Author: Raven5by5


Disclaimer: D.C comics, Warner Bros etc have the rightsÖlucky sods J The following is 100% non-profit fan fic, all good.

Synopsis: Part 2 of 3 Set on the same night: Dinah ponders over her life on a cold winters night.

Rating: PG (UK Rating)

Authors Note: Wanted to write 3 ficís about the Birds of Prey ladies as individuals, partly as in intro to the characters for newbies, but also to show their depth.

Feedback: No problemo, email always with the constructive vibe. Feel free to email story suggestions you may wish to see, will do my best to accommodate yíall.

Distribution: email me if you wanna put any of my ficís onto other websites. J

I feel as though Iíve been walking for hours, maybe I have time doesnít seen to have much relevance here & now in this moment. The hustle & bustle of New Gotham City life rushes past me as I slowly make my way through this urban winter wonderland, lost in thought, immersed in the confines of my mind. The freezing night air is surprisingly full of the most amazing Yule Tide aromas, cinnamon & fern. It makes a change from the usual wave of smoke & fumes gliding through my senses. This time of year has always held a kind of fascination for me. Somehow people seem to finally get it, a mechanism clicks & the realization of what it is to be a human being hits home. This is the first Christmas I can remember in a long time which I feel comfortable with just being me, yet why am I so sad, why do I feel my heart aching?

I pause for a moment to watch families dart in & out of shops offering a world of promise to their children. Anticipation gleams in the eyes of a child as the plethora of brightly gift wrapped presents adorn the display windows of new Gotham Plaza. Iíve never experienced such wonder as that. Never felt as though I ever deserved that kind of happiness. In retrospect I guess I was never given the opportunity to feel like a person of any worth. For such a long time I had adhered to that notion, resigning myself to the background, a life introverted for the comfort of others.

Multi-colored Christmas lights glimmer for as far as the eye can see, illuminating the snowflakes with a spectrum of colors as they fall. That image lingers in my mind for a short while like being lost in a fairytale & then it hits me like a lightening bolt from the heavens, a feeling of sorrow & anger. ĎI miss herí is all that I hear running through my head. My mother, Carolyn Lance, the woman I hardly knew. I see her face in my dreams, my nightmares & now in my waking life. She led such a dangerous life fighting for the safety of people in this world, I know she gave me up as a child to keep me away from that life, away from harm. Itís hard not to feel a sense of anger that she wasnít there for me, that she wanted to keep the world safe, but somehow wasnít able to be my mother. Is that selfish of me? Should I automatically have the resilience to understand her actions? Is it right to weep over the death of a woman I never really knew?

Glancing up to the skyline in the distance & see my home, New Gotham Clocktower & for a moment & Iím comforted by the familiar sight. I wonder to myself what my guardians are doing right now at this moment. Barbara & Helena have been so good to me, because of them I feel proud to be Dinah Lance. Knowing the heartache that these two incredibly strong women have also been through, I ponder on the issue of my own demons & if my degree of self pity is justified. Barbara spent her life as Batgirl, protecting the people of Gotham only to have that life torn away by a bullet from a madman. Her confinement to a wheelchair seems only to have made her stronger; she never backs down from what she feels is right, above all I respect that. Then thereís Helena, one person who knows how it feels to lose a person to the death dealers of this city. Huntress is at the opposite end of the scale to me, a woman wild & full of fire, yet she shows me her caring nature when times are tough, pulls me through the proverbial storm. I get so much strength from her & a sense that one day the three of us will make it thorough our personal torments.

The crisp snow crunches beneath my feet as I continue my walk through the city. Strangers brush past me one after the other, each time I see an insight into their minds; thoughts, deeds, fears, aspirations. It sounds like a clichť, but my gift is sometimes my curse. I am bombarded with images from a woman, who feels so much joy at the prospect of reuniting with her family for the Christmas period, until the moment is twisted. A man in his late twenties sweeps past me, I see so much pain & hurt. I see the moment he gave up on life, the feeling of solitude & the desire to die. Every spike of emotion overloads my senses to the point that sometime I wish I did not have this burden to bear. I know pain, Iíve lived through hell with my foster family, growing up being told I was a freak, taking the physical & mental abuse because of my gift. I guess itís hard to deal with the desperation of strangers coupled with my own angst. At times itís hard to define where my own thoughts begin & end. The third century philosopher, Chuang-Tzu once wrote:

ĎI dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither & thither, content with my lot. Suddenly I awoke & I was Chuang-Tzu again. Who am I in reality? A butterfly dreaming I am Chuang-Tzu or Chuang-Tzu imagining he was a butterfly?í

Am I the butterfly or am I Dinah Lance? What is my reality, my own mind or the thoughts of others? A gift such as mine, itís hard to find clarity.

The quietness hits me as I find myself away from the crowds, away from the bright lights, making my way home through the empty back streets of New Gotham. Itís in this moment I smile to myself; Ďhomeí I utter under my breath & my sadness melts like snow in the heat of the afternoon sun. I have a home & a family, a feeling of security for the first time since I can remember. Maybe thatís how I make it through each day, knowing Iím cared for, knowing that good people exist & not to allow myself to get too jaded.

I am DINAH LANCE, Guardian of New Gotham. Delivered to this life through vision & torment. There are no certainties in this life, no great guide to the art of living; we all have our own path. I have no contempt for those who have treated me with such disrespect, because I am different, I pity them. If I learnt anything from my mother before she died, it was to carry on through the storm, live my life with my head held high & never be afraid to be myself. Who knows, maybe one day Iíll be ready to be The Black Canary, to walk in my motherís footsteps. For now Iím happy with just Dinah Lance. Nearing the Clocktower, I pass by a derelict building, the walls are covered with various posters. I grin to myself as one in particular catches my eye; from the shadows looms a bright white image of a butterfly. Maybe I am Chuang-Tzuís butterfly dreaming I am Dinah Lance, either way I have a life to lead, dream or not. Through it all, even when life seems to fall apart Iím comforted by the notion that there is always hope left in ĎPandoraís Box.í

ÖContinued in pt3: ORACLE.

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