From the Top

By Ry_Rain

Disclaimer: Don't own most of them

Rating: PG

Pairing: Barbara/Other, Carolyn/Dick (i show nothing about their relationship unless it affects the other couples), Helena/Dinah

Archive: e-mail and ask me. i'll most likely say yes


Spoilers: Devil's Eyes

Author's Note: One person asked for more so here it is. Sequel to BoP the Musical. Carolyn did not die in `Sins of the Mother' and I always thought the show took place in the future (probably didn't but I don't really care it does in my mind). Also, this is not beta'd.


It had been a quiet week in New Gotham. Since Harley had been locked up the crime rate had gone way down. It was so quiet in fact, everyone was taking the night off. Carolyn and Dick even arranged for Helena to baby sit Dinah so they could take Barbara on a blind date. Boy, was she pissed.

"You guys drag me to a the restaurant early and he ends up being late?" Barbara asked. "You guys have bad taste in men. No offense Dick."

"None taken Babs. I'm sure he's just caught in traffic." Just then Dick's cell phone rang. "Hello?"

As Dick listened to the person on the other end Barbara said, "I'm going to the bathroom." Carolyn nodded.

"Where'd Barbara go?" Dick asked.

"Bathroom," Carolyn replied.

"Good, cause he's not coming."

"Why not?"

"Well, he came, saw Barbara, and took of. Poor Babs."

Carolyn looked over Dick's shoulder. "Hey Red."

"Oh God," Dick said as his head dropped into his hands. "How long have you been there?"

"Long enough to know when I'm being stood up." Barbara wheeled over and grabbed her jacket off the back of Carolyn's chair. "I'm gonna go. Thanks guys for trying. I'm just not ready to date someone else yet."

Carolyn and Dick watched Barbara leave. "What are we going to do? She should be over Wade by now. I mean, its not like she was ever in love with him." Dick looked at Carolyn strangely. "Come on Dick. She's still in love with Ashley even after all these years."



As Barbara came into the Clocktower Helena ran over to her and said, "I think Dinah's old enough to not need a baby-sitter. She can stay by herself now."

Barbara laughed. "What she make you do?"

"We watched the special episodes of all her favorite shows. The Ally musical, the Halloween Dark Angel. I swear if I have to watch one more episode of Buffy, which she says all episodes are special. Ahh!" Helena looked at Barbara. "Why are you home so early? Carolyn told me you wouldn't be home till late."

"My date showed up, saw me, and ran scared."

"Barbara I'm sorry."

"Don't be. Wanna go on a late sweep just in case anything has happened or happens?"

"Sure. I'll get Dinah. She has to be bored with Buffy by now."

Barbara wheeled up to the Delphi. "Well, at least I know I can count on you." Barbara turned the monitor on. "And now I'm talking to myself. Just swell. Its official. I've gone mental." No wonder my blind date took off. I'm in a chair and he could probably tell there was something else wrong with me. "What's wrong with me? I haven't been like this in years." I miss Ashley. I haven't been like this since the night after she took off.



Barbara was sweeping by the docks. Ashley use to sweep this area but she had taken off the night before. She heard a scream coming from her right and took off towards it. There were three guys advancing on one woman.

Every single night, the same arrangement / I go out and fight the fight / Still I always feel this strange estrangement / Nothing here is real, nothing here is right / I've been making show of trading blows / Just hoping no one knows / That I've been going through the motions / Walking through the part / Nothing seems to penetrate my heart

I was always brave and kind of righteous / Now I find I'm wavering / Crawl out of your grave / You find this fight just doesn't mean a thing

She ain't got that swing

Thanks for noticing

She is pretty well with fiends from Hell / But lately we can tell / That she's just going through the motions / Faking it somehow / She's not even half the girl she - oww!

Barbara punched one of the thugs in the stomach. She walked over to the woman and helped her up.

Will I stay this way forever? / Sleepwalk through my life's endeavor?

How can I repay-

Whatever. / I don't wanna be / Going through the motions / Losing all my drive / I can't even see / If this is really me / And I just wanna be / Alive!

*End Flashback*


When Dinah and Helena came back they found Barbara asleep at the Delphi. "Should we move her?" Dinah asked.

"Nah," Helena said. "We'll probably just wake her up and then she won't sleep. Come on. Lets just go to bed. Tell Barbara I came back with you and saw she was asleep so I went home." Dinah nodded and Helena headed for the elevator. Suddenly the Delphi alarm went off.

Barbara screamed as she woke up. "What the hell!"

"It's the Delphi Barbara," Helena said as she walked back over to the computer. "I know its been quiet but you can't tell me you forgot what the alarm sounds like."

"Very funny Helena," Barbara said as she scrolled through all the information.

"What's going on?" Dinah asked.

"There was an escape at Arkum," Barbara absentmindedly said. Dinah and Helena looked at each other then at Barbara. She didn't seem too upset.

"But it wasn't Joker?" Barbara shook her head and continued scrolling. Helena looked at the screen but she couldn't process the information. Barbara suddenly stopped scrolling. Helena put her hand on Barbara shoulder and asked, "Barbara, who is it?"

"Kayla Carter, a.k.a. the Muse."

Helena looked at the picture on the screen and said, "Never heard of her. She looks young though."

Barbara wheeled over to the phone. "The picture is old. Its from when she was first put in." She picked up the phone. "I have to call Carolyn and Dick."


"We're the ones who put her in to begin with."

"Oh." Helena looked at Dinah who shrugged. She moved closer. "Dinah, your mother never mentioned the Muse?" she whispered. Dinah shook her head. "I wonder why not?"

"Because the whole event was very emotional," Barbara said. Helena looked at Barbara with wide eyes. "You still have your comm on and I still have my headset on." Helena nodded. "Carolyn and Dick are on there way here now.


Carolyn and Dick arrived at the Clocktower right away. They came running into the Clocktower. "Barbara, what's going on? What is the problem?"

"The Muse has escaped." Both Carolyn and Dick froze in place. Their eyes were wide in shock. They couldn't believe what they were hearing. "The guards sang an ensemble on how they believe she escaped."

Dinah walked up to Carolyn, "Mom? Why didn't you tell me about the Muse? You've told me about everyone else."

Carolyn looked down at her daughter. "I know sweetie. Its just … this villain wasn't really a villain." Dinah looked at her confused. Carolyn sighed. "She was under someone else's control when she committed the crimes she committed."

"What happen to the person who was controlling her?" Helena asked.

"She was murdered," Barbara answered. Barbara looked at Carolyn. "You think she'll come?"

"No doubt about it. Who knows what the criminals in there have done to Kayla. If she escaped it can't be good." Barbara nodded. "Do we have any other information?"

Barbara shrugged. "Haven't looked." Everyone heads whipped over to look at Barbara. Barbara just yawned. "Carolyn will you watch over the Delphi? I'm exhausted." Carolyn nodded. "Thank you. We'll talk about this more in the morning." With that Barbara headed into her bedroom and closed the door.

"Who'll come?" Helena asked.

Carolyn and Dick looked at Helena and then at each other. "It doesn't matter Helena," Dick said. "Even though Carolyn said she had no doubt the person will come here, she probably won't and Babs knows that." Helena opened her mouth to protest. "No. We don't need to talk about it." Dick looked at Carolyn and saw she was trying not to show her distress. "If we do people will just get upset and we don't want that. Alright?" Both Dinah and Helena nodded. "Good. Now, Helena, go home and Dinah, go to bed. Get some rest, you'll need it."

Dinah and Helena did as Dick said without any fight. "This is serious isn't it?" Carolyn asked. Dick nodded. "You really think she won't come back?" Dick shook his head and looked at Carolyn. "Are you just saying that because you know what I want to hear?"

"No. Did you know she came back before?" Carolyn looked at him and shook her head. "Yeah she did. Bab's and mine senior carnival. Her and Barbara professed their love for each other and then she took off again. Told Barbara not to try and find her."

Carolyn and Dick stood in silence for a while. Carolyn went over to the Delphi and put it on standby. "Lets go home. The Delphi will page me if there is anything serious." Dick nodded and they took off.



Dinah was watching the clock waiting for the bell to ring and signal the end of the day. She wanted to get to the Clocktower as fast as possible. Ten minutes, she thought. "Di, you alright?" Dinah's best friend Gabby asked. "You've been staring at the clock and fidgeting for the past ten minutes. What's going on?"

"I'm just worried about Barbara. She didn't show up today and apparently she never called in sick. I'm worried something horrible happened to her."

The teacher looked over at the two girls with sympathy. "Miss Redmond why don't you go ahead and leave now. I know you are worried about Miss Gordon."

Dinah jumped up and started getting her things. "Thank you so much Ms. Wayne. I really am worried about her."

The teacher watched as Dinah raced out of the classroom. She turned around to reveal Ashley Wayne. "Alright. Homework time." The entire class groaned.



