Pop Tarts and Sunny Delight
By: Erin Griffin
Rating: PG-13 for violence and cursing. (Sex implied, but not described.)
Disclaimer: You know the drill by now. I own only the cute Beanie Baby that shares my name. Not the WB, otherwise Birds of Prey wouldn't get canceled until the actress' call it quits, or the show gets REALLY bad.
Pairing: Helena/Dinah, Gibson/other (Helena/Dinah Switched POV)
Summary: Dinah is forced to join the drama club after school and is surprised to get a part in Cyrano de Bergerac. After one of the rehearsals she gets attacked by Helena to find it wasn't actually Helena who did it. In fact, Helena had gotten attacked by whom she thought was Dinah! Why is Helena and Dinah getting attacked, and how could the attacker be in two places at once?
Author's Note: I believe this is the last of the series, unless I get lots of positive feedback or unless I get REALLY bored. I had fun writing it. I hope everyone had fun reading it. I have left it open in case someone got bored enough and decided that it needs to go on, but I think it is finished. I just need to find a way to finish the whole thing, a page that sort of says, you know, we are not the perfect couple, or the perfect superheroes, but we will see where life leads us, blah blah blah... If you have a suggestion, I am all ears.
Part 5 - The Terrible Twos"Love... What the Hell is it? It is confusing to talk about, confusing to feel, yet I feel it everyday. I love my mother. I love my father. I love my friends... and I think I love you. How do I know you don't just fascinate me? The love I feel for you is somehow different from the love I feel for my other friends. Stronger, I guess. I don't know what it's like to fall in love, but I'm sure it would be with you. I know it is wrong, because I know you'll never love me, but that's okay. I think I can handle that." I paused and looked into her eyes.
"Alright, I'll give you a call, or I'll get a hold of you in class to tell you if you get a part. Very good original monologue. Just needed to be a little bit longer." Mrs. French, New Gotham High School's drama teacher looked me up and down quickly. "I must say, I never thought I'd see you auditioning for a part in Cyrano de Bergerac." She almost murmured.
"Barbara wanted me to have an after school activity. I'm sort of driving her crazy around the house, reading or just watching TV." I explained. She nodded.
"Tell Barbara I said 'Hello'. I rarely see her around the school when she's not teaching."
"I will. Thank you for your time." I said, getting my bag. I got outside about 2 minutes later where I heard the swishing of a trench coat. "I thought I told Barbara I was going to be gone this afternoon. You didn't have to come after me." I said, turning around quickly to face Helena.
"I know. I just came to see your audition." She walked towards me as she spoke.
"Why? It sucked. I told Barbara I wasn't an actress, yet she still sets me up with this audition. Why couldn't she have just let me choose the after school activity?" I asked, knowing I was almost whining.
"We've been through this. You hate journalism, photography, most clubs, and art. Playing basketball or any sport will get you a lot of contact with other players and they are aggressive, which may trigger your touch telepathy... or your telekinesis as well if angered enough. You know that."
"What if I don't get a part?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"Then you'll be cleaning out the Clocktower after school." She said simply. I frowned.
"Man, punished for my inability to act." I muttered as Helena put an arm around my shoulder.
"I don't think your monologue was that bad. She said you wrote it?" she asked, sounding almost surprised.
"You really were there..."
"Why wouldn't I have been?"
"Never mind. Yes, I wrote that like two... two years ago." I admitted. I wrote it almost a week before Helena had first kissed me.
"Really?" she asked. I could see the wheels turning in her head.
"Before you had first kissed me, I had a few thoughts and poems in a notebook. So in a way, when I told you that the Mya Angelou book was filled with fake thoughts and I had a notebook hidden somewhere with my real thoughts, I wasn't totally lying. I had thrown it in the back of my closet the day you told me the kiss meant nothing to you, and when I needed a monologue, I drug it out again and used one of them." I explained as she steered me into the direction of the parking lot, where she had parked the Jeep.
"So, why do you hate journalism if you like to write poems?" Helena asked.
"New Gotham High's school newspaper doesn't have its own Poetry Corner. If it did, then I'd be all over it, I'm sure." I watched Helena take out the keys and unlocked my door. After she unlocked her own door and we both got in, she looked over at me.
"There's an idea. If you don't get a part in this play, then go to this year's editor and put that in as a suggestion, then give her some of the thoughts and poems from your collection to start it off. You never know, other kids might want to contribute, and you might be put in charge of that section." She said, starting the car and slowly driving out of the parking lot. After she picked up speed, I nodded.
"I'll try that. Beats cleaning the Clocktower after school. So how was your day?" I asked.
"I didn't like work, but then, when do I ever really? There were these two guys that were picking fights with anyone they could get near. They were obviously drunk and couldn't hold their liquor. There should be a law that says people can only be stupid between 8 pm and 2 am." she finished, mostly to herself. I laughed, then we rode in silence. Then Helena reached over and turned on the radio to a station that plays pop and metal, so we both can hear the songs we like. I noticed a couple minutes later that we weren't going back to the Clocktower. Seeing my confused face, Helena smiled. I looked over at her.
"Where are we going?"
"You'll see." was all she said. I couldn't stop my eyebrows from rising. Before I could say anything, Helena put her hand on mine, silencing me. Then I recognized where we were. We were at the New Gotham Bank. The bomb had gone off that night, but no one got caught in it. It had taken a little over a year to rebuild it and make it better. 'Get to the robbery!' 'But-' 'Now!'
'Batman? But that's impossible!'
'Kill the Blonde!'
'But I can help!'
'Be careful. Crazy and smart equals really dangerous.'
'Where's your little crime fighting buddy? Not that you will have anymore of a chance to win this with her around.' 'She's at home watching Jeopardy.' 'So Harley's got 'er then.'
'I told you I could help. I helped protected you from a- a million men!' 'Yeah Canary, a million."
'... meet Baby Bird.'
'Yeah, but her mistake isn't going to get over 100 people killed!'
'It's a trap!'
'Baby Bird, NOW!'
I felt Helena squeeze my hand and I snapped out of my flashback. I looked over at her sheepishly, and tried to explain where my mind had gone. "I was just-"
"I know. So was I." she said softly. I opened my door and got out to find what seemed like a hundred people on the small outdoor stage that was set up, and about a couple more hundred people standing up on the ground level watching the commissioner, waiting for her to start the opening ceremony of the New Gotham Bank. I saw Gibson, his girlfriend Nichola (21 now) of 11 months, and Melanie (who turned 7 in November). Helena called her name a couple times, and when she saw us she ran to greet us with the lovebirds not too far behind. Before we could get into a discussion about new things going on, the commissioner went up to the microphone.
"Welcome everyone to the re-opening of the New Gotham Bank." Applause was heard, and then after it died down, Commissioner Lincoln continued. "Before I cut the rope, I would like to say..." she paused as if to think over how she was going to say what she was going to say. "On Valentine's Day, the New Gotham PD received a call from an anonymous caller at around 9:45 pm. This person informed us of the goings on in Wayne Manor and of the New Gotham Bank. At around the same time she told us of a robbery before our scanners could get word. It was inside the New Gotham Bank that a bomb was placed. The robbers had ninety or more hostages with little to no chance to survive. It was then that New Gotham got its champion back, and it appears Batman had brought along 3 of his caped friends." As the commissioner waved a few of the people I recognized then as a few of the ex-hostages over, I felt Helena grab my hand. I looked over at her and smiled.
"They called themselves Huntress, Canary, and Baby Bird. I heard them speaking to each other. The one known as Baby Bird couldn't be more than10 years old, yet there she was, helping the older women get us out of the building. These three ladies saved all of our lives, including those criminals who were robbing the place. I hope that wherever they all are, even hidden in shadows as Batman used to be, that they hear how grateful we all are that they were there that night. We owe them our lives." said one of the middle aged men. Everyone applauded as Helena nudged me. I leaned my body into her quickly as she squeezed my hand a little. After another thank you speech from another hostage, and a wedding announcement (from the really hunky guy and that girl who jumped out of the window that night and into his arms), the commissioner cut the rope, and the audience applauded again. I was glad that they both said that though they knew we were different (a rather nice way of putting it in my opinion), they wouldn't have made it without our 'gifts'.
