozen in time and couldn't fight back I might add. You just cannot." I said. She was silent.
"Thirty- nine people." she said after awhile. I used my weight to gently push into her. "But I am torn trying to figure out if the highlight of the night was the fact that you head butted my counselor, an act I've wanted to do since I got court ordered to go... Or the part where you kissed me in the dark as the mysteriously sexy Canary." she purred. I looked up at her sly smile, almost blushing.
"I had to, otherwise you would've kicked my ass. That was the only way I could think of that would get you to stop fighting me. And I was scared and so relieved when I found I didn't have to fight alone, and I know that I will have to someday, and Hell, I did a little bit tonight, but there will be nights when you-" I knew I was rambling, and I bet Helena had only mentioned it so I would do it again, but I at first didn't get her drift until she grabbed my chin to make me look up at her, stopping my mindless babbling . Then she kissed me, a repeat of earlier that night, and I could tell by the way she leaned into it that she wanted to do that for at least a couple of hours. Being unprepared, I felt some of her thoughts, and I was sure she felt some of mine, but I am not sure what was on the surface of my mind then. She didn't back away, she only turned her body to face mine to intensify the kiss. I felt my whole body tingle. Helena broke away a few minutes later, my min! d !buzzing with protests. More-more-more-more-again-again-again-again-now-now-now... NOW! My head cried out.
"I think my Valentine's Day just got better." she said, letting her thumb rub a soft trail from the back of my ear to where my neck and shoulder connected. I shivered at her touch like I always did. "I do not know what Gabby told you, but I am not ashamed of you or... us, or even myself for the relationship we have. You are the best thing that has happened to me." I knew by her tone that she was telling the truth.
"Deep down I knew all that. It's just... Gabby speaks her mind and the truth. I knew you weren't ashamed. I mean, Barbara knows and if there was a problem she would have ended it immediately." Helena nodded.
"Not that I would have listened. I was hooked after that first kiss." she muttered, but I heard it. How could I not hear her with her being so close to me, holding me? We both looked up at the stars, or Helena looked at the stars and I looked straight ahead of me. I felt a drop on my shoulder a little while later and realized Helena was crying.
"Helena?" I asked her.
"Did you know, that before our Baby Bird turned back time, I saw the explosion on TV?" She asked me.
"You did?" I asked, shocked.
"Dr. Quinzell made me watch it. It said that no one survived. Not even her meta rejects. Everyone was killed, and I thought... I think for a few minutes I couldn't breathe. I thought you were taken from me as well."
"But I wasn't." I told her as she sniffled. I looked up at her. "I'm here now."
"When I saw a caped person drop in on them I was sure it was Batman, not you. Then Quinzell told her goons to kill the blonde... and I have never felt more relief in my life. As if those words alone, as horrible as they were then, were taking a sledgehammer to my heart and breaking its hard outer wall." I didn't know what to say. I touched her cheek and she leaned into my touch. "I hated feeling as if I'd never see you again." she whispered.
"It's alright. I'll be here. I am not going anywhere." I persuaded her in whispers.
"I know, I was just... scared."
"Aw, Huntress is fearless." I reminded her softly but a little playfully.
"Huntress has many fears, and so does Helena. They both fear losing you." she said slowly. I felt her hold me closer to her. It felt sort of odd that I was the one holding Helena, giving comfort instead of the other way around as it was at most times. I was the one usually who needed a shoulder- her shoulder- to cry on, but it felt good to feel needed then, and it felt good to know she trusted me enough that she was letting some of her feelings out, telling me exactly what's on her mind without holding back. I do not know why, I guess because I found it works with children, I rocked a little from side to side with Helena in my arms as she cried, or fought hard not to cry. I felt her cheek touch the side of my neck, her hair almost tickling behind my right ear. I felt her tear fall down the back of my neck, an act that made a few tears come to my eyes. Like I said, I hated when Helena cried.
"Please don't cry." I whispered to her as I swayed. After a minute the tears stopped, but our sinc motion didn't. I continued to hold her, continued to sway.
After Helena and Dinah told me what they have been through with Melanie... Baby Bird, I was so glad to see them home safe, even if Helena had a torn up jacket and blood on her shoulder and Dinah had green paint everywhere and a large red mark on her forehead. They were alive. It was all thanks to their team efforts and the police arriving right when they did. I talked to Bruce and he told me that Harley was the one that got them, and that Helena had known her as Dr. Harleen Quinzell. My eyes narrowed when he told me that. I should have seen that coming. I should have known, since Harley didn't seem to do too much to her name. It was almost as if she had taken her mask off for a minute and I still didn't know her true identity. She's now in Arkham Asylum with the meta losers that she worked with in there. I was glad that Alfred was there as Batman to help out. He must have been the one who helped the boy from Dinah's school. Very awesome. Of course, this was only a couple time thing when the Huntress and Canary were elsewhere and couldn't help other crime. Way to go Alfred.