Carolyn, Dick, and Helena were all around the computer looking at the same information they had last night. There was nothing new. Dinah came running in out of breath. Carolyn spun around and asked, "Dinah, what are you doing home so early? I know Barbara wouldn't let you out early."

Dinah stopped and quirked her eyebrows at everyone. "She didn't. Ms. Wayne her sub did. You guys didn't know Barbara was still here?" Everyone shook their heads. They all looked towards Barbara's bedroom. "She hasn't come out?" Everyone shook their heads again. "Okay."

Carolyn got up and headed towards Barbara bedroom but as she got close to the door she stopped and turned around. "Dinah, what did you say your subs name was?"

"Wayne. Why?" Carolyn ran down the stairs and over to the Delphi. She started typing furiously. "Mom, why?"

Carolyn pointed to the screen. "Is this her?"

Dinah looked at the screen and nodded. "Younger but definitely her. She even has blue highlights. Who is she?"

"Ashley Wayne a.k.a. Oracle. She was the original."

Helena looked at the woman in question. "Wayne?"

"Yeah," Carolyn said as she looked at Helena. "I guess that would make her your aunt."

"Why'd she leave?" Carolyn looked at Dinah. "You guys said she'd come back. Why did she leave in the first place?"

Carolyn looked at Dick and he nodded. She brought up and article and moved out of the way for Dinah and Helena. "Did she …?"

"Kill Aphrodite?" Barbara said from upstairs. Everyone looked up towards her. She was wearing the bomber jacket from the showdown with Harley. "Yes she did."

"Why isn't she in Arkum?" Helena asked.

"No evidence," Carolyn said. "There were no witnesses. She made sure we were off the grounds and Aphrodite sent her goons to escort us."

"Fingerprints?" Dinah asked as she read the article.

"Gloves," Dick said. "Ashley wasn't stupid. She had no idea what could happen when she and Carolyn went in so she was prepared for anything."

"Why didn't she turn herself in?"

"Trust me Hel," Barbara said once she made it downstairs. "Taking off was punishment enough for her. I wouldn't be surprised if she was dead." Barbara moved over to the Delphi. "Why are you guys talking about her?"

Dinah looked at Barbara and noticed a look in her eyes that she had never seen before. She saw desire, need, and hope. Hope that she was wrong. "Well, I'm kind of giddy to inform you that you are wrong for once. Mom brought up the article because your sub today, her name was Ms. Wayne."

"Wayne is a very common name," Barbara said.

Carolyn looked at Barbara and said, "Yeah but, it would be a big coincidence that she would also have blue highlights. Dinah did you notice the color of her eyes?"

"They were eerily the same exact color as Helena's."

Carolyn walked over to Barbara and put her hands on her shoulders. "Are you alright Red?" Barbara completely broke down. Carolyn hugged her. "Come on Red. Let it all out." Carolyn rubbed soothing circles between Barbara's shoulder blades where she knew the redhead could feel it. "Let it all out. Dick will you get her some water please?" Dick nodded and took off to get water. Barbara stopped crying and pulled herself together. "Are you alright?" Carolyn asked.

Barbara nodded. "Yeah, it was just the nickname. It set me off for some reason."

"Its understandable. She rarely called you anything else, well, unless you count Venus." Barbara laughed which is what Carolyn was hoping for. "Knew that would make you laugh."

"Venus?" Helena asked smirking at Barbara.

"It was a code name I used so we could get some information on the Muse. It wouldn't be funny except we used a doubles tournament as a cover. The Muse's partner was Aphrodite." Dinah and Helena laughed. "We didn't know until I had already picked my name and by then it was to late to think of another one." That made the two girls laughed even harder and Barbara and Carolyn joined in. Dick came walking in and handed Barbara her water. "Thank you Dick," Barbara said as she wiped the happy and sad tears from her eyes. "She said she never left."

"Barbara?" Barbara looked at Dinah. "Ms. Wayne has subbed for you before."

"She has?" Barbara asked.

"Yeah. She always had me or Gabby write her notes for you. We always wondered why."

"She didn't want you to recognize her handwriting," Carolyn said. "Even after all these years you would see it and know it was hers in a heartbeat." Barbara nodded. "Can you hack into the school's system and get her address?"

"I can but she said not to try and find her."

"She didn't really stay hidden," Carolyn said.

"Dinah, has she subbed for anyone else?"

"No. Only you Barbara."

Barbara gave Carolyn a look. "So what Barbara? You could have asked anyone who subbed for you. Its just a lucky break for her that you never do."

"She knows that I never would as long as my students don't complain about the sub. I'm going to the school and see if I can catch her before she leaves." Barbara got her coat and took off. "Watch the Delphi!" she yelled over her shoulder. Everyone looked at each other.



Barbara was going through the hallways as fast as possible, trying to find Ashley. She dodged down side hallways and into classrooms to avoid the principle. She wasn't looking at where she was going and ran into a bathroom door that was opening. It hit the person who was opening it. "Oh, my god. I'm so sorry," Barbara said as the person came out from behind the door with shock on her face. Barbara immediately recognized her. "Ashley?"

Ashley: Hey baby, is that you? / Wow, your hair got so long / Yeah, yeah, I love it, I really do / `Norma Jean', ain't that the song / We'd sing in the car / Drivin' downtown, top down / Making the rounds / Checking out the bands on Doheeney Avenue

Barbara: Yeah, life throws you curves / But you learned to swerve / Me I swung and I missed / And the next thing ya know / I'm reminiscin', dreaming old dreams / Wishing on wishes / Like you would be back again

Both: I wake up and tear drops / They fall down like rain / I put on that old song we danced to and then / I head off to my job / Guess not much has changed

Barbara: Punch the clock / Head for home / Check the phone, just incase / Go to bed / Dream of you / That's what I'm doing these days

Ashley: Someone told me after college / You ran off to Vegas / You married a rodeo cowboy / Wow, that ain't the girl I knew / Me I've been a few places / Mostly here and there once or twice / Still sortin' out life, but I'm doing alright / Yeah, it's good to see you too / Hey girl, I'm late / And those planes, they don't wait / But if I ever come back around / To this sleepy old town / Promise I'll stop in / To see an old friend / And until then...

Both: I wake up and tear drops / They fall down like rain / I put on that old song we danced to and then / I head off to my job / Guess not much has changed

Barbara: Punch the clock / Head for home / Check the phone, just incase / Go to bed / Dream of you / That's what I'm doing these

Both: I wake up and tear drops / They fall down like rain / I put on that old song we danced to and then

I wake up and tear drops / They fall down like rain / I put on that old song we danced to and then

I wake up and tear drops / They fall down like rain / I put on that old song we danced to and then

Ashley and Barbara just stared at each other for what seemed like forever. Finally Barbara broke the silence with, "The Muse has escaped."


Ashley stared at Barbara as the words had time to process in her mind. The muse. The person who made her sink to the same level as the bad guys. The person who made her lose the woman she loved. "When?"

"Last night. We've been on the case since. When I got up this afternoon they were looking at your file. I asked why and Dinah said you were my sub." Ashley nodded. "Were you really on your way out of town?" Ashley shook her head. "Then why …"

"Mommy!" came a scream from down the hall.

Ashley turned around and smiled. "Britney!" The little girl who had screamed came running down the hall and jumped into Ashley's outstretched arms. "How's my little girl?"

"Good." Britney looked down the hall and saw a old woman. She leaned into Ashley and whispered in her ear, "I don't like Ms. Valentine. She wouldn't let me watch TV or play with Bobby. Do I have to stay with her still?"

Ashley shook her head. "I'll find you a new baby-sitter." Ashley waved Ms. Valentine over. "Thank you Ms. Valentine," Ashley said as she handed the woman some money. "I won't be needing you to watch Britney anymore. I'm going to stay home from now on." Ms. Valentine nodded her head and left. "Well, that was rude."

Britney was looking at Barbara whose mouth was open in shock. "Who's that Mommy?"

Ashley spun around and saw Barbara was still sitting there. "Ah, Red you trying to catch flies there?" Barbara's mouth snapped shut as Ashley chuckled. "Britney I'd like you to say hi to Ms. Barbara. She's an old friends of mine."

Ashley put Britney down who walked up to Barbara and held out her hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you Ms. Barbara."

Barbara smiled down at Britney and shook her hand. "Same here Britney." Barbara looked up at Ashley who was smiling at the scene. "You have a daughter?" Ashley nodded. "Adopted?" Ashley raised an eyebrow at that. Barbara looked at Britney again who was walking around her and looking at her chair. "Never mind. Its obvious she's yours. Whose the father?" Ashley shrugged. "How do you not know?"

"Can we talk about it later Red?"

Barbara smiled. "So, you're going to stay around for there to be a later?" Ashley looked at Barbara, smiled, and nodded. "Good. Lets go introduce your daughter to everyone else. Carolyn and Dick are at the Clocktower." Barbara looked down at Britney. "You want a ride outside?" Britney nodded her head. "Well, climb on up. Just be careful and try not to kick me." Britney carefully climbed up into Barbara's lap. "You coming Ashley?" Ashley nodded and the three of them were off. "You know Carolyn and Dick are engaged?" Ashley stopped and her mouth dropped open. "You like catching flies too?" Ashley's mouth closed as Britney and Barbara laughed.