"C'mon." Helena said. "Let's go home."
"Mmm-hmm." I agreed. I let her lead me back to the Jeep after we said our goodbyes to our friends. "I'm starting to think that all those nightmares I had a year back were worth it. I mean, seeing all of those people and seeing how happy they are that they got a second chance... I'd have gone through 90 nights of nightmares to get the same results!" I exclaimed, getting a little excited. I then spotted the jeep.
"I'm not one to make sacrifices, but if I was, I think I would too." Helena said as we both got into the jeep. "So, did it change your mind about being a superhero?" She asked me. I looked over at her.
"I'm still Canary aren't I?" She reached for my hand and I met her half way. Then she one handedly started the jeep and got us on our way to the Clocktower. "I know that those people aren't wasting their second chances, and that is a good thing to know... That they've turned their lives around if it was bad, or made it better if it was already going alright. I feel great knowing that I truly helped someone." I explained to her. Helena's face went thoughtful as if she'd never thought of crime fighting that way. She only saw the ass kicking and the scared victims that run away without any gratitude. We rode the rest of the way to the Clocktower in silence as we both thought this over.
I love her. I do. I watched as Dinah used her mind to lift 5 heavy objects. 2 years ago she was lifting and juggling tennis balls, but they were practically weightless. Now, I'm talking about 5 blocks the size and weight of computer monitors! She is the She-Hulk of telekinetics! And she's all mine Muhahahahaha-
"Helena!" Dinah snapped her fingers in front of my eyes and waved her arms around for my attention. I suddenly grabbed her around her waist and it made her jump at the sudden movement. I pulled her into me and looked her in the eyes.
"What?" I purred.
"Just seeing if you were alive in there, but now I see you were..." she murmured, touching my forehead with her own. I chuckled.
"Hey- hey!" I heard Barbara say right as I was about to kiss Dinah. I looked up at Barbara and tried to throw something with my mind, but I wasn't a telekinetic, and she should thank god for at least that. "No make out sessions during training sessions. You know the rule." she added.
"Damn rules." Dinah said in a very low voice. I felt her breath on my lips and I really wanted to throw something at Barbara's head or something that will get her to leave for 5 minutes. Dinah broke away and sighed, then she joined Barbara to do meditations and stretches. I walked over to Dinah's backpack.
"Can I read your script, Diana?" I asked her.
"I don't care, now quiet you. I have to concentrate." Came her reply. I sort wanted to start being annoying just for the hell of it. I refrained from saying all of Roxanne's lines out loud just to piss Barbara off, as hard of a task that was. From the looks of the script, it was an okay play. It was the script from the 1950 version (at least that is what it said on the front of the booklet). After about a half an hour Barbara let Dinah stop because my presence in the room wasn't helping her any. I was at the part of the play where Roxanne is speaking with Cyrano at Ragino's Pastry Shop.
"Was I pretty then?" I asked Dinah in a high pitched girly voice. Dinah grinned at me.
"No, not then." She answered, making me laugh.
"Know any of your lines yet?" I asked. It had been about a week since Dinah had gotten her script.
" 'I have a message for you. From the lady Roxanne. She desires to know when and where she may see you privately. She has certain things to tell you.' " she recited. "There are others, but I forget the wording easily."
"That's okay. There aren't many lines for you to recite."
"I am glad there aren't." Dinah admitted, putting her CD's away, then sitting next to me against the wall. "I am glad Netanya Harold's got the part of Roxanne. She's been acting since she was like 5 or 6. She's way more experienced, and she deserves it. I only wanted a part, even if it is just a soldier saying 'Look, a carriage!' " I smiled as she waved her arm around in emphasis to the line. "I just didn't want to spend my afternoons cleaning up the Clocktower." she said reaching for my hand. I took it with a smile on my face.
I heard Helena helping Dinah with her part this afternoon. I remember helping my friends with their scripts in high school and learning the part to help them remember. I think Helena likes script reading, and helping Dinah out, even if there aren't that many lines to remember for her. I think Helena has more fun than Dinah does with this. I bet she wouldn't even rehearse if Helena wasn't there to help her out. I bet Dinah thinks I am being a bad guy about this, but I don't want Dinah looking back in her yearbook and thinking badly about high school like Helena does.
"Dinah, walk under the light as you talk, and remember when Helena Kyle was here last week and sat in the back? She couldn't hear you, so try to speak up. Project your voice, don't shout." Mrs. French coached. I remembered that. Helena had snuck in and hid in the VERY back row, and no matter how I 'projected' my voice to her, she still shouted for me to speak up. (Knowing that her hearing was better than most humans, she got an ear full when rehearsal was over.)
"Sorry." I said to her. I looked at Kevin Ryley, who played Cyrano.
"Uh- line?" Kevin called.
" 'She wishes to see me?' " Mrs. French called out from the House seats. Kevin nodded and tried to remember.
"She wants to see me?"
"We-" I started before the light that was on me went out.
"Fern?! What's going on up there?" Mrs. French called out.
"Sorry, a little problem with the switches." replied a shy sophomore. Fern Morgan looked down at me and shrugged apologetically. Then she flipped a few switches and the light went back on. Fern was our stage set up crew. It was a one woman job since she was the only one who signed up for it. She stays an hour later than everyone else because she fixes the lights, sets, props, costumes, and even reads over the script a few times to learn the parts to be an understudy. There will be a bigger staff when the cast starts really dressing up for the show. That will be in about 3 weeks. I smiled up at Fern and restarted my line.
Something strange is going on around my school. A sickness of some sort. Many people in my class so far has gotten it. It is like a 24 hour stomach flu, but the kids aren't sick enough to stay at home. They don't act themselves though, and it worries me. Our show is only a week away and we all need as much rehearsal as we can get. I saw Helena in the back row this afternoon, but when I took another look at her, she was gone. She didn't even walk me home as she sometimes does. I can only shrug it off. I think she is home now, so I will end this for now.
I sat on my bed with my script in my hand, though by then I knew all of my lines. I was just working on timing and queues then, thinking over when I had to enter and exit the stage, and when I say what line. My door opened and I saw Helena standing against the door frame. "Hey." She said to me.
"Hey." I put my script down and stood up. Helena stayed where she was with an odd look upon her face as if she saw something ugly. I stared at her trying to figure out what was the matter. She wore a Baby T with jeans, not really her style, but I knew there were times when she would dress a little preppish just because she felt like it. No one but herself, Barbara, and me saw her in it, so her reputation wasn't any worse off. Anyway, she had a new leather jacket and gloves that she must have just bought. "Are you okay?" I finally asked when neither of us spoke for some time.
"Yeah, I'm fine."
"What's wrong? I sense something is wrong." Helena came further into my room and hugged me. I quickly pulled away to look at her. "What's the matter?"
"What? I can't just hug you anymore?" She asked me defensively.
"You know it's not that... I just want to know what is wrong."
"Nothing." she snapped. I frowned thoughtfully.
"Fine. You'll tell me when you're ready." I murmured hotly. Helena didn't reply. "I have to rehearse, so I've gotta have-" By the time I could finish my sentence, Helena had kicked me in the stomach, making me kneel to the floor. Then she grabbed my wrist; her fingers seemed to dig into my skin like teeth. Then I passed out.
I don't believe it. I truly don't believe it. I can't believe Dinah would do something so cruel to me. If I wasn't locked I some sort of shed, I would have assumed that what happened was only a dream. I had gone to Dinah's rehearsal before going to work to see how the play was coming along. I sat in the back row and was quiet (unlike the last time I was there) as she did her scenes. When she saw me, I left so I wouldn't be a distraction to her. When I got out of the building after her scenes, I saw her in normal clothes, not her Duanna costume.
