Disclaimer: "The Division", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," "Birds of Prey," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," the characters, and situations depicted are respectively the property of Lifetime Television, Kedzie Productions, Viacom Productions, and Paramount [The Division]; Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Alliance Atlantis, and CBS Productions [CSI: Crime Scene Investigators]; Tollin/Robbins, DC Comics, and Time/Warner via the WB [Birds of Prey]; and Wolf Films, Universal Network Television, and NBC [Law & Order: SVU]. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author. This site is in no way affiliated with "The Division", "CSI: Crime Scene Investigators," "Birds of Prey," "Law & Order: SVU," Lifetime Television, CBS, the WB, NBC, or any representatives of the actors.
[Please do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. Thank you. Shatterpath]
Author's Note: Yeah, I know I have an unfinished story. There's a reason (excuse) for that, really. It's probably not going to be finished for a while. I really am sorry though. This is a stand-alone. My wonderful fiance has mitigated my horrible writer's block. He'll probably take the inspiration with him when he goes back to Boston, leaving my weepy little self in California. But if you hate it, blame him! (You'll make me cry) Ha. Kidding, if you hate it, be sure to tell me, and why. To quote that Mickey Mouse lady, "I'll take it like a man"
Unproofread--just written on the spur of the moment. Ignore all embarrassing mistakes.
Title taken from THE SUNDAY'S song.
This is not a happy story.
"What do you expect me to do?" Barbara asked dryly, "prance about in joy?"
Helena rolled her eyes, although her nose wrinkled in worry. "That was kinda gay, Barbara."
Barbara snorted but said nothing as she peeked up at Helena, peering at the younger woman over her glasses.
"I just...I thought you'd...you'd...react or something," Helena said lamely, her face falling.
"I did react," Barbara said flatly, "I said, 'what do you expect me to do, prance about in joy?' That's called a reaction."
"I hope..." Helena started abruptly, unable to help herself, "I hope--" the dark-haired woman's voice trailed off.
"What?" Barbara asked, her voice neither encouraging nor discouraging.
"Nothing," Helena said, her voice filling with resentment, though none of it was directed at the redhead beside her.
"Hel?" The red-haired woman was now staring intently at Helena's face.
"It's just...you've been kinda cold lately, Barbara."
Barbara shrugged. "I'm sorry, it's just--you know, busy with work and all that."
"You have to know how sorry I am," Helena whispered desperately. "That I let him die...I know you blame me...but...I...I...it just feels like you're punishing me, and I know I deserve it, but I'm just so fucking sorry, Barbara, and I just want...please...don't just keep shutting me out," she begged. "Let me make it up to you."
"There's nothing for you to make up," Barbara said flatly.
"Barbara--" Helena whispered.
"There's nothing," Barbara repeated, remembering seeing Wade's body
laid out in a slab in the morgue. She'd put her hands to his chest and
wrapped her arms around him, holding onto him for several seconds. He was
remembered the exact moment she realised, 'there is nothing,' when she realised that everything she had once been taught to believe in--spirituality, religion, the after life and all that stuff was just fucking rubbish. Because Wade, who had loved her in his own way, Wade who discussed marriage and children and summer homes in May and winter cabins in Vermont and wine tasting in California-- Wade had died for nothing. Wade had died because of her, and Barbara was beginning to suspect that she was nothing. Because what did it all mean, really, when she worked to try and make the world safer, and she just got a few bullets lodged in her spine for her trouble? What did it matter trying to save the world when someone as nice and normal as Wade could die for nothing? And why bother saving the world anyway? Eventually, humanity was going to end, one way or another. How much did it really matter? Why bother saving something that was just going to end one day anyway?
She'd been trying to steer herself away from the dark train of thought, trying to reassure herself that everyone who is born dies, but it's the moments spent in between that matter, when a doctor came in to perform the autopsy. Barbara had thought it was pretty pointless, but apparently, someone had ordered it. The middle-aged doctor was startled to see Barbara and spouted off words of sympathy that must have come from a manual, before gently informing her she wasn't allowed to be down there. When she wheeled herself out, she heard him whistling.
Wade was just another job. He'd once been a popular teacher, he was clearly an adored son and he'd been attracted to Barbara because she was Barbara. Not because he'd once known her to be a champion gymnast. He'd never known her when she was just another pretty coed at Gotham University, throwing her copy of Piers Plowman at walls. He'd just known Barbara Gordon, the person she became after the shooting, the pretty, reserved English teacher with nerdy tendencies.There was no memory of who she'd been in her former life to colour their interactions, and frankly, she really liked that. Wade liked her for her...sort of. But at least he didn't like her for who she'd BEEN. And now he was just another body for some doctor who didn't even know Wade to cut up.
"I just wish you'd talk to me." Helena pleaded, "or just...like, look at me. You never really look at me anymore. It's like you don't want me around."
Barbara bit her lip.
Helena inhaled sharply. "Do you not want me around?" she asked, ready
to run away. She wasn't really into the emotional masochism thing. In fact,
she was ready to take flight before Barbara answered. She had a feeling
redhead would answer honestly this time around, and Helena wasn't sure she wanted to hear an answer. She spun around on her heels to leave.