"Think Barbara found her?" Dick asked Carolyn. She shrugged. "Wonder how she'll react to me and you."

Carolyn chuckled as she sat next to Dick and leaned against him. "She'll ask tons of questions and want to know every detail on how we got together." Carolyn smiled. "She has to know everything …"

"… and she does." Dick finished Carolyn's sentence.

"I resent that," Ashley said as she walked into the Clocktower behind Barbara and Britney. "Hey Tweety."

Carolyn jumped up and hugged Ashley. "You came back!"

"I never actually left. I wasn't eighteen yet. I couldn't leave town without being considered a runaway."

Carolyn punched Ashley in the shoulder. "Don't ever do that again! You hear me?"

"Hey," yelled Britney as she jumped out of Barbara's lap. "Don't hit my mother!" Ashley and Barbara laughed as Carolyn looked down at Britney with shock.

"Tweety, I'd like you to meet my daughter, Britney," Ashley said as she picked Britney up. "Britney, say hi to Ms. Carolyn." Britney clamped her mouth shut and shook her head. "Brit, she was just joking around. I scared her a long time ago and she was telling me not to do it again."

"Like when I got separated from you in the mall?" Ashley nodded. Britney looked over at Carolyn. "Hi," she said shyly then stuffed her head in the crook of Ashley's neck. "Sorry for yelling," she murmured.

"Its alright Britney. I shouldn't have hit your mother. Its nice to meet you."

When Britney didn't answer Carolyn looked at Ashley. "She can't hear you. She's deaf. That's why she didn't know what you were yelling and hitting me for. She wasn't looking straight at you so she couldn't read your lips."

"Wow. You can't even tell. She talks so … well, normal."

"I know. Its because of her Meta ablilities. When she goes feral her hearing returns to normal. That's how she learned how to talk." Ashley looked down at Britney and realized she had fallen asleep. "Well, I better get going. Britney's asleep, meaning she didn't get her nap."

"You guys could stay here tonight," Barbara said. "That way you can help out with research and stuff. It would be nice to have someone else who knows how to use the Delphi so well they could reprogram it in their sleep."

Ashley chuckled. "Alright. I'll have to borrow some clothes though."

Just then Alfred walked in. "Ms. Barbara is there … Ms. Ashley! What a pleasant surprise!" Alfred walked over to Ashley and hugged her. He looked at Britney in her arms. "And who is this sleeping beauty?"

Ashley smiled. "This, old man, is my daughter Britney."

"She looks just like her mother." Ashley blushed. "Ms. Barbara, is there anything you need before I go back to the manor?"

"Yes actually. Do you have any of Ashley's old clothes here? I don't think I have any that will fit her, considering she is a good five inches shorter then almost all of us."

Ashley huffed, “Hey I’m taller then Tweety.”

"I think I actually do Ms. Barbara, including some clothes from when she was Britney's age. I'll go get them right now."

Just then Huntress came in from the balcony. "Barbara I'm going to do an early sweep then I'll be … back." Helena looked at Ashley. "Hello. Who are you?"

"Ashley Wayne. You must be Helena." Ashley held her hand out.

"Don't expect me to call you aunt or anything," Helena said as she ignored Ashley's hand and plopped down on the couch next to Dick.

"I'm sorry. Why would you call me aunt?" Ashley looked at Helena then at everyone else.

"Bruce is her father, Ashley," Barbara said. Ashley calmly nodded. "Well, I'm hungry. Is anyone else?" Carolyn, Dick, Dinah, and Helena all shook their heads. "What about you Ashley?"

"I could eat."

"You could always eat," Carolyn said. Ashley stuck her tongue out which Carolyn copied.

"And you guys always said I was immature," Dick commented.

"Do you really want to hear my insane troll logic for this argument, again. I'm sure you've memorized it by now. I mean, how many times did we have this exact same conversation over breakfast?" Ashley asked.

"Every morning," Carolyn answered. Ashley nodded and looked at Dick. He just rolled his eyes. "You guys will have to go out. Alfred does grocery in the morning and the cupboards are bare." Ashley rolled her eyes. "Dinah, can Britney sleep in your room?"

"Sure." Dinah walked over to Ashley. "I can take her Ms. Wayne."

"Thanks, and Dinah? Feel free to call me Ashley outside of school." Dinah nodded and headed towards the penthouse. Ashley turned to Barbara and asked "So where do you want to go?"

Barbara smirked and said, "It's a surprise." She got in the elevator. "Are you coming?" Ashley blushed and entered the elevator. Carolyn and Dick laughed.



Ashley and Barbara were sitting in a little corner Italian restaurant. "Do you remember this place?" Barbara asked Ashley.

Ashley smiled and nodded. "Its where I took you for your birthday your first year as Batgirl. It seems a lot smaller now."

"Seems bigger to me." Ashley nodded. Barbara looked at Ashley and smiled sadly. "I haven't been here since the shooting. My only memories of this place are coming here with you after sweeps. It was always open."

"That's because I knew the owner," Ashley said. Barbara laughed. "I always called him ahead of time. He lived upstairs."

"He's daughter owns the place now." Ashley blushed. "But apparently you know her too."

"I dated her for a couple of weeks freshman year. She dumped me when I couldn't explain why I had to leave in the middle of dates. She got pissed when she found out from her father that I showed up here with you sophomore year." Barbara chuckled. "How have you been?"

"Fine. Considering," Barbara said. Ashley nodded. "I'm sure you heard about what happened." Ashley nodded again. "Why didn't you come back sooner?"

"My psychiatrist. She said I should stay away from you." Barbara quirked an eyebrow. "She knew what I did. I'm surprised she didn't turn me in. Well, now I know why but then I was surprised."

"What do you mean now you know why?"

"Harleen Quinzell." Barbara flinched. "Sorry. I know what she did to you. She's damn well lucky she's in Arkum. I might of just had to repeat history if you guys didn't turn her in."

"I almost didn't." Ashley's eyebrows scrunched up in confusion. "I almost broke my own rule. I only have one rule and I almost broke it."

"She killed a loved one, but I'm not surprised you didn't. You have always been the strongest out of all of us." Barbara smiled.



Ashley refilled her and Barbara's glasses with wine. Barbara was laughing. "Remember when we performed "Dancing Queen" at the school talent show?"

Ashley chuckled and buried her head in her hands. "Don't remind me. That was so embarrassing."

"I thought it was funny. You had a shirt on underneath."

Ashley blushed. "That's not the point. You ripped my shirt off. My other shirt broke dress code. I got detention because of that."

"I got you out of it." Barbara took a sip of her wine. "That was when you started calling me Red. Why?"

"When my shirt came off you were blushing. Your face was completely red. Not pink or any other shade, it was RED." Ashley pushed her plate away. "How did Carolyn and Dick end up together?"

"Long story."




Dick was laying on his bed in his dorm room studying for a test he had the next morning. "I hate anatomy." He slammed the book shut.

There was a knock at his door. "Hey Grayson. You have a lady guest out here waiting for you."

Barbara! Dick jumped out and ran out to the common room. "Carolyn?"

"Hey Dick. How are you?"

"I'm good. Come on back to my room so we can talk in private." Carolyn nodded and followed Dick back to his room. "What happened to you?" Dick asked as he cleaned up the cuts that were all over Carolyn's face.

"I got in a fight." Carolyn looked up in Dick's eyes. "I can't believe I'm gonna say this, but I actually missed you."

"Missed you to Care. I'm glad you're back." Dick looked at Carolyn. They just sat there for a minute and then kissed. Dick picked Carolyn up and laid her on the bed. "Are you sure?" Carolyn nodded and kissed Dick.

*End Flashback*

"They've been together ever since, well except when Carolyn took off for a while. They got back together as soon as she came back." Ashley nodded. "I have no idea why Carolyn went to Dick but I guess it's a good thing. They're extremely happy together."

"I can see that. Is Dinah his?"

Barbara shrugged. "Don't know. She doesn't look it. I haven't tried to do the math."

"And don't wanna?" Barbara nodded. "Don't blame you. Has Dinah asked though?" Barbara shrugged. "If she had you'd probably know." Barbara nodded. Ashley sat thinking for a few minutes. "You said long story. That was a very long story."

"I didn't tell you how they got back together after she left." Ashley nodded. "Do you wanna know?" Ashley shook her head. "Our lives are like a soap opera." Ashley laughed. "So how have you been? You still haven't told me who Britney's father is."

"I told you I don't know." Barbara raised an eyebrow. "I was raped. Nine months later I had a bouncing baby girl."

"I'm sorry. Does she know?"

"No. I'll tell her when she's older or if she asks why she doesn't have a father around."

"She obviously doesn't care right now."