"Man, having double lives sure does have the perks of fast costume changing." I joked. She smiled at me before she just attacked me. Out of nowhere! I refused to fight back, since I promised I would never hurt her and had broken that promise to her once before, (I blocked as much as I could, but there is only so much you can do to protect yourself without hurting the other person) and she just kept going until eventually I was knocked unconscious.
Now I am here in the dark looking for something that will help me get out of this room, but I felt weakened, partially from blocking Dinah's attacks and from the pain in my neck. How the hell did that get there? I fought the urge to fall asleep, but after awhile it was too strong.
Both Helena and Dinah have been acting weird. They keep calling me 'Ms. Gordon', and Dinah hasn't really said anything at all to me as if she was mad at me. She'll either shrug me off, or she won't say anything at all. Even if she is angry with me, Dinah never ignores me. Also, they haven't touched each other all night. It is like they are close, but detached... Dinah stayed in her room and Helena stayed in hers. It is really weird. Perhaps they had a fight and are trying to work it out in their own ways. I'll have to stay out of it unless it somehow effects Huntress and Canary on sweeps or in a mission.
I had no clue what time it was when I woke up. All I knew was that it was a new day, and that I hurt all over, mostly in my heart. What did Dinah do to me? Why did she do it? How will she explain my absence to Barbara? I asked myself. No matter how much I thought things through, I always came up blank as for her motive. I searched around me for another way out of the shed. The more I thought about her, the more it didn't make sense. We were fine. I didn't do anything that would make her that angry with me. And if I did, she wouldn't do something like this, or so I thought. Finally, I found a window, broke it, and climbed through. I was going to find Dinah if it was the last thing I did, and when I found her I was going to hurt her, promise or no promise.
I searched around me to find I didn't know exactly where I was. I walked for about a block before the mid-day/ late afternoon sun reflected off of something, and shone into my face. I looked down and remembered my watch. In my confusion of Dinah's attack and the weakness I still felt, I had forgotten about my watch. I called for my bike and then got curious as to where Dinah was at that moment. If she was still in rehearsal, her butt whoopin' will have to wait. Dinah was in the dark (back stage?). I heard shuffling as if she was getting comfortable, then I heard voices. They weren't apart of the play, so where was she?
"If she's in here, where did you put the other one?" I heard Dinah's voice. It was muffled. A slow reply came next as if her partner in crime was having problems speaking.
"Let's just... say... she's out, of... our hair." said a voice I didn't recognize. Both Dinah and this new voice started to laugh.
"That will teach her." I heard Dinah say bitterly.
Where the Hell am I? I wondered as I woke up. I was in the dark. I slowly felt around, and I felt my Canary costume. I knew then I was in my closet. I felt I wasn't alone, but I didn't hear anyone. I put my ear to the door, but still there was silence. I thought about Helena and what had happened. And I thought I couldn't be trusted. 'Trust has to be earned...' My ass. This is the 2nd time she has broken her promise to me. Hurt and anger filled me as I thought those words. If I fall into myself, this time I hope she doesn't come in to save me. I heard my closet door rattle and shake before it broke entirely off and away from me. "Okay, where is she?" I asked the air angrily. I looked around to find a backpack and a purse on my bed that wasn't mine. I picked it up to go through it before I heard my door open. It was Helena, and boy did she look pissed.
"I have some things to say to you!" She growled.
"Right. Back. Atcha!" I said through gritted teeth, but suddenly my anger turned more into hurt. "You promised you'd never hurt me!"
"ME?!" she asked. "You're the one who attacked me!" she yelled. I stared at her.
"What the Hell are you talking about?"
"You know DAMNED well what I am talking about!" she roared. "You jump me and stick me in a shed like an animal for a day and now you try to play 'Little Miss Innocent'!"
"You're the one who attacked me and stuck me in a closet, MY closet!" I shouted back at her.
"I did no such thing, and you wanna know why? Because I was in a fucking SHED all day!" She came at me with death in her eyes. I took a step backwards. Even in my rage, I wouldn't be able to beat Helena. I wouldn't be able to harm her. Still she advanced and she tried to hit me but I raised my hands to block her punch. Our hands touched and I used that opportunity to see inside her mind to know what she was talking about and why she was so angry with me. And I wanted to know why she would attack me. At the same time, the images from the last 36 hours flashed through her mind as well.
I backed away from her as I breathed deeply, thinking over what I saw and thinking tunes from my CD collection to help calm me. Helena stood there in silence as she processed what she had just seen. Then she started to cry. I mean really cry. The only other time I knew her to cry like that was when Helena had spent a night with Reece and we were sorta separated then. No no, don't do that. I thought to her, knowing she wouldn't hear it. Finally, she stopped and I didn't know what to say to her. "If that wasn't you that attacked me, and if it wasn't me who attacked you... then who?" I asked, mostly to myself.
"I wish I knew." Her words, her voice made my body tremble with the silent war of what to do: comfort her or stay where I was. "I think whomever did it wanted us to hate each other."
"Geeze." I said. "It worked. For a little bit anyway." I looked at her as she used her sleeve as a tissue. I handed her a few of the tissues from the box of Kleenex that I kept by my bed from when I cried at night. She took them with a look of gratitude and blew her nose.
"I have never been so hurt and angry in my life, Dinah. Even after my mom died and all that rage was within me..." I nodded. "I didn't know what I did that hurt or angered you so badly, and it hurt me just knowing that you hated me." I looked at her.
"But it wasn't even me. I don't know what my twin from Hell did to you, but I really want to find them."
"And whatever my evil me did to you, I am so sorry. I hope you know I would never do that to you." I nodded. I walked past her and away from Helena. "Where are you going?" She asked me.
"I am going to talk to Barbara. I want to ask her if anything has happened since we've been gone." I explained as I tried to walk the sleep out of my feet.
"No tell me. How did 'I' hurt you?" Helena asked me, gently reaching out for my arm. I think she was afraid that I would run from her if she tried to touch me. She had used her fingers to make quotation marks around the word I. Taking a deep breath, I turned to her.
" 'You' " I copied her motion of the fingers for quotation marks, "walked into my room without your short knock, and then you looked at me as if I was the ugliest thing you'd ever seen. You hugged me, but refused to tell me what was wrong when I asked you. I tried to tell you that I had to work on my lines since I was getting frustrated with you, and then you attacked me. I woke up in my closet only minutes before you walked in with that pissed look on your face."
"You said you were in that shed for a whole day?"
"Yes, I slept for 24 or more hours."
"You think 'I' drugged you?" I asked.
"It's possible." I walked away from her grasp, and went to go find Barbara, passing Alfred on the way. I nodded my greetings and kept going. He must be here to talk to Barbara. I walked to her room to find she was at her desk working on something. I knocked on the door frame to let her know I was there.
"So, you are back to talking to me and using my first name." She said almost crisply. "What can I do for you?" I almost walked away out of her door frame and back into my room with a mumble of 'never mind' at the tone of her voice when I felt Helena's presence behind me. "Well? What do you need? And what the heck was that loud noise in your room a few minutes ago?"
"I-I need you to test my blood." I spat out quickly before I lost my nerve completely. This got Barbara to look up at me with a hint of concern on her face. I felt Helena step a little closer to me, and I felt a little more brave.
"Test your blood? What for? Are you okay? Do you think you got that stomach flu?" She asked at once.
"No, I'm fine, or at least I think I am." I explained what had happened to me, and Helena explained what had happened to her. Barbara nodded as if pieces of a puzzle started to fit.
"So, you think that whomever attacked you two drugged you as well?"
"That is the only reasoning I can come up with. How else can a meta change faces and make their victim sleep for 24 hours?" Helena asked.
