A Christmas Carol...BOP Style
by Melissa Minners
Disclaimer and Other Information: It should be noted that all of the characters and many of the locales in this fan fiction are not mine. They are owned by The WB. This fan fiction is somewhat of an homage to the series, though I have used a little liberty here with events. At the time, I hadn't noticed a BOP fanfic with A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life twist and thought it might be a fun distraction from my writer's block. Enjoy!
Frosty was gone. Helena was in the alley once more, but she was most certainly not alone. Standing before her was a menacing figure shrouded in black. Helena struggled to make out the features beneath the black cowl, but could see nothing but darkness under the hood.
Though every ounce of her screamed that she should flee this menacing creature, she stayed put. In as surly an attitude as she could muster, she drawled, "And what the hell do YOU want?!"
The mysterious figure uttered not a sound, but gestured behind her with a hand so spindly it resembled decayed bone. Helena slowly turned, certain she was not going to like what she saw. Suddenly, she found herself staring directly into the face of a man she had hated all of her adult life. It was the face of the man she blamed for her mother's death. Bruce Wayne stood before her, but he stared through her, speaking to someone across the room.
"You did all you could, Alfred. Their fates were sealed the moment Joker was set free. Nothing could have been done."
Helena could hear the grief in Alfred's shaking voice as he refuted her father's words. Bruce Wayne placed an arm around Alfred and steered him from the room. A figure appeared in the shadows, dark and foreboding. Moving slowly, deliberately, the figure passed out into the night. Helena followed at a distance. On they walked until they came upon a piece of Wayne property that Helena had never before visited. It was a small cemetery.
A feeling of dread filled Helena as she continued to follow the mysterious stranger. Finally, the dark figure ended its journey. From where Helena watched, the figure now seemed less foreboding. Its posture had changed from a menacing being to that of a defeated one. Bowed and broken, the figure fell to its knees before two newly dug graves. Helena could hear cries so wretched in nature that they caused her to shiver. The figure reached out a hand to touch the headstone of one of the graves. Then, abruptly, it leapt up and fled into the darkness of the cold night, barley leaving a trace of its presence behind in the new-fallen snow.
Curiosity urged Helena forward, but fear held her back. She jumped as the cowled menace lay its cold, spindly, bone-like hand on her shoulder and propelled her forward. Fear gripped her tightly and she shivered in its embrace. She tried to halt her footsteps, but the cowled figure pushed her onward until she stood before the same graves as the mysterious stranger had knelt before moments ago. The cowled figure shoved Helena to her knees before the graves. Helena bowed her head, refusing to look at the headstones. A spindly hand yanked her head back by the hair, revealing the horrific etchings on the nearest headstone: Dinah Lance 1986 - 2013 May she rest in peace.
Helena shrank back in horror, instinctively knowing that the second headstone bore Barbara's name. Realization hit her like a tidal wave. The stricken figure she had followed out here was her own. Dinah's and Barbara's deaths were on her head. Somehow she had caused this!
In the distance, she heard a maniacal cackle that chilled her to the bone. She sprang to her feet and ran toward it as fast as her legs could carry her. Suddenly, Helena found herself standing before a recently dug ditch. Two blurred figures dragged a broken body toward it and roughly shoved it inside.
"Tssk, tssk, tssk, what a shame," a female voice uttered from the shadows. "Poor girl. Never needed anyone. Never wanted anyone to get too close. Hating the world. Look what it got you, sweetheart! You lived alone....and you died alone. Such a sad ending to such a sad life." The woman stepped out of the shadows and Helena clenched her fists as Harley Quinn stopped beside the impromptu grave. "Poor, sad Helena Kyle," she said as she dropped a black rose into the grave and turned to walk away.
Helena's eyes went wide with shock. "NO!" She lunged at Harley, but instead found herself falling...falling into the ditch custom-dug for her, a single black rose falling beside her.
* * *
"NO!!" Helena shot up from the mound of garbage in the dumpster. Snow fell away from her body as she took in her surroundings. She was back in the alley...back in the dumpster...but the sky was no longer tinged with the darkness of night. The sun was just rising over the horizon. She felt the back of her head and found a large bump crusted with dried blood.
"A dream...it was all a dream." But something in Helena told her it was more than just a dream...much more. Ignoring the pain from her aching limbs, Helena sprang from the dumpster. She ran out into the street and nearly collided with Detective Jesse Reese.
"Oh my God! Reese! Oh God!"
"Helena?" Concern clouded Jesse's features as he took in Helena's condition. "Are you okay?"
"No time for questions! I need your help! I have to get them gifts! I never bought them any gifts! What a royal jackass I've been. Reese, you have to help me!..."
Reese barely had time to express his confusion before Helena was dragging him through the snow-covered streets, rattling on about the gifts she needed and how they were going to get them to the Clocktower.
* * *
Barbara jumped at the sound of the elevator doors opening. She had fallen asleep at the computer station, willing Helena to turn on her comms. Turning to face the elevator, Barbara's jaw dropped in shock. Standing before her, dressed in a Miss Claus outfit was Helena Kyle, a red bag slung over her shoulder. Beside her was a bewildered Jesse Reese, struggling to balance a load of gifts stacked in his arms.
"HO HO HO!!! Merry Christmas, Barbara!" Helena exclaimed.
Dinah stumbled out of her room, rubbing her eyes. "What the hell?"
Helena dropped her bag and rushed to the teen, grabbing her by the shoulders and spinning her around. "It's Christmas, kiddo! Aren't you excited?!!"
Dinah gaped at Helena as she ran toward her mentor and encircled her in her arms. Helena planted a huge kiss on Barbara's cheek, then turned toward Jesse.
"C'mon, elf! Give out the gifts already!"
Barbara, once she got over the initial shock, reached out to snare Helena's arm. "Helena?"
Helena knelt beside Barbara, a look of sincerity in her eyes. "I'm sorry, Barbara. I'm sorry I've been such a bitch toward you two. Christmas used to mean so much to me and...somehow...I lost that...that meaning...It was taken away from me....But it's back now, and nothing is ever gonna drive it away again. Christmas is a time that should be spent with your family. It's a time when you realize just how lucky you are to have loving and caring people in your life. And it's a time when you let those people know just how much you appreciate them and all they do...how much you love them. How could I have forgotten?"
Barbara pulled Helena into her arms, and Dinah rushed over to join the embrace. Alfred joined the group with a tray of hot chocolate and Christmas cookies, as Jesse doled out the presents they had left I.O.U.'s for in the local department store (dropping the Wayne name here and there did have it's advantages).
The group laughed and talked and sang Christmas carols as they opened gifts. Finally, exhausted, they all lay in heaps upon various pieces of furniture, awaiting the Christmas dinner Alfred was preparing. Helena glanced over toward the balcony. A shimmering vision of a strikingly beautiful blonde woman smiled at Helena from behind the glass doors. Helena smiled back, silently mouthing the words "I love you. Mom" before the apparition disappeared. Jesse touched Helena's shoulder and she turned to snuggle in his embrace, at peace with herself and the world. Christmas had finally arrived for Helena Kyle and she planned on keeping that feeling alive for as long as meta-humanly possible.