Ashley laughed. "No she does not. She's a spoiled little brat."

"But you wouldn't have it any other way and you know it," Barbara said. Ashley laughed and nodded. "Its funny I found you today."


Late last night I was going through some old things / when I saw a picture of you, my best friend. / It reminded me of days when you were mine, / you had a way that always left me with a smile. / I want those sweet days back again cause baby,

it's a sunny day but you're not around. / That doggone rain might as well be pouring down. / It's such a shame cause my heart's on the ground. / Just wanna be Cool With You again.

Sometimes I sit by the fire and reminisce / about the time that we spent in front of it. / And that old flame will never be the same, / until you come back here and rekindle it. / I just wanna share my heart with you again cause baby

it's a sunny day but you're not around. / That doggone rain might as well be pouring down. / It's such a shame cause my heart's on the ground. / Just wanna be Cool With You again.

I fall asleep at night and often see and hear in my dreams (in my dreams), / holding me (holding me) yeah baby, / but then I wake up and I realize that you're not here with me. / It hurts so much I gotta have you back baby

it's a sunny day but you're not around. / That doggone rain might as well be pouring down. / It's such a shame cause my heart's on the ground. / Just wanna be Cool With You again.

It's a sunny day and you're not around. / That doggone rain might as well be pouring down. / It's such a shame cause my heart's on the ground. / Just wanna be Cool With You again.

Barbara shook her head, breaking eye contact with Ashley. "Barbara?" Barbara wouldn't look at her. Ashley lifted Barbara's chin with her finger, forcing Barbara to look at her. "Barbara. I love you, I always have, and I always will. No matter what happens. Don't ever forget that. Understood?" Barbara nodded her head. "Good."

The two of them sat in silence for awhile, just staring at each other. "Ditto, you know." Ashley's eyebrows bunched in confusion. "The whole unconditional love thing? You know I feel the same way, right?"

Ashley smiled, nodded, and grabbed Barbara's hand. "I do now."



When Ashley and Barbara got back everyone had already gone to sleep. As Barbara checked the Delphi, Ashley moved a chair out onto the balcony. She moved behind Barbara and kissed the crown of her head. "Wanna watch the sunrise?" Barbara turned around and nodded. As soon as she set the Delphi alarm Ashley picked her up out of the chair and brought her out to the balcony. She set Barbara on the chair she brought out and then sat behind her, pulling Barbara close so she was kind of cradling her.

I have always been a little shy / I've always been the quiet / Type till now / And I never let my feelings show / I never let anybody know / Just how much I was so / Deep in love / But now that you're in my arms

I'm gonna stand on a rooftop / Climb up a mountaintop / Baby, scream and shout / I wanna sing it on the radio / Show it on a video / Baby, leave no doubt / I want the whole world to know / Just what I'm all about / I love to love you out loud

You keep bringing out the / Free in me / What you do to my heart / Just makes me melt / And I don't think I can resist / But I've never been one to / Kiss and tell / A love this true can't be / Subdued / So I'm gonna let out a yell

I'm gonna stand on a rooftop / Climb up a mountaintop / Baby, scream and shout / I wanna sing it on the radio / Show it on a video / Baby, leave no doubt / I want the whole world to know / Just what I'm all about / I love to love you out loud

Baby, I want the whole world to see / Just how good your love looks on me

I'm gonna stand on a rooftop / Climb up a mountaintop / Baby, scream and shout / I wanna sing it on the radio / Show it on a video / Baby, leave no doubt / I want the whole world to know / Just what I'm all about / I love to love you out loud

Baby, I love to love you out loud / Yeah, I love to love you out loud

Ashley looked down at Barbara and saw she was asleep. "I love you," she whispered. She then kissed Barbara's temple and carried her inside.


(A/N: Flashback dialogue is borrowed from Trancer’s story, Tangled Webs. Also, as of now, this fic is kind of turning into pointless comedic entertainment.)


The next morning Barbara came into the kitchen to find everyone sitting around a table she knew was not hers, and eating what looked like several varieties of pancakes. There was an extra stack of pancakes at a place next to Ashley.

“Hey Barbara,” Helena said as she was the first to notice Barbara was in the room. “Ashley’s a great cook. She made several different kinds of pancakes which are all very good.”

“I know how good a cook she is Hel. If we finished sweepes really early in the morning she would makes us all breakfast.” Barbara moved next to Ashley. “What kind did you make me?”

“You have to eat them to figure out,” was Ashley’s reply as she smirked and winked at Barbara. Barbara just glared at her. “Don’t worry. You’ll like them. Everyone’s pancakes are the same except for slight variations.”

Barbara cut a small piece off and tasted it. “Oh, god. I’m sorry I doubted you even after all these years. I’ll never doubt your cooking abilities again.” Barbara knew how Carolyn, Dinah, and Dicks’s were different but she looked over at Helena and asked, “How are yours different?”

“Chocolate chips.” All of a sudden Helena smacked Dinah’s hand that had been inching closer to her plate. “Don’t even think about it kid. You are too young to consume these pancakes”

“I’m sure the alcohol is all cooked out, Hel.”

“Actually I said that because of the syrup Di. Thats why you are the only one using the store bought stuff.”

”Hel, we all saw you slip her one of your pancakes earlier,” Carolyn said. “And I’m sure you didn’t know about the alcohol but she’s already had one so go ahead and give your girlfriend another one.” Dinah and Helena’s eyes widened with shock. Carolyn just smirked and continued. “I mean, of course she’s gonna want more, they’re delicious.” She said the last part looking at Ashley, who was not paying attention as she was putting her last pancake on Barbara’s plate. “Ashley!”

“Huh? What?” Ashley said as she dropped her place back on the table. Luckily it was plastic.

Everyone laughed except for Barbara who was bluashing as Carolyn repeated herself. “I said these pancakes were delicious.”

“Oh, thanks Tweety.” Ashley looked down at her plate and moved the syrup around.

Barbara looked at Ashley and smiled. Then she looked around and noticed someone was missing. “Where’s Britney?”

“She went to the manor with Alfred. She absolutely loves him,” Ashley said. She looked at Barbara and seeing the smile on her face, smiled back. “So, have anything new on the Muse?”

“Nope. Nothing. She’s laying low. If she is crazy, I don’t think its from the other prisoners, otherwise she would most likely be killing people, not just making them sing.”

“Is there a chance Aphrodite isn’t dead?” Dinah asked. Ashley shook her head. “Well, maybe ...” Dinah paused as she though something. “You know, I just realized, no one here has broken out into song.”

Ashley and Barbara looked at each other. “Actually, Ashley and I did yesterday. No one else has?” Everyone shook their heads.

“Maybe Kayla knew about you two,” Carolyn said. Dinah and Helena both quirked their eyebrows at that. “She probably thinks if it hadn’t been for her, Ashley would have never ‘left town’. I, mean, the whole motorcycle and leather thing? Come on, could you guys have been anymore obvious?”

“What she talking about Barbara?” Helena asked.

“I’m not quite sure,” Barbara said as she tilted her head and looked at Carolyn.

Ashley looked at Barbara. “I think she’s saying she thinks the Muse is playing Matchmaker.”

“WHAT?!” both Dinah and Helena exclaimed.

“Why would she do that?” Dinah asked.

“Because Ashley and Barbara had crushed on each other in high school,” stated Carolyn.

“Then they professed their love for each other at our senior carnival,” Dick added.

Barbara glared at Helena as she softly chuckled. “And what do you think is so funny?”

“Nothing. This just explains something I heard Alfred say to you after both Dinah and I kissed you.”



“Yes, our relationship has always been ... raw. But this?” Barbara set the cup down. Place her fingers at her temples, massaged untill the skin ached. “Mybe I just need to think about something else.”

“Like Dinah?”

“Yeah,” Barbara snorted. “Did Bruce ever have this problem?”

“Perish the thought. His protege’s were too busy chasing after you.”


“He wasn’t kidding,” Helena said. Ashley, Barbara, Carolyn, and Dick were all blushing like mad. “I mean, I seriously thought he was just joking, but apparently not.”

“Shut up Helena. We need to focus on the problem here.”

“Barbara’s right,” Dick said. “We need to focus on the Muse here. She’s our main concern. If Carolyn’s right then we may not have to worry about anything.”

Barbara moved over to the Delphi. “I think you two may be on to something here.”

Ashley walked behind Barbara and put her hands on her shoulders. “What you thinking Red?”

Barbara smiled. “I think Carolyn is right.”

Carolyn looked up. “You do? You never think I’m right.”

“Thats not true.” Carolyn looked at Barbara. “Not completely true. Anyway, the Muse is obviously planning something but what clues do we have as to what?”

“Only you and Ashley have sung anything.” Dinah said.

“Other than the guards at Arkum,” Dick added.

“But the guards could have just been practice. You know, to see if she still had her powers.”

“Both of you are right and Ashley brings up a good point.”