"Unless they worked with a meta that can make their victim sleep." Barbara added.
"But how can the meta be in two places in one time, and how could the other Helena know how to get to the Clocktower to attack me in the first place?" I asked.
"Good questions." Barbara said as she wheeled past me and Helena out to the DELPHI monitor system, where she also had her microscopes.
"Oh no." I said in a low moan. "If whomever it is stuck me in my closet, then surely they know I am Canary, for my costume was only inches away from me when I woke up!" I said, feeling the bubble in the pit of my stomach suddenly burst. I felt a hand on my shoulder, I jumped.
"Shh shh." Helena soothed me.
"Let's just hope they don't know who Canary is or hasn't heard of her. We can only hope that they think it was a Halloween costume."
"Huntress and Canary were on the news last year when the bomb went off. Not the picture, but almost all of the hostages at the station explained what we looked like."
"Well, you're screwed." Barbara said simply.
"Thanks." I said bitterly.
"Give my your hand." I did as I was told and she pricked my finger and took the blood sample. Then she gave me a bottle of rubbing alcohol and a band aid before she went to prick Helena's finger with a different needle. She wheeled to where her microscopes were and put the blood samples on a couple of slides, then under the telescope.
"On Dinah's watch, I heard them. I guess one of them had shifted to Dinah's face and the other was an unknown voice that I heard. They were talking about whom I at first thought was me and you, Barbara. But now I know they were talking about us. Dinah and me."
"You really thought I would do something like that to Barbara and you?" I asked Helena.
"Okay, about me, yes. About Barbara, no." she admitted. I blinked rapidly trying to hold back the tears. I felt hurt that Helena would think I could do such a thing to those that matter most... But then, I had thought she'd done the same thing to me. "I know now that she was talking about me and you." Helena repeated, as if to reassure me.
"It was stupid of me to think you'd hurt me in such a horrible way. I'm sorry I let those thoughts enter my mind for even a fraction of a second." She opened her arms around me for a hug and I entered it.
"I now understand." she said, patting my back. When we parted, I saw she was looking behind me at Barbara, making me turn to look at her also. She seemed to want us to get the 'Kodak moment' over with, but she waited patiently for us to get our full attention on her.
"It looks like you both were given a sedative of some sort in a shot form. Whomever did this knows about medicine. They seemed to have given each of you enough to conk you out for 2 days. If they knew you live here, then they know that you would have awoken from it in 24 hours instead of 48. Which means they won't be coming back anytime soon."
"They... Did you see 'me' and 'Dinah' together in the same room at the same time?" Helena asked.
"Yes, at dinner." My eyes widened.
"There's no way two people could have the same meta powers-" she started to protest before I cut her off.
"Unless they were twins perhaps?" I asked.
"Twins that were born from the same egg will have the same DNA structures... so that is a possibility."
"And you said to me 'So, you are back to talking to me and using my first name.' Were they calling you Ms. Gordon?"
"Yeah. I see the wheels turning in your head Dinah. What are you thinking?" I trotted to the main database computer of the DELPHI monitor system and started to type.
"No two metahumans have the same metapower unless they were twins... or the child of one meta and one non-meta. That much you just confirmed to me. Helena was attacked at the school, leading me to believe that the twins are both from New Gotham High. Also, if they are calling you Ms. Gordon, then at least one of the twins has to have had you as a teacher and calling you by any other name would take some getting used to. So, I am looking up all the twins in New Gotham High so you can see if you've had one or both of the twins in your class in the last 4 years." I rambled off. I felt the room go silent as my girlfriend and my mentor both looked at me with a hint of surprise.
"Watch out, Barbara or Dinah's going to steal your job as Oracle." I laughed as 6 sets of twins came up. None of which I knew.
"This makes no sense. I know none of these twins personally, so they cannot possibly want Helena and myself dead or hating each other... And these two sets are out since you said the other voice you heard was female-"
"But you never know, Dinah. It could have been another shape." Barbara pointed out.
"Well, if none of the twins know us, then why are they attacking Helena and me, or getting us to attack each other?" I asked while typing. Then a thought occurred to me. I started to look up the family trees of all the twins.
"What are you doing?" Barbara asked me as she wheeled a little closer to the computer screen.
"Looking up the family trees of the twins. Maybe Huntress, Canary or even Batgirl/Oracle could have put a family member away- No, I think I am doing this wrong. I should look up the people we put away and see if they've got any young relatives..." A hand was placed on my shoulder.
"I think you have something going on with this Dinah, but why don't you let me take care of it? You're going into Superchick mode."
"So? That's my job." I said to Barbara.
"In my experience, when you go into Superchick mode, it means you are trying to control your emotions by keeping yourself busy, which means I think you need to go relax and rest-"
"I have been resting for 24 hours, Barbara." I said a little angrily, but at the tug on my hand, I got up out of the chair and walked with Helena to my room. I found that the backpack and purse was gone. Before I could say anything, Helena let go of my hand and sat on my bed. I sat at my desk chair. I watched as Helena made herself comfortable in my bed and then opened a spot for me. I climbed in and let her wrap her arm around me, almost as I have seen capes wrap around another person to protect them from a fire. This was usually the position we slept in, either I was holding her or she was holding me, but every night Helena would sleep in my bed or I was in hers and the comfort of each other's arms kept the nightmares away even though there was no need for us to continue to sleep together. (We've been... intimate a couple times, but the details of that are strictly staying in my memories. Let's just say 'Happy 18th' to me...) Ever since we talked about our relationship a year back, it has been this way, and now I won't have it any other way.
I searched the database 4 times for a link between any of the sets of twins and the people we've put in Arkham Asylum and into jail. I found nothing. Not even any of the 50 people who were put in jail that night a year ago is related to any of the twins. I found nothing. Nothing. Helena and Dinah are sleeping now and I didn't want to wake them up at 7:30, our dinner time. I just made a bagel with cream cheese. It is really quiet around here and it is only 8 o'clock. Usually Helena watches wrestling just to see the violence, and roots for whomever is winning. Dinah sometimes watches it with her, or she's in her room doing homework. No scumbags tonight. I will turn in in about 10 minutes after this fifth search is finished.
It was still dark inside and outside of the room when I awoke. Dinah was still in my arms. Her breathing soothed me as I tried to fall asleep again. "I love you Dinah Lance." I mumbled to her as I shifted. A smile crossed her face, and even in the dark I saw her eyes open.
"There's a nice way to wake up." She murmured. I found her lips in the dark. "I love you too, Helena Kyle." she said a moment later through her kisses. When we broke apart, I felt Dinah sit up and I did the same. We sat in silence for a while before I felt Dinah's hand on mine. I let her fingers intertwine with mine and all that was heard was our breathing. Then I heard a growl that was thunderous in our silence. Dinah giggled, and started to get up. "Come on Pop Tarts, lets go raid the fridge. I bet with my appetite right now, I could eat more than you could." She challenged, gently tugging me out of bed. I got up and followed her into the kitchen.
"That's a challenge I'm not willing to bulk up my thighs for." I murmured sort of groggily. She chuckled, then let go of my hand before looking through the refrigerator. She came up a minute later with a bowl of spaghetti that was left over from when the imposters ate and slept over. She dished it out on two plates, the turned the oven on. Then she sat down on a stool next to me.
"Hmm, 1:45 and all's Hell." she chimed. Then she grinned.
"You're worried." I stated to her.
"Yes, I am. Whoever attacked me probably knows I'm Canary. I think if-" She stopped. "If the attackers were relatives of a person we put away, the only person who knows who Canary really is and where she hides out during the day is-"
"The Incubus." I finished for her. "And the only way these people could have gotten that information from her is-"
"If they visited Arkham Asylum to see her after she was admitted! Ber- akethrough." Dinah said, the light bulb over her head buzzed on and then burned out. I laughed. "I have to go to Arkham Asylum and see exactly how much information she took from me." I nodded. "I mean if she told her twin relatives, who knows whom else she could have told." She took our plates out of the oven a few minutes later and we sorta dined by moonlight.