Barbara Gordon watched as Helena and Dinah swayed slowly to the music only heard in their heads. She took a sip from the mug in her hands and then set it on her lap. She sighed as she shifted her gaze from 'her' girls to the moon. Helena and Dinah seemed like her daughters, even if Dinah had only been with them for a little over a year and a half. She was still like a daughter to her. Helena has always been a daughter to her. Barbara had seen her grow up, though mostly she was in her Batgirl costume as she watched over the small girl as she slept or walked to school. It still amazed her how grown up Helena seems since her mother's death, yet when she's with Dinah, she acts like she's 14 again. They have their playful arguments and the wrestling matches in the den as if they were not 17 and 24. "They do seem to fit together." The voice to her side made her jump, and she almost spilled her mug. "Sorry." The voice said to her.
"I do not know why or how you always do that." Barbara said, playfully hitting Bruce Wayne's knee.
"It's a gift." he said with a shrug in his voice. Then he chuckled.
"I think I know where Helena got it from, then." she said, taking another sip of coffee. Bruce also had a cup in his hand and he copied her motion.
"How long have they been together?"
"How'd you know they were together? Well, besides the fact that they have been like that for almost an hour?" She asked.
"I have excellent hearing." he murmured, but offered the woman beside him no explanation for his odd choice of an answer. He was not going to explain to her that when Helena had mouthed 'I love you', it sounded like a whisper to him, and when Dinah replied with 'I love you too', it was like a murmur.
"Well, they've been together for quite a while. Longer than any of the relationships Helena's ever been known to have. I think... Actually, I think it has been almost a year." Barbara told him.
"I can tell there's something there, even if there is quite an age difference." Bruce pointed out.
"I do not have any concerns. They have done nothing illegal except for love each other as they do. I think they are fine, and I do agree. I think there is something there." She said.
"That girl, Dinah... I'm sorry, I can only think of her name to be Canary. But Dinah seems to bring out the best in Helena from the stories you told me about Helena's past." Bruce said, exhaustion seeping into his voice.
"I think... that they've both brought out the best in each other."
"I think I can fall asleep like this." I heard Helena mumble. She lifted her head from my shoulder long enough to look at me.
"Come on, let's go watch a movie." I suggested.
"No, I wanna fall asleep like this." She whined playfully.
"You're too heavy for that." I teased. Helena's head shot up again and she made a face that said 'Very funny'. "I mean it, I'm too tired myself to go haulin' your ass everywhere." She laughed and we slowly broke away. Being in one position for such a long time made me used to her body heat, and I was cold immediately.
"Come on, Sunny D, I'm sure after 10 big men and 6 metas, you can handle me." Helena said.
"I don't think even you can handle you." I murmured in her ear as she leaned on me some more. She laughed, then her eyes changed (I think) unintentionally. "No! I am not carrying your ass inside, so leave me alone." I joked. She chased me around the roof top, and my sandals slowed me down. I took them off in mid run and started running faster. I have become a pretty fast runner in the time I had been with Helena and I wouldn't be surprised if I became New Gotham High's track star. Of course, Helena had caught up with me, but instead of leaving me sprawled on the ground after a pin, she wrapped her arms around my neck and put all of her body weight on me, making me wrap my arms around her waist so she wouldn't (make me) fall over. I started walking backwards towards the door and Helena's feet started to drag behind her. "Your shoes will get scuffed." I murmured in her ear in a sing song sort of voice.
"So?" She asked me sleepily.
"So they're new." She didn't seemed phased by that comment. "And expensive." I reminded her. I was there when she 'just had to try them on'. By now, though they aren't usable for going out anymore since she was fighting in them all night, but Helena is a bit of a pack rat and would most likely keep them for another 2 years before she decides they're useless. Helena picked up her feet and straightened herself up and looked at me.
"Good point." She said. "Although, fighting in them tonight kind of already ruined them." She wrapped her arm around my shoulder.
"I think you broke my back." I whined playfully.
"Tough." She retorted. I laughed some. "So, what movie do you wanna watch?" she asked after a couple seconds of silence.
"I rented a few movies from the video store for us to watch after the dance if we weren't tired. Have you seen Dogma?" I asked.
"Yeah, once. That movie's cool."
"I rented that along with The Man in the Iron Mask because I made the mistake of going to the video rental store with Mary... uh, Entrapment, and The Mask."
"Odd variety of movies." She commented.
"Didn't know what type of movie you'd want to watch so I got a couple of comedies, an action, and an action drama because Mary made me." I said. "I didn't feel like sitting through The Crow trilogy again." I said before she could suggest it. "And I know you'd shoot yourself before watching America's Sweethearts." She laughed. We walked through the door and into the den.
"We can watch The Mask. I'm always up for a Jim Carry movie."
"At 2:45 am?" I asked her.
"You're weird, Helena." I told her as I dug in the movie bag and come out with the rented video case.
"And you love every bit of it." She replied, kissing me when I sat on the couch next to her.
"Oh, how very true."
|Part Four||Erin Griffin||Birds Of Prey||Main Index|