“I did? You never -”

“Shut up. I am not that bad.” Everybody tried to stifle their laughter. “All of you just shut up and listen to me.” Everyone stopped and looked at Barbara. “Thank you. Now, do we have any clues as to where she is?”

“Where have you guys sung?”

Ashley and Barbara looked at each other. “The school and here.”

“And the restaurant,” Ashley added.

“Right, so either she’s following us or her powers have gotten to a point where she doesn’t have to be in the nearby vicinity.” Barbara began typing something in the computer. Everyone else just stood around, looking helpless. “Carolyn and Dick, why don’t you guys go do an early sweep.” Carolyn and Dick nodded then took off. “Helena can you bring Dinah to school please?”

“Sure Barbara. Need anything else?”

“The phone please?” Helena nodded and went to get the phone as Dinah headed up to her room to get ready. “Ashley go look on another computer so you’re not reading over my shoulder. Its getting on my nerves.”

“Sorry. Is there anything I can do?”

“Clear off the table that everyone left a mess?”

“Well, considering everyone didn’t leave it mess I can’t do that. What else is there?” Barbara shrugged. “Oookay. I’ll just mess with the Delphi.”

“Considering you designed the Delphi, was that supposed to scare me into talking?” Ashley glared at Barbara. “All right. Sit down and give me a minute. Helena where is that phone?! Stop making out with Dinah and bring it!”

“Sorry! I’m coming!” Helena jumped down to the platform. “Here ya go. I’m going to take Dinah to schol now.”

“Thank you and no messing around on the way there. If I get a call that Dinah is late, its your hide. Understand me?”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah.” Barbara glared at Helena. “Okay. I understand. She won’t be late. Come kid! Lets get going!”

“I’m coming! Would you stop calling me kid?”

“No. You know I only call you it cause I care.”

“Shut up and drive me to school.” Dinah came down the stairs and hugged Barbara. “You gonna come in today?”

“Nope. Already called the school telling them I wouldn’t. Now go before you’re late.”

“Okay, do you need anything before we go?”

“Nah. I have Ashley here if I need anything. Now GO!”

“Okay, okay. I’m going. See you after school.”

“Uh huh.”

Dinah and Helena looked at each other and smirked. Unfortunately Ashley caught said exchange. “What do you two think you’re gonna do?” They looked up with deer caught in headlights looks on their faces. “Thats what I thought. Helena, take Dinah to school.”

“Thank you Ashley.” Ashley laugehd as Dinah and Helena grumbled and mumbled the entire was out the door. Ashley turned and looked at Barbara. She stood there staring at her until Barbara huffed. “What do you want Ashley?”

Ashley walked up behind Barbara and wrapped her arms around her. “You.” Barbara blushed.

“Come on. Take a break and come sit on the couch with me.” Barbara sighed. “Please?” Barbara looked up at Ashley and smiled, holding her hands up in defeat.


Clocktower – After School

Helena flew in from the balcony and was standing over a sleeping Ashley and Barbara, when Dinah came in. "Show off."

"Shh!" Helena pointed to the couch. Dinah walked over and put an arm around Helena’s waist. "Aren’t they cute?"

"Yeah they are." Dinah looked around. "We should put a blanket on them and leave them alone." Helena nodded, grabbed a blanket of an easy chair, and covered the two women. "Go check the Delphi while I start dinner. Alfred said he was going to be late."

"Is you mother and Dick coming back?" Dinah shrugged and kissed Helena. "Okay. I’ll go check the Delphi." Dinah chuckled as she watched Helena stomp over to the Delphi and plop in the extra chair. She then went into the kitchen to start dinner.

Both Ashley and Barbara smirked. <Is the coast clear?>

Ashley opened one eye and looked around. <Yep. Dinah’s in the kitchen and Helena is on the Delphi.> Barbara snuggled deeper into Ashley. <You all right?>

<Yes and I’ve never been better.> Barbara tilted her head back and kissed Ashley. <Now, I want to get up before Helena puts a fist through one of the monitors.> Ashley softly whimpered. <Don’t do that. Besides you need to check on Dinah and make sure she doesn’t burn the place down.>

All of a sudden there was a crash. Ashley bolted up, almost causing Barbara to fall off the couch, but she grabbed her just in time. Helena came running out to the living room. Seeing Ashley and Barbara were up she asked, "What the hell was that?"

"I thought it was you breaking a part of the Delphi." Helena glared at Barbara. "Dinah?"

"I’m all right." Dinah walked into the living room. "I just dropped the mixing bowl I was using." Dinah looked at everyone and noticed they were all trying not to laugh. "What’s so funny?"

Helena lazily quirked an eyebrow before responding. "Those better be your handprints." Dinah looked down at her black shirt and saw two flour handprints on her chest. She turned beet red and ran towards the kitchen. "Ah, Dinah?" Helena whispered in her ear. Dinah closed her eyes as she tried to think of what Helena could possibly want that couldn’t wait till she was over her humiliation. Her eyes popped open as she felt Helena’s hands on her butt.

"Oh God! Leave me alone!"

Ashley, Barbara, and Helena laughed as Dinah ran into the kitchen, her hands covering her butt and the flour handprints on it. “That wasn’t very nice Hel.”

“I know.” Helena turned and smiled at Barbara. “You two look very comfortable.”

“Well, we are thank you. Now if you don’t mind staying away from the Delphi and leaving us alone, that would be great.” Ashley and Helena look at Barbara, shocked at what she just said. “What? You cook better then Dinah, which is actually a scary thought, so get your ass in there and help her.”

“I resent that!” Dinah yelled from the kitchen. “I do not cook worse then Helena!”

“Hey! Nice way of defending my honor there!” Dinah poked her head out the door and blew Helena a kiss before going back into the kitchen. “Grr, fine. I’ll go help Dinah.”

Ashley chuckled as Helena stomped into the kitchen. “You know Dinah is going to have more flour handprints and they won’t be hers.” Barbara laughed as she snuggled back into Ashley. “Someone is in a cuddling mood.”

“Only with you.” Ashley blushed as Barbara tilted her head back and kissed her. “We oughta get up soon before Carolyn and Dick get here and make fun of us.”

Just then the elevator doors opened and Carolyn and Dick walked into the living room. “Too late.” Barbara looked over her shoulder and groaned.

“Hey you two.”

“Leave us alone,” Barbara said as she and Ashley sat up. Ashley helped her into her wheelchair.

“I didn’t say anything.” Ashley and Barbara glared at Carolyn. “Okay, I was going to say something but I hadn’t said anything yet.” Barbara shook her head and wheeled over to the Delphi. “Have you gotten anything new?”

“Actually, yes I did. I found an apartment that was recently leased out in the name of Kayla Carter.”

“How come you didn’t tell me this earlier?” Ashley asked as she walked up behind Barbara, a hurt expression on her face. “I could have checked it out by now.”

“I didn’t tell you because it just popped up. That’s how recent it was.” Ashley nodded and grabbed her jacket. “Where do you think you’re going?”

“To the apartment.”

“I don’t think so. Maybe if she sees us together she’ll turn herself in. Let Carolyn or Dick check it out.”

“Barbara, if she turns herself in her sentence will be made even longer than it originally was,” Ashley said. “I mean, I already feel bad that we sent her there while she was in high school and I wasn’t even there then.”

“Well, what do you propose we do Ashley? Let her run rampant around the city?” Barbara glared at Carolyn. “What? Barbara, you can’t seriously be considering this. She killed someone.”

“I know that Carolyn. Trust me, and I’m sure Alex knows that more than any of us considering it was her brother that she killed. Carolyn, technically Kayla is innocent. She was hypnotized.”

“Barbara, you really think the police are going to believe that all these years later?” Dick asked, looking at Barbara.

“Dick, don’t you start too. I could talk to my dad and he could talk to a judge or something.”

“Barbara, this woman deserves to be in jail.” Dinah and Helena walked in to find out was what going on. “You were the one so adamant about it before, why change now?”

“The change now is she’s trying to repent for what she did.” Everyone looked at Carolyn. “Just like you did when the first time you came back and then the second time. You tried to do everything you could to make it up to Dinah.” Carolyn lowered her head in shame, knowing that what Barbara was saying was true. “What you did may not have been as serious but you were given a second, and third chance. Why doesn’t Kayla deserve a second chance as well?”

Everybody wants to live / How they wanna live / And everybody wants to love / Like they wanna love / And everybody wants to be / Closer to Free

Everybody wants respect / Just a little bit / And everybody needs a chance / Once in a while / Everybody wants to be / Closer to Free

Just then Alfred walked in with Britney. “Mommy!” Britney yelled as she ran and jumped into Ashley’s arms. She looked around and saw the somber looks on everyone’s faces. “What’s wrong Mommy?” Britney looked right at her mother.

“Nothing that you need to worry your pretty little head about sweetie. Just a grown-up conversation.” Ashley looked up to Alfred. “Will you take her into the kitchen please? I don’t want her reading our lips right now.” Alfred nodded and took Britney. “Thank you Alfred.”