Barbara quickly shot out her arm. "Don't--I do want you around. I just...I need some time to clear out my head, Helena. That's all. Just give me a little more time..." Barbara glanced down at the ground. "Please don't leave," Barbara said softly.
Helena squeezed her eyes shut at the feel of Barbara's warm hand on
her arm as she automatically covered Barbara's hand with her own. God,
she'd missed it. The way Barbara used to touch her. Oh, sure,
it was always friendly, somewhat maternal. And Helena knew that if Barbara
ever found out that many of her teenage odes to onanism had been dedicated
to Barbara, and that the sentiment had continued well into young adulthood,
the older woman would
cringe. That was just the way she was. Who was she kidding? Helena never could really leave, she'd loved Barbara for nearly a decade, and the intensity had never diminished. If anything, it'd increased with each passing day, with each new thing added to the arsenal of things she'd learned about Barbara, the innumerable reasons for which Helena loved Barbara.
"I'm just worried about you that's all," Helena said. "It just feels like..." she stopped speaking. She couldn't voice it. It just looked like Barbara felt like she didn't have anything to live for, like she'd lost everything. She'd seen Barbara look that way before--in the months after Barbara's shooting, there would be times when the redhead would get such a vacant look in her eyes as she contemplated ordinarily innocuous household items such as a bottle of Tylenol or a kitchen knife. The way she'd stare intently at the various weapons that were scattered through their apartment, the way she'd stare out of high-rise buildings, like she was thinking about hurling herself out of them. She'd hadn't looked like that in so long....but Helena still felt sixteen, seventeen again, like she was about to lose the only person she had left and she wanted to scream.
Helena turned around and stared into Barbara's eyes, and for a moment, she thought she'd get through to Barbara, that Oracle would for once, be straightforward and open about herself. But the look disappeared, and the vacant stare was back. Now she was back to being Barbara Gordon, Everything to Everyone--the person who would be there for anyone, but would never let herself be vulnerable enough to need another person.
"Helena, you have to know that I don't blame you," Barbara said firmly.
"I'm still...sorry," Helena choked out. "I know how much you loved him, and I wanted you guys to work out so bad..." She felt her throat constrict as she barely managed to utter the words. 'You lying bitch,' she thought ontemptuously, knowing the thing that she could never forgive herself for was that she was relieved when Wade had been killed. She hated herself for being relieved, for even being a little happy at an event that clearly brought Barbara so much misery. And she couldn't stand to see Barbara cry or so unhappy. It was just that, she'd been so afraid of losing Barbara...
Barbara's face fell. Her lips quivered. "I didn't love him that way," she rasped, looking as though she'd vomit. "I did love him, but not the way he wanted me to," she continued, her voice filled with self-loathing. "I could have been honest, but I was a coward, I didn't want to deal with confrontation, and I didn't want to be alone, so I just went along with it. I didn't love him, and I got him killed. So I don't blame you, Helena. I don't even blame Harley Quinn. And I'm sorry if you thought I blame you for what happened to him, because if you just look at the facts, I'm guilty, I might as well gutted him myself."
"You would never be alone," Helena whispered. "You have me, I'd never leave you."
Barbara smiled sadly, "you have your own life, you shouldn't get stuck with me. You know, you can always get married."
Helena snorted softly. "Not gonna happen."
"I can't leave you," Helena whispered, "because I love
you, like, how Adam loved Eve in "Paradise Lost," remember how you made
me read that? And I know you don't...return that, but I'd never leave you,
can't love anyone but you--"
"Don't dismiss it," Helena whispered fiercely, "it's real. It's realer than you can ever imagine. You don't have to agree, or reciprocate, but don't dismiss it."
"I love you, too," Barbara muttered sweetly, smiling the first genuine smile in almost three months.
And the way Barbara had smiled at her had made her heart leap for joy, made her feel like she had a chance with the redhead. Barbara reached up to engulf Helena in a hung---a rarity over the past several months. Helena squeezed Barbara tightly, although she wanted to scream. Tears formed behind her eyes and she bit down hard on her lip to keep from crying out. God, she just wanted to die...the hope that she'd first felt when she'd seen Barbara smile at her like that--that beautiful smile and those sad green eyes filled with renewed hope and promise, that was being replaced by the reality of the news that Helena had come to Barbara to convey.
That Harley Quinn was found dead in her cell. Helena had never planned to tell Barbara about how Harley Quinn died...
The passing months had hurt Helena daily--the sight of Barbara looking so morose and defeated was beginning to just kill her. And she thought some of Barbara's misery could be alleviated if the direct source of it--Harley Quinn were dead. So Helena did it. She'd killed a human being because that particular human being had devastated Barbara. Oh, sure, she'd stopped Barbara from killing Harley, but that was because Barbara was too good to be brought down by the likes of Harley. And Helena? Well, in her eyes, she was already less. She didn't have very far to fall.
And now she had Barbara's breath on her neck, and she realised that
in murdering Harley Quinn, she'd murdered any chance she had with Barbara.
She never thought she'd had any. If she had thought for one moment....Helena
swallowed hard. She was a fool. She'd always felt that Barbara was too good for her...and now she knew it. She knew that dating Barbara would only sully the pretty redhead because of what Helena did.
God, she just hated herself.
She held onto Barbara just a little bit tighter.