I was at the dress rehearsal of Cyrano de Bergerac. A few of the seniors minus myself had put together a few skits that were going to be performed during scene changes. I was in the girls' bathroom changing into my costume when my wrist vibrated (a new feature Barbara had put on it about 2 months ago when she saw how anyone near me could hear it when Helena tried to get a hold of me on it). I looked around, then changed the watch's features and saw Helena.
"Hey Sunny D."
"Greetings Austin." I replied. She laughed.
"Just wanted to say good luck on your play."
"That's it?" I teased.
"That's it." she repeated.
"Thanks. I needed that." I told her, going to the mirror and making sure my hair was up properly. This was the first time anyone besides my family in the Clocktower has seen me in the dress. I wanted to make sure I didn't look stupid in it. I checked the dress, then I lifted my wrist again, and talked to Helena. "I just wish you didn't have to work tonight. It would make standing up in front of like 300 people so much easier." I murmured. "Like... a cakewalk." She looked apologetic. We sighed in unison.
"Well then, I'll meet up with you at like midnight when I get off work, and we can go get ice cream."
"I know people."
"Not doubting that for a second." I teased her. She smiled.
"So what do you say?"
"If I don't die of humiliation or from these damned shoes, I think I would like that." I said, putting on the apron to make me seem more of a servant.
"Your whole world is jumbling around. What the heck are you doing?"
"Putting on this costume, or at least attempting to." I said, putting my watch next to my face so she should see me again.
"That's better." She said with satisfaction. I heard footsteps coming towards the bathroom. I trotted into a stall as the main door to the bathrooms opened. She knocked on my door, whomever it was.
"Dinah? How are you coming along?" asked Netanya, pausing in her knocking.
"Gotta go." I mouthed to Helena, but she understood me. She blew a kiss before she changed the watch back, and I saw shattering on my end. I switched my watch back to the watch features to see it was 4:12. "I'm almost ready." I said to Netanya, almost forgetting she was there. "Man, I hate this dress." I said to her as a way to start a conversation. Other than the times I had to rehearse with her, I never really had much to say to her, nor she to me except for the occasional 'That line was wrong, forgive me'.
"I know what you mean. I am so glad I didn't live back then, you know?" she said, walking to the sink.
"That... would be hell. I almost can't live without my jeans and sneakers." Or Helena. I thought to myself, and my longing for her presence got stronger. Finally, I slowly opened the door and walked out, tugging on my dress sleeves on the way. I looked Netanya up and down quickly. Netanya was a mixed race girl with dark tan skin, and green eyes. Her hair was permed at the moment, but I could tell she hated it. It was just Roxanne's supposed style and she wanted to look the part. Normally, it was greased down and straight. Her nails were nice, but she didn't seem to spend the after noon in a nail salon. I smiled at her and nodded.
"You look great." She said. I think I know why Netanya is so popular. She's one of those girls who are popular because she is nice to everyone, not because she is dating someone popular, or is a cheerleader. She is never known to have anything bad to say to anyone, even if they deserve it. And she was beautiful as well. Like Helena, she has natural beauty that no makeup could ever add to. If anything, make up would take away from the effect their faces had on people. I looked over at Netanya from the mirror and I let my eyebrows raise. "What? You do, it doesn't matter what part you are playing." Netanya said. I smiled.
"Thanks. And as always you look gorgeous." I NEVER use the word gorgeous, but it seemed like the best word for how she looked. After I put my hair up in a bun again (some hairs were sticking out and falling down the first time I did it), we walked out of the bathroom and down the hallway. Then I heard a voice in my ear.
"Dinah, it is Barbara."
"What other voice would I hear?" I muttered to her.
"What?" Netanya asked.
"You ever thought about auditioning for King Lear?" I asked her, pretending I was repeating myself.
"Nice save." I heard Barbara say at the same time Netanya told me that King Lear was done in our freshman year. Then she remembered I wasn't going to New Gotham High then.
"Hey Netanya? I left my purse in the bathroom. I'll meet you in the theater in a few minutes, and you can tell me how King Lear went, okay?"
"Alright." She nodded. "Don't take too long. You know Mrs. French. She will flip if you aren't on stage when it is your part." I nodded smiling, then she turned down the hallway. I made a detour to Barbara's classroom. 197... 199... 201... 203. I thought as I walked past each class room. Barbara was at her desk grading what looked like tests. "Hey."
"Dinah, hey. I thought you were actually going back to the bathroom to talk to me. No matter. It is actually better that you came by." She said. "I searched the database for the family tree for Heather Ferellini, but it says that all of her family is dead except for a half sister in Greendale.
"Greendale? Where is that?"
"About an hour's drive east from New Gotham." She answered. "Anyway, she had a sister, but she was involved in a car wreck about 5 years ago, and the car was found in a lake. It says in the report that she had her daughters in there as well, but their bodies were never found, and they neither were they. They are presumed dead. I couldn't get any names except for the sister. Her name was Carry Thomson. None of the twins that you came up with had the last name Thomson."
"Did she remarry? Perhaps the twins still have the mother's maiden name or the father's sir name." I suggested, sitting in a desk next to her.
"Still looking that up." She responded. I nodded. Barbara looked me up and down. "So Duanna, excited about the play?"
"Not nearly as excited as Netanya or Mrs. French. You know I only did this play because I didn't feel like cleaning out the Clocktower. With the way we live, it woulda taken up years of my time." I joked. She smiled.
"I know." She looked up at the clock. "I will be in the theater in time for the play. I promise." I cringed at the word 'promise', but after that I smiled and got out of the desk. When I got to the door (before I turn the knob and got ready to leave the room) Barbara called, "Break a leg!"
"That is what I am afraid of, knowing Canary." I said in a murmur before walking away.
I walked two feet behind my boss and bugged him for the thousandth time, "PUL-EEZE Lennard! I need some of the night off. I promise I will come back before 12 and finish my shift. I just really have somewhere I need to be-"
"I said no. Get that? NNNNo." Lennard was sorta mean when he wanted to be. I growled profanities under my breath as I served two customers and then I finally quit whining. I tried, Dinah. I thought to her, hoping that somehow she'd hear it. An hour went by before my boss came back and tapped me on the shoulder, almost causing me to spill the martini I was serving this chick with way too much perfume on.
"Ms. Gordon just came looking for you. You may take the rest of the night off if you do a double shift on Friday night. No if's, and's, or but's."
"Hmmm, butts." I teased. "Thanks!" I called after him as he rolled his eyes and walked away. I got my coat, feeling like Fred Flintstone after a work day, except if I yelled 'Yabba Dubba Dooooo!', I would be sharing a cell with The Incubus. After Byron Nightsdale took over for me, I split.
"Helena." I heard her familiar voice say as I walked out of the Dark Horse Bar. I turned to see Barbara walking towards me.
"You're walking." I knew at once that it was one of the twin terrors.
"Pretty cool, huh?" I was about to lunge at her when I felt myself get hit from behind with what seemed like an anvil. I grabbed my head as I kicked the other attacker that had Barbara's face. I kept telling myself it wasn't them, but I felt guilty after every blow. What is wrong with me? Two years ago you wouldn't care. I thought to myself. Then I turned around to see the other one had Dinah's face. I took a step back. I didn't want to fight like this. I knew they weren't really them, but I still couldn't attack them, even though I'd been itchin' for a fight for a few days now. "She's not going to hurt you, sis. She won't hurt the ones she loves. Won't you... Huntresssss?" 'Barbara' hissed at me. I glared.
"Turn... into the... girl." 'Dinah' said to 'Barbara'. I saw the red hair turn a brownish color, as the woman shrunk. I was soon staring at Melanie. No. "She will... never hurt the little... girl. Or the... the blonde."
