Pairing: Helena/Reese, Helena/Barbara, suggested Barbara/Wade
Spoilers: Devil’s Eyes
Summary: A level of understanding is reached between Helena and the people she loves most
Disclaimer: I regret to announce that I, like countless other fanfic writers, do not own the characters of the show that this story is based on. I am simply borrowing them for my plans of world domination… oh yeah, and for the story. I make no money. Also, this features a not-quite-so-platonic relationship between two women. Deal.
Author’s note: I *finally* saw the last two episodes of Birds of Prey (big sigh of relief/exasperation), and this idea just kind blindsided me… actually, it was more like I was hit by a train. Anyway, it’s semi-crap, but *shrug* oh well.
Feedback: What do you think? Tell me at email@example.com
“I don’t understand,” he says, and his chocolate brown eyes show all the pain and sorrow in him. “Did I do something wrong?”
I shake my head slowly. No matter how much I prepared for this moment, no matter how many times I went through all the arguments, I couldn’t ever account for the feeling in my chest that was threatening to overwhelm me.
“No, Jesse,” I say softly, wanting to hold him and make all his troubles go away. “You didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, I think I could safely say that the past six months have been some of the happiest in my life.”
“Then why?” he asks, anger flaring briefly as he is prone to do. “Why end this?”
I sigh. “I don’t know if I can explain, Jesse.”
“Do you not love me anymore?” he asks, somewhat heatedly, somewhat desperately.
“I don’t think I could ever not love you,” I answer honestly. “You’ve helped me heal so many wounds, you’ve held me and supported me when I needed you most.”
“Then why?” he says, practically sobbing, and I can see the tears threatening in his eyes. He won’t cry, though, he never cries.
How do I explain to him? I love him so very much, but seeing what my relationship with him does to her…
He knows me too well.
“It’s Barbara, isn’t it?” he asks suddenly, and something in my face gives me away. “You’re breaking up with me because of Barbara, aren’t you?”
“Jesse,” I start to say, but he interrupts me before I can continue.
“I thought we had gone over this, Helena,” he says, and grabs my hand, holding it tightly. “Just because we both lead lives where something could happen, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t live at all. I love you,” he whispers, and brings my hand up to his face.
I place my palm lightly on his cheek, cupping his head gently. “I know,” I whisper back.
“Then why?” he asks broken-heartedly.
Slowly, I took my hand back, and although I desperately want to I never break eye contact with him. I force myself to watch him.
“Because she’s in pain,” I answer quietly. “Because every time she sees us together, it rips her up inside that I got to keep you, to have you, while she will never see Wade again.”
“That’s ridiculous,” he said, and the anger is coming back now. “I know she’s been through a lot, but that doesn’t mean you should be denied any chance of happiness! Barbara’ll move on eventually, Helena, she’ll find someone else. But even if she doesn’t, don’t end this because you’re scared you’re hurting her!”
I shake my head and smile at him, albeit sadly. “You know me so well, Jesse, yet how can you not see this?” I ask him, mostly rhetorically.
He sinks back away from me, leaning against the wall. He kicks the fire escape with all his strength, sending a resounding clang through the alleyway. “Not see what?” he asks sullenly. He’s gone past grieving now, fully into his anger stage.
“I love you, Jesse Reese,” I say. “But Barbara is my world. She is my everything, the reason I’m alive, the reason I’m sane, the reason I stay barely on this edge of that fine line inside me.”
He stares at me for a moment, slowly absorbing what he’s hearing. “You’re in love with her,” he whispers, awe-struck. “And you always have been.”
“And I probably always will be,” I reply simply, smiling sadly. “But it’s so much more than that, Jesse.”
Finally, he nods. “I think I understand,” he says. Suddenly, he’s engulfing me in a hug, and I hold onto him as tightly as I can. I do love him, but somehow, it’s just not enough.
“Tell her,” he says when we finally part, and I’m shocked to see that he is actually crying. “If she ever hurts you, I’ll beat her up.”
I choke on my laughter, tears flowing down my cheeks as well. “I will,” I tell him. “See you around?”
He nods after a moment. “Sure. We’ll get coffee.”
There’s nothing more for either of us to say, except, “Thank you Jesse.” I turn and leap from the fire escape, heading down the alley and into the night.
I enter the Clocktower as quietly as I can, hoping to not disturb her, but some extra sense she has notices me anyway.
“Hey,” she says, not even looking away from her computer screen.
“Hi,” I say back, and I cringe at the vulnerable tone in my voice. I hope she doesn’t notice.
No such luck. “What’d you and Reese talk about?” she asks, somewhat worried as she finally does turn to look at me. She does care about me, but I can still see the blankness in her eyes that has been there since he died. I hadn’t lied when I’d said I’d do anything to get Wade back, because if it killed that blankness I would.
“How’d you know I was talking to Reese?” I say, returning her question with a question. I don’t want to get into it if I can avoid it.
“You shut your comms off, and you only do that now if you’re talking to Reese,” she answers simply. “Now, out with it. What happened?”
I want to snap at her, tell her she assumes too much, but I can’t. I’m not the same person I was six months ago, and I just don’t have it in me.
“It’s over,” I say, and hope that she won’t delve too deeply.
Her eyes widen slightly at that, and she wheels her chair over to me. “Oh, Helena, why? I though things were going so well between you two. Did he say why?”
A small and somewhat bitter chuckle escapes me before I can stuff it back into my gullet. “I kinda broke up with him.”
She blinks at that, confused. “But I thought you loved him.”
I sigh, and run a hand through my hair. “It’s complicated, Barbara. I do, but it’s just better that we don’t continue.”
She sighs back at that. “Helena, I know you and Reese have discussed this, but maybe I should have said something too.” She picks up my hand and holds it in both her own, her thumbs rubbing gently on the back of mine. “Just because we lead the life we do, doesn’t mean you have to shut everyone out. I lost Wade,” she says, and swallows loudly, blinking repeatedly to keep back the emotions his name brings. “But that doesn’t mean we should all shut everyone out.”
I kneel down beside her, looking her straight in the eye. “Barbara, I know this. And seriously, it has nothing to do with the fact that tomorrow one or both of us could be dead. I accepted that possibility in a relationship a long time ago.”
“Then why?” she asks me, and I so desperately want to tell her. But she’s not ready; I know she’s not.
“Maybe someday I’ll be able to tell you,” I whisper back. “But right now, I don’t have the ability to.” I bring her two hands to my face and kiss them each. “Just know it’s for the best, okay?”
I look up to see her watching me, and at first I don’t understand the emotions in her eyes. Finally, though it dawns on me. Understanding. Before I know what’s happening, she leans down and brushes her lips with my own.
“I need time,” she says quietly when she pulls back. “I did love him.”
“I know,” I tell her. “I can wait.”
“I don’t deserve this,” she tells me, squeezing my hand gently, continuing to rub the back with her thumbs.
“You don’t have much of a choice, Barbara,” I reply softly. “Neither of us does.”
“I love you,” whispered so quietly I almost missed it, was her only reply.