“Its not a problem Ms. Ashley. I’ll finish the dinner that I smell burning.” Dinah’s eyes went wide.

“Don’t worry about it Dinah,” Barbara said, pinching the bridge of her nose. Ashley walked behind her and started massaging her shoulders. “Thank you Ashley. Now, about Kayla, we’re all wired right now, so I say we hold this discussion till when we actually need to do something about it. Right now we don’t have her so what’s the use of arguing? Everyone agree?” Everyone nodded. “Good, now, Carolyn, and Dick, will you guys go check out the apartment?” The two of them nodded and took off.

Ashley: Everybody one / Everybody two / Everybody free

Dinah and Helena: Everybody needs to touch / You know now and then / And everybody wants a good good friend / Everybody wants to be / Closer to Free

Barbara: Everybody wants to live / How they want to live / And everybody wants to love / Who they want to love / And everybody wants to be / Closer to Free

“Man, that was weird,” Dinah said as Barbara finished singing.

“Yeah, It was,” Helena responded, hugging Dinah from behind. Ashley and Barbara just stared at each other. “You two okay?” They broke eye contact and nodded. “Okay, well, I’m not really hungry so I’m just going to go lay down. That just weirded me out too much. You coming too Dinah?” Dinah nodded and they headed into Dinah’s bedroom.

“You alright Red?”

“Yeah, that was just weird. That song was different than the others we’ve sang. Why do you think that is?” Ashley shrugged. “I’m not hungry either. What about you?” Ashley shooked her head and looked into the kitchen. “I’m sure Alfred can hear us.”

“You would be right Ms. Barbara. Ms. Ashley, Ms. Britney has fallen asleep, what should I do with her?”

Ashley looked at Barbara. “Put her in the guest room Alfred. They’ll be staying here another night.”

“As you say Ms. Barbara. I’m going to leave after that if you don’t need anything.” Barbara nodded. “Goodnight Ms. Barbara. Goodnight Ms. Ashley.”

“Good night Alfred,” Ashley and Barbara said in unison. Barbara smiled.

“Ready for bed?” Barbara nodded and the two of them headed to Barbara’s bedroom. “Have you realized we haven’t sang as many songs as we did all those years ago?” Barbara nodded. “And they’re not as embarrassing?” Barbara nodded again. “Kayla’s grown up.” Barbara chuckled as the bedroom door closed.


“Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day. I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way.”

Helena walked into the kitchen and glared at Ashley. “This muse is getting very annoying.”

Ashley laughed as she flipped pancakes. “If my singing was being caused by the muse, you would be singing too my dear niece.” Helena quirked an eyebrow at Ashley. “I’m singing on my own accord. I like to sing, always have, at least when its on my own free will.” Helena chuckled as Ashley flipped a pancake in the air, and it got stuck on the ceiling. “Shit.”

“I’ll get it,” Dinah said as she walked into the kitchen. She used her telekinesis to peel the pancake off the ceiling. “Maybe you should use a spatula to flip the pancakes next time.”

“I’m sorry I was unable to catch it with my telekinesis. I could have gotten it off the ceiling myself.”

“You have telekinesis?” Dinah asked, sitting on a stool next to Helena, actually interested.

Ashley smiled. “Yeah. Its how I saved your mother’s ass several times.” Barbara came into the kitchen and Ashley placed a plate of pancakes in front of her.

“Same as last time?”

“No, they’re just plain pancakes this morning.” Barbara pouted.

“At least you’re not getting ceiling pancakes.” Barbara covered her head and looked up at the ceiling.

“HEY! You know I would get them down if it happened. I got yelled at by Alfred and Bruce way too many times when we were in school. Trust me.”

Barbara shook her head as Carolyn walked in. Ashley grimaced as she remembered an accident that happened before Helena had walked in. She looked at the ceiling and watched as a pancake on the ceiling slowly started falling down. No one else saw it until it fell on top of Carolyn’s head. Everyone’s eyes widened in surprise as Carolyn stood there, glaring at Ashley as she took the pancake off her head and threw it on the floor. Ashley grimaced as she tried to keep from laughing. Barbara looked at Carolyn and Ashley then started laughing. Soon everyone but Carolyn was laughing.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Laugh it up everyone. Laugh it up. Why do the pancakes always fall off the ceiling on me? Why?” Ashley, Barbara, and Dick all looked at each other and laughed even harder. Ashley was using Barbara’s chair for support. Carolyn growled and sat down next to Dinah. “Would ya’ll shut up, please?” Ashley nodded as she composed herself. Barbara cleared her throat and took a sip of coffee and Dick, well, he kissed Carolyn, shutting her up and stopping his laughing at the same time.

“Get a room,” Ashley said. Carolyn bent down, picked the pancake off the floor, and threw it at Ashley. She ducked and it hit Alfred square in the face. Ashley turned around, a look of terror on her face. She knew Alfred wouldn’t be angry, it wasn’t her that threw the pancake.

“Miss Ashley, I do wish that you would leave all the cooking to me. Maybe then I won’t get pancakes thrown in my face. I thought I was done with this when I saw pancakes were made a couple days ago and none were on the ceiling or in my face.” Ashley grinned sheepishly and looked at the floor. “I thought you had finally taken my advice and Miss Carolyn,” Alfred spun and looked at her, “good aim.” Everyone laughed as Alfred threw away the pancake.

Ashley took baby steps and sat in Barbara’s lap, burying her head in the crook of Barbara’s neck. “Aww, poor baby. Everyone picking on you?” Ashley nodded. “Oh, cry me a river, build a bridge, get over it.” Ashley sat up and gaped at Barbara. “I know, I know. I’m a meanie.” Suddenly the Delphi alarms went off. “Damn it. Why couldn’t things have stayed quiet?”

Everyone rushed over to the computer. Ashley beat Barbara and sat down first. She started scrolling down the information. “Apparently there was a break in at Arkum.” Ashley turned around and saw Barbara quirking an eyebrow at her. “The Muse was back in her cell.”

“So, she turned herself back in.”

Ashley looked at Barbara. “I don’t know. Why would she do that?” The Delphi’s alarms started going off again. “What the fuck now?”

“Ashley, I know what those alarms mean. Someone’s in the Clocktower and they shouldn’t be.”

“Alfred, where’s Britney?”

“Downstairs Miss Ashley. There’s a daycare on the first floor.” Ashley nodded and ran into the training room.

“Ashley, what are you doing?” Ashley came out with a pair of escrima sticks. “Ashley, do you know how to use those?”

“Of course I do. I taught Bruce how to use these things.” Barbara rolled her eyes and put her hands underneath the arms of her chair, fingers just above the button to release her sticks. “Dick, you should go get a weapon out of the training room. Who knows who’s in the Clocktower?” Dick nodded and ran into the training room and came out with a staff and some throwing stars. “Alfred?”

“I’m all ready Miss Ashley,” he said as he held up a rifle. “Just give me the word.” Ashley nodded and they all waited, poised in front of the elevator door.

“I still wish I knew why the Muse turned herself in.”

“She turned herself in because I told her to.” Everyone turned around and saw Aphrodite standing in front of the Delphi. “I … came into the possessions of a couple more powers, one of which being invisibility.” Just like that she was gone.

“Where’d she go?”

“She’s still here, I can smell her. Everyone be quiet.”

“One question first, I thought she was dead?” Ashley and Barbara looked at each other.

“We all thought she was.” They spun around as they heard the elevator doors open.

“You take my mother away from me.”

“Damn, another Shiva.” Barbara glared at Helena.

“And I take your daughter. Thank you Alfred for informing me as to the whereabouts of dear Britney.”

“Shit.” Ashley threw down her escrima sticks and ran out to the balcony, immediately jumping down to a light post then jumping down to the ground. Barbara watched from the balcony as she ran into the building and then ran back out, Britney in her arms. Ashley looked up at Barbara and Barbara nodded. Ashley blew her a kiss and ran off into the night.

Carolyn came up behind Barbara. “She’ll come back. She always does.” Barbara nodded and calmly moved back into the Clocktower. She stopped in front of the elevator. “Barbara, what are you doing?”

“Aphrodite didn’t get Ashley’s daughter.”


“The whole point of kidnapping Ashley’s daughter was because Ashley obviously loves her daughter. Who else does she love?”

“Barbara, you can’t be serious.” Barbara just stared at the elevator as she heard it start up. “Barbara, come on. This is crazy. Who knows what this woman will do to you?”

The elevator doors opened and Reese walked in. “Don’t worry about Aphrodite. Ashley called me as she jumped from the balcony. She’s been arrested and is on her way to Arkum.” Barbara nodded and moved out to the balcony. Reese followed. “I have no idea where Ashley is but if you hear from her, have her call me.” Barbara nodded and Reese walked back into the Clocktower. “If any of you hear from Ashley, have her call me.” Everyone nodded.

“Thanks Reese.” Reese looked at Helena, saw Dinah holding her hand, and nodded. He nodded at everyone else and left. “Will she be back?”