"You're right. Good job. You remembered more things this time." 'Melanie' praised. 'Dinah' beamed. I pressed the button that called for my bike, and was surprised when I heard it's soft motor and saw the holographic shield come down seconds later. I said my name, and then I jumped in the bike and rode off without looking back. I heard their laughter as if they had won. I tightened my grip on the handlebars as I felt my anger rising.
"Oracle are you there?" No response. She had turned her portable comm set off. Hypocrite! And who's always telling me to leave my comm device on?! I said to myself as I felt my wrist vibrate. Unfortunately, the wrist the watch was on was the same hand I had to keep still on the bike or else it would kill the motor. I tinkered with the strap until it came off. "Hold on a second Dinah." I said to her. I put the watch in my coat pocket, then touched the coordinates to No Man's Land which was closer to me by a few blocks than the school was. I made the bike go into an alleyway a block away from No Man's Land. Then I buzzed Dinah. When I saw her, I tried not to make cat calls just to rile her. "What do you need Dinah?"
"Besides you?" She asked. For the first time in a long time, I blushed at her unexpected comment. "Barbara thinks she's found a way to hypnotize Heather Ferellini so we can get her to forget what she's been telling her nieces. We found out that her nieces were in a car wreck and are presumed dead. I think she found them or they found her and she's been taking care of them. The thing I don't understand is why she didn't tell the police she'd found them or why she didn't file for custody of them girls." Dinah said.
"She was getting Disability checks remember? The judge most likely wouldn't have thought she could take care of them. If she tried to get custody, she would have most likely lost the battle, putting the girls in foster care. They might even get separated, and being a foster child that is meta by yourself is hard. You of all people should know." I told her. She nodded.
"Well, we still have no clue who these girls are or where-"
"I think I know where."
"Where?" She asked me puzzled.
"I just got into a fight. Actually, I fled. It was too weird. It would have been like domestic and child abuse if I had fought them. They had your face and Melanie's face. " I added, seeing Dinah's face get a confused look on it. "When I saw them last they were headed in the direction of the high school, but I had to take a detour to talk to you."
"Why would they come to the high school on a day no one is here but the cast and crew?"
"Your show? Perhaps someone in the cast has a twin that doesn't even go to New Gotham High. From what I saw, one of the twins is smart and the other... isn't as smart. It appears the smarter one is taking care of the not as smart one." I saw Dinah frown.
"And me without my Canary costume. Now that- There's a role I have down." She murmured. "I guess the only thing I can do is go to the theater and see who's missing." She said. I nodded and put my watch back on.
"I'm fresh out of ideas." I admitted.
"I was afraid you'd say something like that. Barbara and I are both thinking of something but drawing a blank as well." She said. She sighed, then moved to put her fingers through her hair as her nervous habit, then remembered that her hair was up and if she did that it would get messed up. "Where are you? You look like you're outside."
"I'm about a block and a half away from No Man's Land and a mile away from the school. The terrible twos had used Barbara's voice to get me out of the bar to jump me. But on the bright side, I have the night off and I can go see your show." Dinah smiled and seemed to brighten, living up to her nick name of Sunny Delight.
"Great!" She murmured happily. I heard someone say something sort of loud, but it was muffled, so I couldn't hear what they had said. "I have to go. It's almost my queue." I nodded and Dinah blew me a kiss (a motion I copied). Then I switched the screen to the watch features and started the bike again. I needed to talk to Barbara, and hopefully beat the twins to the school so they don't try to attack anyone else.
I hate stage fright. I've never liked big crowds of people. I was always the freak that was ignored by everyone, and after a while I got used to it and now I won't have it any other way. But now I'll have like 300 people watching me, even though I do not have that large of a part. The theater of New Gotham High was bigger than necessary, able to seat 1500 people. This was where the school assemblies were held, which was quite often since there was a memorial for some student at least once a semester. It has a very large balcony that was in the back, and I would have to project my voice to the people who chose to sit up there. Someone told me that the staff will tape that part of the House off so everyone had to sit at the bottom level. I sat down in a chair with my script to make sure I didn't miss a single queue, word, or rhythm/timing. Helena was going to be there and if anything, I wanted to great for her.
I heard people start to fill the seats, mostly people whom were friends and family to those who were in the play. I heard whispers and murmurs and I even thought I heard my name amongst the chatter. When Mrs. French went out to approach the audience and introduce the play, I waited for the lights to go out before I joined Netanya on 'the balcony seat', which was really a box 6 ft. above the stage floor, partially hidden by the curtain. I kept quiet as Kevin (Cyrano) made fun of the bad actor, and started a battle of rapiers, wit, and words, winning all three. I listened as Roxanne boasts of her cousin's many traits, "Poet, philosopher, excellent swordsman..." Then after the fight we leave the stage as Cyrano speaks of his nose as being grotesque, and how he loves Roxanne. I wait my queue and say a greeting.
"Ah Duanna." Kevin says in surprise.
"I have a message for you. From Roxanne." Shit. I knew I messed up already, but I kept going as if that was what I was supposed to say. "She desires to know when and where she may see you privately. She has important things to say to you."
"Important...?" Kevin asked, adjusting to my mistake. ( I was supposed to say 'certain things'.)
"Things." I assured him, trying to tell Kevin I was sorry for my mistake.
"She... wishes to see me?" he asked, pausing as if he forgot his line for a split second.
"We go tomorrow at dawn to sermon... and afterwards?" I asked, forgetting my line for a second. Kevin moved his mouth to help me say my next line, then he sputters unsure of what to say because that was what Cyrano was supposed to do. I lean into him, asking silently for an answer. "Well, miseure?" I asked impatiently. "She was wondering what time you may suggest."
"Let me think."
"And you think...?" I ask.
"Ragino's Pastry Shop."
"Very well, 7 o'clock, the shop at Ragino's. Until then," I took a couple steps back and quickly curtsy.
"Goodbye Duanna." Cyrano said to me absently as I quickly leave the stage, rolling my eyes to myself for the many mistakes I made because of my nerves.
I hear Kevin get excited that he will see Roxanne and hope that the important news was that she loves him. They leave the stage and the seniors set up their skit which left the audience laughing. Then, Ragino came up to Cyrano and his friend and tells him that he's going to get beat up by Count Digeesh's men for making fun of him. There is a fight with rapiers with the men, and Cyrano wins. He hangs out at Ragino's as Ragino convinces him to eat something, but Cyrano refuses as he awaits Roxanne's arrival. I walk in behind Netanya silently.
"Duanna?" He asked me, getting my attention. He approached me and handed me one by one or two by two the plastic foods that were on the table nearest me. "Here, are some éclairs, some jelly rolls, and some cream puffs. You enjoy flowers?" Kevin said his lines wrong, but I nodded and kept going.
"I adore them-"
"Then go outside and enjoy these in the garden." I pretended to protest.
"But-" He gently pushed me towards where the curtains we partially opened for my exit. I took a step back, almost away from the view of the audience.
"Do not return until you have finished them. All of them." He said the last sentence firmly. The audience laughed as I tried to say something, then I just turned around and huffed off the stage.
"Remember me?" I heard to my right near the wall. It was dark backstage, but I knew the voice instantly. I heard movement, but the sound of the cape was too familiar to me and I knew she had on my Canary costume.
"Going to kill you." she finished.
"But- I thought you were an only child."
"Most times I wish. Patricia is slow. I have to help her with almost everything since the accident. If I didn't drag her out of that car, she would have died."
"What about your mother?"
"She died instantly. She was dead when we swerved into the lake. After you and that... bitch Huntress" I tensed up when she called Helena a bitch. "put my aunt in Arkham, I had no choice but to take care of her. I had no choice but to bring her with me to school as a student."
"I didn't know that your aunt is The Incubus-"
"Don't go yelling that around here. No one needs to know that. Besides, even if you did know, would you have let her go?" she asked.
"No." I said softly but truthfully. She scoffed angrily and started to hit at me. I used some of my training to listen for her in the dark, but even then I was getting hit. She pushed me hard into some props and I crashed. The noise, I'm sure, could have been heard by the deaf in the balcony seats. I landed on some of the other prop foods and what felt like another rapier. Not comfortable.
"What the-" I heard Kevin say as a gasp went through the crowd. Fern had run out on stage. I ran after her and saw she was now Canary, even with my face. She ran past the two people talking about their past on stage and out an exit. I didn't know what to say at first when I ran onto the stage and had the lights on me.
"Bandits!" I cried, thinking quickly. I saw Fern (or Patricia) shine the light in my eyes to blind me. I went over to Netanya and grabbed her arm. "It is not safe here mademoiselle."
"Have Count Degeesh's men come forth again?" Kevin asked, confused. He tried his best to play along, but I cold tell he wasn't one for improv. I nodded as I drug Netanya off the stage.
"I believe so, sir. You must exit this place at once!" I told him. He nodded and ran off stage as 'Canary' ran back on, this time the lights followed her. She tried to fight me. "Who are you?" I asked, mostly to keep the audience thinking it was apart of the play. Those who knew me (both Canary and Dinah Lance/Redmond) murmured in shock.
"You know who I am." she growled in the middle of a punch.
"If you are after Lady Roxanne, as her friend and servant, I shall not let you harm her!" I said.
"It is you who will die. I don't give a damn about 'Roxanne'!" Fern snarled. I took a couple of steps back, into the table that had once held the plastic foods. When I made contact with it, I felt a pain in my back from the last time I was thrown into a table only a minute or two before.
"Even if you killed me Bandit, would it change the past?" I asked. She narrowed her eyes at me. She walked away from me at a quickened pace as if to just get an idea, and I heard one of Digeesh's soldiers grunt in pain as they crashed into the wall. I ran to go help him out but I had a rapier pointed to my chest. It wasn't a real rapier, but it hurt when you got poked with it (I know because Kevin had gotten poked on accident while practicing the fight scene and it made him cry from the pain), and if she were to ram it into me, I would bleed.
"If it is a fight you seek, come fight a man and leave defenseless women alone." Kevin said, ready to fight Fern. She just hit him away like a fly swatter to a fly and he flew into the curtain, hitting whomever was right behind it. I picked up Kevin's dropped rapier as a defense weapon. I couldn't use my powers in front of the audience. She lunged at me and I just concentrated on blocking her, doing okay. I was mostly trying to keep her busy while I either found something to say that would make her stop this, or while I waited for Huntress to come help me out. I had a feeling that if Huntress came, she would ruin everything, so my guess was she'd stay where she was unless my life was really threatened.
"Trust me... Bar-barian," the audience chuckled. "I am not one to try and harm." I warned her lamely.
"Can it!" She yelled, out of breath. I saw her jump onto a chair then up to the table as she continued to attack me with the rapier.
"What about your sister? Think about Patricia! She's going to get hurt if you keep this up. I am not your enemy. Your aunt was scaring those children to the point they were getting sick."
"My aunt only wanted to take care of us!" Fern yelled.
"There are other ways she could have done that, Fern!" I protested.
"Who the hell is Fern? I am Canary." she snapped at me. I jumped back, barely dodging a hard jab at my heart.
"No. You're not." I said blocking some of her jabs and delivering a couple just to get her to back off a little. "You are Fern Morgan. Sophomore at New Gotham High School. GPA of 3.65. You have a sister who needs you, not some superhero or someone you're not. Your aunt may not like it there in Arkham, but until she gets better it is going to be a family of two. It seems you're all she's got, and what happens if you are caught and taken away? You will be losing the very thing you have been fighting me for."
"You don't know what you're talking about!"
"You know that I do." I answered, throwing my rapier down in disgust. She still had hers to my chest, then slowly she lowered it. She crouched on the table, her head down to her chest, her back to the audience, and she took off her mask. I was right in front of her, so my back was blocking the view for anyone who was watching backstage. Fern's eyes went from my blue to her green, and she became a brunette again instead of blonde. Her face was now her own as she took Canary's mask off. She stood again as I took a step back. She turned to look up at Patricia at the lights and smiled.
"Scene." Fern said. An explosion of applause erupted from the audience. "Take a short bow as the lights go out. It will make things look better." Fern whispered as she jumped down from the table. I did as I was told and we walked backstage together.
"What the hell was that?"
"The audience loved that!"
"How'd you come up with the shape shifting trick?" Someone asked.
"Holograms." I said quickly.
"Were you in on this? Was this planned?"
Many questions greeted us as we walked backstage to the dressing areas where our backpacks were. I dug in my backpack for aspirin and a stick of gum. I had a headache from the large crash. When it was only myself and Fern, she came up to me and gave me my Canary costume back. She was now in a summer dress. "I'm sorry, Dinah. What I was doing made sense to us at one time." She explained as I took the clothes from her and put it into my backpack. I felt the small amount of powder that I was going to use to hypnotize The Incubus the next day. Maybe I can kill two birds with one stone. I thought to myself.
"Rage clouds all judgment. Trust me... I know." I said, thinking about a time 2 years ago when I had tried to get vengeance for my mother's death. I was willing to hurt whomever got in my way, and that person was Helena. I quickly took some of the powder out when she had turned away from me in thought. "Fern?" She turned to look at me as I hoped she would. I blew some of the powder in her face. I watched as her eyes went droopy. "What did your aunt tell you about Dinah Redmond?" I asked her.
"She told me that Dinah is Canary, and she is also known as Dinah Lance... Black Canary was her mother. Both Dinah and Canary's weakness was Huntress, her partner and lover." I blushed some. "My aunt told me all of the underground passages and how to get to the Clocktower... how to get inside. I know that Barbara Gordon used to be Batgirl and is now her mentor. She only told me a little about Dinah's past before New Gotham, but everything about Canary I was informed about." She droned. Shit! She knew more about me than I thought. I said to myself.
"Here's what I want you to do..." I gave her a piece of paper as I whispered instructions in her ear. I then looked at her to see she seemed to understand and I went to a small darker spot back stage and listened to the rest of the play. It was at the part that was a favorite scene of mine. The balcony scene where Cyrano pretends to be Christian de Nevellete and says words of love to Roxanne.
About an a hour and ten minutes after Dinah left the stage with Fern, the play ended and I didn't see her when her name was being called. I could tell Mrs. French wanted to know what had happened, but she wanted to pretend that that was the surprise she was talking about. Still, she said 'And with a riveting performance by Dinah Redmond and Fern Morgan." As the applause got louder, I wondered where Dinah was. Suddenly 'Cyrano' had walked backstage, not returning until a few second later when he had his hands firmly on her shoulders pushing her into the light. She squinted and touched her head as her eyes adjusted. I whistled loudly next to Barbara who clapped a little harder, for we knew that Dinah had done the best acting job, pretending that the action was all apart of the play. She had saved the day and she didn't need our help. Plus, she didn't scare the audience any by calling for my help. Dinah practically ran back stage as some people asked where Fern was. I wondered the same thing.
I looked around, then let Barbara know I was leaving as I walked to the nearest girls' bathroom. I switched my watch features to communication features and buzzed her. "Hey." I said when I saw her. She seemed to be just putting her watch back on.
"I can't talk right now. I have to get dressed. I just want to get out of here before I have to answer a million questions."
"Like that one... I'll tell you and Barbara later." She said.
After a few seconds of silence I said, "You were really great. I didn't even know that Canary wasn't a part of the show until after you ran after her. You were totally believable to the audience that you were not going to let her hurt Roxanne."
"Um, can we bask in my glory in like 10 minutes? I really need to get out of this dress and into some jeans." She said. I refrained from saying anything dirty and nodded.