Dick nodded. “She always does.” They all turned to look at Barbara.

Barbara sat on the balcony, watching the rooftops. She suddenly saw a shadow running across them, a shadow that appeared to be holding another shadow.

There she goes / There she goes again / Racing through my brain / And I just can't contain / This feeling that remains

There she goes / There she goes again / Pulsing through my vein / And I just can't contain / This feeling that remains

There she goes / There she goes again / Racing through my brain / And I just can't contain / This feeling that remains

There she goes / There she goes again / She calls my name / She pulls my train / No one else could heal my pain / And I just can't contain / This feeling that remains

There she goes / There she goes again / Chasing down my lane / And I just can't contain / This feeling that remains


A Month Later …

Dinah and Helena walked into the Clocktower and saw Barbara sitting at the Delphi. “She still hasn’t come back?” Helena whispered into Dinah’s ear. Dinah shook her head. The two of them headed into the kitchen. “Poor Barbara. I thought Dick said she always came back.”

“He did, by the way, have you noticed the weird way he’s always looking at me? Like he’s trying to figure out something about me?” Helena shook her head. “Maybe I’m just imagining things then.” She started digging in the cupboard. “Where’s Alfred? These cupboards are bare.”

“I don’t know. Maybe Barbara gave him some time off.” Helena rifled through the mail.

“Even if she did give Alfred time off, you know he would still make sure there was something to eat in the place. I mean, think about it Helena, when has Alfred ever actually taken the vacation time offered him? He could go anytime he wants, he knows it, yet he never does.” Helena nodded. “Helena, are you listening to me?” Helena nodded again. Dinah looked over her shoulder. “What is that?”

“A letter from my dad’s lawyer and a letter from Ashley, both addressed to me.” Dinah looked over at Barbara. “Do you think she saw the mail?” Dinah shrugged then jumped when Alfred came into the kitchen, grocery bags in his hands.

“Let me help you Alfred.”

“Thank you Miss Dinah, and no Miss Helena, Miss Barbara has not seen today’s mail. I wanted you to read those two letters without her knowing. I wasn’t sure what either of them could possibly say.” Helena nodded and stared down at the envelopes. “Miss Helena, open them.”

Helena looked up at Alfred and nodded. She opened the one from the lawyer’s first. She looked at Alfred and Dinah then started reading aloud. “Dear Miss Kyle, We would like to inform you that it has been requested by your aunt, Miss Ashley Wayne, that she move into the Wayne Mansion, since you do no seem to want to. We have spoken to your father, Mr. Wayne, and he has said that it is up to you. Blah, blah, blah.”

“Maybe Ashley’s letter will help better explain that one,” Barbara said as she came into the kitchen.

“How much did you hear?”

“The entire letter. Go ahead, read the one from Ashley.” Helena nodded and picked up the envelope. She looked back up at Barbara. “Helena, read the damn letter.”

Helena chuckled and opened the envelope. Two letters fell out. “One of these has your name on it Barbara.” Barbara nodded and took the letter as Helena held it out to her. “You want me to read mine first?”

“I think you’re supposed to Hel.”

Helena nodded, and with a deep breath, she started reading. “Dear Helena, I hope you have read the letter from your parents lawyers first and that, if Barbara is listening, she hasn’t read her letter yet. First I want to apologize for leaving like I did and not letting anyone know that I was alright. I was busy making some arrangements. As you may or may not know, Kayla Carter was released from Arkum on accounts of … well, on accounts of me pulling some strings. She is different now. I talked to her before she was released.”

“I just read that in the paper yesterday.”

Barbara nodded. “I knew she had something to do with it. Continue Helena.”

“Now, about the mansion. I would like to move to New Gotham permanently. I know I always said that I never actually moved but, well, I kind of lied. I’ve been living on the outskirts of town the entire time. I will completely understand if you don’t want me to move in. I just figured if you weren’t going to, then someone should and that it should stay within the family. If you have any questions I’ll be back in town in a couple of days. Tell Barbara I love her. Always, Ashley Wayne. P.S. Barbara can read her letter now.” Helena folded up the letter and put it back into the envelope. “I need to think about this. I’m gonna … I’ll be back.” Helena then got in the elevator and left.

Alfred and Dinah stared at Barbara. “I’m going to go read my letter.” Barbara headed out to the balcony and transferred herself to the chair that Ashley had brought out there that first night, and never brought back in.

Alfred and Dinah stood in the kitchen, staring at the ground. Dinah looked at Alfred, “You knew about this the entire time didn’t you?” Alfred looked up at Dinah and smirked. “That’s where you’ve been, cleaning up the mansion for Ashley.” Alfred shook his head and started putting away the groceries. Dinah helped but continued asking him questions. “Then where have you been?”

I’ve been cleaning the mansion for Miss Helena.” Dinah looked at Alfred and quirked an eyebrow. “Miss Helena is a lot like Master Wayne, but she’s more like her aunt. I’ve known Miss Helena her entire life. I know what her decision is going to be.”

Dinah looked at Alfred. “You know everything don’t you?”

No, I have no idea what Miss Ashley wrote in that letter to Miss Barbara and I have no idea how Miss Barbara will react to what was written. Come on, Miss Dinah, you can help me fix dinner.” Dinah nodded and the two of them continued what they were doing.

Helena, you can come out of the shadows.” Helena chuckled as she walked into the light. “You know I know when you’re there.” Helena nodded. “Did you hear what they were saying?”

Yep. Have you read your letter yet?” Barbara shook her head. “What are you waiting for?”

I’m scared of what it may or may not say.” Barbara looked up to Helena and held out the letter.

You want me to read it?”


Helena took the letter and unfolded it. She chuckled as she read the first line. Barbara quirked an eyebrow but Helena just waved her off and started. “Dear Barbara, and Helena as I’m sure Barbara couldn’t read this herself.” Barbara smiled and nodded. Helena continued. “Well, Helena, I also already believe what your answer to the mansion question is and don’t worry. I’m not upset, I actually figured you would want to move in yourself as did Alfred. The place is cleaned up and there are movers just waiting for your word to move the stuff in your apartment into the mansion.” Helena started tearing up and one actually fell on the paper. “Damn, at least there was nothing there.”

Barbara chuckled. “Would you finish reading the letter please?”

Helena nodded. “I also have another thing for you Helena but it’ll have to wait. Barbara, since I’m not moving into the mansion, I was wondering if Britney and myself could move into the Clocktower with you?”

There’s not room.”

I know you’re probably saying there isn’t room but there will be. Trust me.”

Damn, that’s freaky. What else does the letter say?”

Well, the rest is in a different color ink. I’m guessing she ran out of time then started again some other day.” Barbara nodded and waved her hand impatiently. “Sorry, ran out of ink.” Barbara and Helena chuckled. “Anyways, like I said in Helena’s letter, I’ll be back in a couple days. I’m helping Bruce with something and we’re almost done. He may or may not come back with me. I’m just telling you to prepare you in case he does. Well, I’ve got to go, again Barbara, I love you. Always, Ashley Wayne. P.S. Tell Alfred Britney says hi. She’s yelling at me for not writing that in Helena’s.”

Barbara chuckled as Helena handed the letter back to her. “Thank you Helena. Go tell Alfred what Britney said.” Helena nodded and went into the Clocktower. She stuck her head back out. “I can move myself. Thank you for the thought though.” Helena nodded and went back into the Clocktower to share the good news.



Everyone was helping Helena move into the mansion. Everyone was happy for her, except for Dinah. Helena had been spending more time at the Clocktower than her apartment recently and now she was moving into this huge place with a million rooms in it all by herself. Dinah didn’t like it one bit but she didn’t let Helena know.

At lunch time the door rang and Barbara answered it, thinking it was the pizza delivery guy. There was a pizza, but it wasn’t the delivery guy. “Hope you don’t mind. I pulled up right as the pizza guy did and just paid for it myself. Thought I would surprise you.” Barbara nodded as Britney ran the pizza into the house. Barbara smiled and pulled Ashley down to kiss her.

“Welcome back.”

“Thanks.” The two of them went into the living room where everyone was pigging out on pizza. “There’s more pizza out on the steps. Britney couldn’t carry all the boxes and I knew it wouldn’t be a good idea for me to carry them cause I would probably drop them.”

Helena chuckled. “I’ll get them.”

“Thanks Hel.”

“No problem Auntie Ashley.” Ashley grimaced as everyone laughed then went back to enjoying their pizza. When Helena came back she put down the pizzas and faced Ashley. “In your letter you said you had something else for me. What is it?”

Ashley smirked. “Follow me. We’ll be right back.” She kissed Barbara and walked up the stairs, Helena close behind. When they made it up to the landing, Ashley started explaining what exactly it was. “I was given something and told to give it to you when I thought you would find some use of it. Well, I finally think you’ve found a use for it.” They walked into a huge bedroom.

“Which bedroom is this? Its not the master bedroom.”