"Sure. I'll see you in 'like 10 minutes'." I said, teasing her. She smiled.
"Olive juice." She said.
"Olive juice too." I retorted, then she was gone. I walked out of the bathroom just as a girl my age came in.
"Helena? Helena Kyle?" she asked.
"Yeah?" I asked slowly. I looked her up and down before I recognized who she was. "Hey Rebecca, long time no see." I said to the ex-cheerleader. I had once been in her circle of friends until my mom died. After that, cliques and parties and popularity didn't matter to me anymore.
"Yes, how have you been?" she asked.
"Great, great. I'm just here to support Dinah." I said. She nodded and thought for a second who Dinah was.
"She the girl who played Duanna?"
"Yep, that's her."
"She's good. I'm here to see my brother. He was Count Digeesh."
"Wow, so have you been in New Gotham all this time?"
"No, I'm here for this family gathering because I promised Fredric I'd see the show, and then I am going back to Oklahoma where my fiancé' and I live." I nodded.
"I don't blame you. I would have fled New Gotham as well."
"So why didn't you?" Ah, time to lie. I am good at that.
"I wanted to see if Batman would come back. I heard he was a hunk." I am so glad I didn't have my comset on. I didn't want Barbara to hear me say that. EVER. It wasn't a very good lie, but at least I wasn't choking. "Seriously, I found I needed this place, as weird as that may sound."
"I understand." She looked at the door and then back at me. "I hope to see you again soon."
"Yeah, you too." I replied before I walked to the theater. Barbara was talking to Mrs. French about the play and school things. I went to my seat and got my backpack which was next to Barbara's purse. In the backpack was a rose for Dinah that I picked up on my way to the school. When saw Dinah, I gave her the rose and kissed her because I just couldn't help myself. When I looked at her she had a look of surprise, since I have never showed public displays of affection before, and then she blushed as some one hollered at us from the stage.
"Thank you." Dinah said in a low voice, trying to hide her blushing. We both looked over at Barbara, who was wheeling towards us.
"That was the best version of Cyrano de Bergerac I have ever seen." She said, giving Dinah a hug. "I am so proud of you." Dinah smiled at Barbara's motherly words.
"Who's up for ice cream?" I asked.
"Rain check?" Dinah looked apologetic. " I have a headache."
"We don't have to go out. We can just stop by the grocery store on the way home and pig out at home."
"Alright." Dinah agreed.
"Sounds good to me." Barbara added.
I hung up my Canary costume, put the rose in some water, then I walked into the den area where Helena handed me my cup of Ben and Jerry's New York cheesecake flavored ice cream. Barbara was sitting on the couch sideways with her chair right next to her as she waited for us to sit down so we can talk. "So, what happened after you got off the stage with Fern, Dinah?" I looked over at Barbara as I sat on the floor. Helena sat next to me and we were soon sitting back to back. This was the way we always sat when we were on the floor, unless we were watching TV together.
"I used your powder to hypnotize Fern into telling me what her aunt had told her. Then I erased it from her mind. Then I told her to get her sister from the control room after the show was over and erase what she knew, then to take her to Greendale where her other half-aunt, I guess, lives. I had given Christina a call and she said she wouldn't mind looking after Patricia for a few days while we sorted this out. I was surprised, but she said she had once met them when they were 8, and she was saddened when she heard they had died, or so she had thought. Anyway, then I told Fern to go see Heather Ferellini and to erase what she knew of us. Then when she had done those things she would awaken. I heard she'd turned herself in for multiple kidnapping and assault charges from Reece. He called and asked if I knew anything about it." I told them, as promised. I could feel Helena's hair tickle the back of my neck as she nodded.
"Are you okay?" Barbara asked me, looking at my shoulder where I tried not to touch Helena with it. Then I relaxed as I found it was slowly going away with her touch.
"Yep." I said simply, leaning closer to Helena now.
"Everyone could hear the crash backstage, and I'm guessing now that it was you slamming into the wall. It sounded like it hurt."
"I was slammed in to the prop table, and yes, it hurt. But I'm fine now." I said shrugging it off. I took my spoon and dug into my ice cream. "Ben and Jerry will heal my wounds, or at least I will forget about them until this cup is gone." I said. Barbara and Helena giggled as I popped the over loaded spoonful of ice cream into my mouth.
"You've been around Helena for way too long. You play hard, fight hard, bruise big, and then it is snack time." We all laughed and let the silence surround us as we wrapped ourselves into our thoughts (or just got caught up in the goodness of our ice cream).
I watched Dinah as she lay on her bed. I don't think she knew I was in her doorway watching her. She was awake, but she was in deep thought. I slowly walked towards her, my old journal in hand, as her head turned to look at me. "Are you okay Dinah?"
"Yeah, I'm fine." she told me.
"I was going through my old journal and guess what?"
"Today is actually the anniversary of our first kiss." I told her.
"Then I suppose we should celebrate..." she said mischievously, scooting over to make room for me. I closed the door behind me and got under the blankets with her. My head lay on her left shoulder and her left arm wrapped around me so her left hand was on my exposed navel. I got comfortable almost immediately as her body warmed me up. Dinah used her power to click off the lights and I smiled. I do every time she does that.
I lie awake, our bare bodies close together, and after a while I hear her breathing tell me she's fallen asleep. I felt her arm tighten a little around me after a few minutes, either to possess me or protect me, or even protect herself. The want to kiss her became great inside me, but Dinah was a light sleeper, and would wake up easily if I had done that. I wanted to let her sleep since she's had a long day.
I looked over at her and I watched her sleep for a little while longer. The small smile on her lips indicate she's having a good dream, and I wished to myself that I was in it. Her eyebrow twitched some as if to take in information and process it into her mind. Then, her face relaxes and she smiles once more. I can't help but smile myself, for if she is happy there in her dream world, weather or not I was in it, then so was I. "Helena." I looked down at her to see if she needed something, but there was nothing else. It was a small sigh, the way she said my name. As if it was a breath of air. I put a couple of my fingers to her bangs and pushed the delicate blonde strands away from her forehead enough for me to kiss it.
"I love you." I murmured. I never thought I would ever have said those words to her, yet now they seem so natural seeping through my lips like a whistle of air. Even if I had said something like that to a man, it would not have been true. Or it would have taken a long time before it were true. When I was first with Dinah, even if I never told her at first, she seemed to know. I do not think I ever really told her other than saying 'Ditto' or saying it second until I made the one mistake that should have made her distrust and hate me. But still she forgave me. I know she loves me. And I hurt her. I mean, really hurt her, yet she forgave me. After she said, 'Yeah I think we're okay.' I knew she meant it, and it was dropped. She still loved me. 'Helena, I never stopped.' She had told me. It took my being stupid to realize what I had and what I almost lost. It took that one night to realize that I loved her.
The odd thing is, I do not mind saying those three little words that mean everything to me. It is almost like breathing or blinking. She's brought out the softer side of Huntress/Helena Kyle. It isn't like she tamed me. She came into my life and Barbara's life wanting one thing: love (and maybe to be like me). That was the only thing she's ever wanted from me, that and to keep the promise in which I made to her. She's never wanted me to change, in fact if she ever caught me in pom pom's she'd ask me if it was Halloween already, or she'd wonder where the freaky meta cheerleader went so she could help me kick her ass. She'd never want me to change unless it was what I wanted, but all I want is her.
In the dark, I see her softly bite her lip. I wanted to bite it too as hunger sort of took over me, and the thoughts of the last 2 hours filled my head. Still, I stayed as I was, just watching her peaceful face. When my eyes started to droop from sleepiness, I lay my head softly on the pillow next to hers and let her hair tickle my nose. I know I won't be around forever, but until my life ends, I hope every day begins and ends like this.
|Part Six||Erin Griffin||Birds Of Prey||Main Index|