“No, it was your mother’s bedroom when she stayed over. You’re father didn’t want anyone to know she was Catwoman and this was how she got in and out. I was the only one who knew and that was because I was nosy one night and camped out on the balcony above this window. The room above was mine. As I saw your mother leave I followed her. She knew the entire time of course but she could never find me or shake me off her course. Finally she stopped on the top of the Gotham Clocktower and waited for me. I watched her for a while but she told me to step out of the shadows. So I did.”

“Okay, what’s the point of this story?”

“Helena, she knew she was pregnant with you at the time. I was the first to know. That night she handed me a box. I thought she was returning something she had stolen, figured she didn’t want to fight me since I was Bruce’s sister but then I realized she knew all along who I was.” Ashley opened a drawer in the dresser and pulled out a small box. “Here’s the box. When I opened the box I saw it was an engagement ring. Your mother told me that Bruce had given to her but she couldn’t say yes. It was against her ways. She couldn’t settle down. She told me she was pregnant and that she didn’t want her child to grow up in Gotham. She was moving to Paris for a while.” Ashley handed Helena the box.

“So, why are you giving me this?”

“She told me to give it to her son or daughter, when they were ready for it. I’ve seen the way you look at Dinah. You’re mother would laugh at the fact that you were going out with the daughter of Canary and Robin but she would be happy for you because she would see how happy Dinah makes you. She only cared about your happiness.”

“Wait a minute, did you just say Canary and ROBIN?” Ashley nodded. “No wonder Dinah has been thinking Dick has been looking at her weird. Does he know?” Ashley shrugged and sat on the bed. Helena sat next to her. “Thank you for giving this to me.”

“You’re welcome. I could never break a promise to your mother.”

“Now, what did you mean by there would be room in the Clocktower?”

“Well, if you use that ring soon, there will be.” Ashley stood up and left Helena with those last words.


Barbara sat in front of the computer down in the Batcave. She turned around as she saw that the hidden entrance as opening up. The first thing she saw was Ashley's blue hair. "You hair appears bluer every time."

Ashley laughed and continued down the ramp. "Its really weird, I haven't dyed it since that first time. It actually has been growing like this." Ashley sat down next to Barbara and looked at the screen, a video was playing. "Why are you watching this?'

Barbara turned back to the screen and shrugged just as the figures of Ashley and Carolyn took off on Ashley's bike all those years ago. Barbara stopped the video. "It wasn't what I thought it was."

"What do you mean?"

"After you left I went through all the video clips and organized them. I thought it was a different one." Ashley nodded and took the mouse away from Barbara, closing the window. "Why'd you do that?"

Ashley sighed and leaned back in her chair. "Why were you watching it?" Barbara shrugged again and looked at the blank screen. "Barbara, is everything alright?"

"Why did you say there would be room in the Clocktower?" Ashley smiled and turned the screen towards her. She opened up a live security feed then turned it back towards Barbara. The feed showed Dinah and Helena, sitting on the balcony of the master bedroom. "What's going on?"


Helena wiped her palms nervously on her pants, trying to dry them off. "This is a nice place Hel. I'm so glad that you are moving out of that old apartment. The Dark Horse was always loud at night."

"I wonder where the Muse is?" Dinah looked up at Helena. "I could really use her help right now."

"Helena, what's wrong?"

All I am, all I'll be / Everything in this world / All that I'll ever need / Is in your eyes / Shining at me / When you smile I can feel / All my passion unfolding / Your hand brushes mine / And a thousand sensations / Seduce me 'cause I

I do cherish you / For the rest of my life / You don't have to think twice / I will love you still / From the depths of my soul / It's beyond my control / I've waited so long to say this to you / If you're asking do I love you this much / I do

In my world before you / I lived outside my emotions / Didn't know where I was going / 'Til that day I found you / How you opened my life / To a new paradise / In a world torn by change / Still with all my heart / 'Til my dying day

I do cherish you / For the rest of my life / You don't have to think twice / I will love you still / From the depths of my soul / It's beyond my control / I've waited so long to say this to you / If you're asking do I love you this much / I do

Helena ended the song as she went down on one knee. She pulled the ring box out of her pocket and offered it to Dinah. "Dinah Lance," Helena started as Dinah opened the box. "Will you marry me?"

Barbara gasped as Dinah nodded. "Where did Helena get that ring?”

"Selena gave it to me to give to her. I thought she was ready to have it." Barbara nodded and exited the screen when she realized Dinah and Helena were going to celebrate the event before sharing with everyone else. "They're so in love, you can just see it radiating off of them."

Barbara nodded and opened a cylinder. She moved in front of it. "This hasn't been used in a long time, longer than all the others." Ashley nodded and she walked up behind Barbara. "I use to stand here, just staring at it. I never took off that jacket, not even to clean it. Carolyn had to steal it to get it clean. She sprayed it with your perfume so it would still smell like you."

Ashley chuckled and wrapped her arms around Barbara's neck. "I missed you too Red." Ashley smiled and rested her head on top of Barbara's. "That suit was rarely used in the first place. Bruce never called me onto patrols." Barbara nodded, staring at the suit that was a cross between the Batman suit and Catwoman's.



Ashley and Barbara were in the kitchen when Dinah and Helena came in. The two of them were obviously happy. Barbara smirked and winked at Ashley. Ashley just chuckled, causing Dinah and Helena to stare at her. "Sorry."

"Anyway, we have some news to tell you both," Dinah said. Helena winked at Ashley and she nodded. "Ashley, you might want to sit down." Ashley nodded again and jumped up on the counter. "Okay, Helena and I are engaged!" Dinah held up her left hand and jumped up and down, giggling.

Ashley laughed and said, "Congratulations you guys. I guess you'll be moving in here with Hel." Dinah nodded and then it dawned on her. "I didn't know for sure but I knew once I gave Helena her mother's ring she would consider it at least." Dina nodded and looked at Barbara.

"Congratulations you two." Barbara hugged Dinah and Helena. "Dinah, you should call you mother and tell her the good news." Dinah nodded and ran into the other room to use the phone. Ashley jumped off the counter and stood behind Barbara. "All I'm going to say is she better finish school."

Helena nodded. "Even if I have to dip into the Wayne money, she will finish school." Barbara nodded and went to the fridge. "Where's Britney?"

Ashley rolled her eyes. "Where else would she be?"

"She went shopping with Alfred?" Ashley nodded and Helena chuckled.

Someone's jealous."

"No I am not."

"Yes you are." Ashley turned and glared at Barbara. "Don't you glare at me. You know we're speaking the truth." Ashley grunted and jumped back on the counter. Barbara slapped her leg, trying to get her down but Ashley just stuck her tongue out at her. Helena, knowing when a good time to leave was, left to find Dinah.

Ashley smiled at Barbara. "I love you."

Barbara laughed. "I love you too. Now would you please get off the counter." Ashley nodded and got down but then she picked Barbara up and put her on the counter. "What do you think you are doing?"

Ashley smirked and placed herself between Barbara's legs. "Getting ready to kiss you." Barbara smiled and looked down at Ashley. She wrapped her arms around Ashley's shoulders, pulling her up closer. Ashley kissed Barbara on the nose then pulled back and just stared into Barbara's eyes. "So, can we move into the Clocktower?"

Barbara chuckled. "Of course you can.. If there had been room I would have said `yes' the first time you asked." Ashley smiled and kissed Barbara softly. "You're welcome. Now would you please put me bak in my chair? You know I don't like sitting up here."

"But of course me lady." Ashley bowed then carefully moved Barbara back in her chair. "Britney will be happy. She can spend more time with Alfred." Barbara chuckled. She turned around and grabbed the box that she had taken out of the fridge earlier and a couple plates. "You're reheating pizza? Has hell frozen over?" Barbara glared at Ashley.

“Leave me alone. Do you want some?"




"I now pronounce you wife and wife. You may kiss the bride." Everyone clapped as Ashley and Barbara kissed.

Helena and Dinah looked at each other and grinned. When the newlyweds walked past them, Helena grabbed Dinah's hand and the two of them followed. "How is it, they're married before we are? I know they weren't engaged before us." Dinah nodded as she shrugged. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"I was agreeing with you as well as saying `I don't know' to your question."

"Oh." Dinah chuckled. "Don't laugh at me. Your body language was very contradictory." Helena nodded as the two of them passed Kayla Carter. "I can't believe they actually invited her."

Dinah shook her head. "Why not? It only makes sense. If it hadn't been for her, the two of them would have never gotten back together."

"They would have never been apart in the first place." The two of them stopped suddenly when Ashley was standing in front of them, just staring. "Is something wrong?"

"Yes as a matter of fact there is. I would be very grateful if the two of you would stop arguing." Dinah and Helena nodded and Ashley smiled. "Great, thank-you." She turned around and joined Barbara in the limo. Dinah and Helena looked at each other and sighed then joined Alfred, Britney, and the now married Carolyn and Dick in another limo. It was going to be a long, exciting, and fun night.



Birds of Prey

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