Birds of Prey: Gabby and Dinah: Part 4
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. The story takes place during the Birds of Prey television series and continues through my other fanfics which can be found here. I hope you enjoy.
Secrets and lies tend to go hand in hand. Decide to keep a secret, and you have to devise a way to keep that secret. It usually begins with a small lie. You think it’s harmless. After all, one small lie won’t hurt anyone and your secret remains intact.
But those small lies begin to build as the need to keep that secret safe rises, like a snowball rolling downhill. In a very short time, you have a boulder-size snowball barreling downhill at top speed without any brakes. The resulting crash that’s bound to happen can get awfully messy and in the end, someone’s bound to get hurt.
Dinah’s life was steeped in secrecy. Months had passed since we met and I began to realize that there was a great deal about Dinah’s home life that I didn’t know about. For one thing, I had yet to see where she actually lived. Any time we planned an all-night study session – which usually meant an hour of studying, followed by an hour of gossip, and resulting in television worship for the rest of the night – Dinah would always come to my apartment. If we walked home together, it was always Dinah walking me home, citing that my apartment was closer.
It wasn’t as if I didn’t know where she lived. She lived with Barbara Gordon, an English teacher and counselor in our very own high school. Miss Gordon was one of the cooler teachers to be found in New Gotham High School and, as much as Dinah complained about Barbara Gordon being strict, you could tell that Dinah was very attached to her, especially after having lost her real mom. So, I couldn’t imagine why it was that Dinah never really let me see her home life.
The closest I had come to seeing the inside of her apartment was at the very beginning of Spring Break, Dinah’s first year at New Gotham High (see No Kill Policy). When it came to school, Dinah was fairly nerdy. I mean that in a good way – she had a mind like a steel trap and never really needed to study hard for a passing grade. Good grades came naturally to her. And yet, like any other high school kid, when Spring Break arrived, Dinah was just as excited as the rest of us fools, longing for a moment’s respite from note-taking, test-sweating, clique-impressing…yeah, we needed a break.
When the bell rang signaling the end of school and the beginning of our week-long break, Dinah grabbed my arm and dragged me down the hall at break-neck speed to Miss Gordon’s classroom. Something about this classroom had always bothered me. After all, Miss Gordon had been attacked here – bad enough to cause a decent-sized hospital stay – and they never caught the guy. (See Love & Betrayal) I knew it was foolish, letting something that had happened in that room months ago freak me out – obviously, the guy hadn’t been hiding in the closet the last few months, avoiding police capture. But still…
In an attempt to overcome my jumpiness – I’ve never exactly been one to back off of a challenge – I yanked my arm away from Dinah and challenged her to a race to the classroom. The two of us nearly collided as we reached the doorway.
As Miss Gordon prepared to leave with us, Dinah shot me a glance that I took to mean she had something up her sleeve and that I should go along.
“Uh, Barbara, I was wondering. Do we have to go home right away? Maybe we can visit with Helena at the Dark Horse?"
Of course, I thought that was a great idea. I mean, what better way to celebrate Spring Break than spending some time in a forbidden place – the bar where Dinah’s adopted sister, Helena, worked. But the way Miss G was narrowing her eyes, I wasn’t so sure she agreed.
"And what makes you think that I want to go to the Dark Horse Bar?"
"Oh, c'mon, Barbara. Let’s celebrate. No school for a week!"
Dinah threw me a pleading look and I knew I was needed for my two cents.
"Yeah, Miss G. It's not often I can go in there without getting tossed out for being underage.”
Miss G just sat there frowning at us and I was certain that our idea was about to be canned. Then, I caught a twinkle of mischief in her eyes and I knew she was going to give in.
"Oh well, why not?"
As Miss G passed us on the way out, we gave each other a high five. Dinah’s ingenious impromptu plan had worked. We were en route to forbidden territory, which I thought was pretty cool. Plus, it didn’t hurt that Dinah’s sister was pretty hot. I was sure we were going to have fun.
Entering the Dark Horse Bar was a total adrenaline rush. Of course, we weren’t here to drink, but the fact that we were actually allowed to hang out in a place that served booze was neat enough. Of course, if my mom found out we were hanging out here, I’d probably be banned from hanging out with Dinah ever again. She wouldn’t understand that we were just there for the thrill of being there. She wouldn’t want to hear that the place was actually sort of a bar and grill that never served drinks to minors. You better believe that I was going to keep this visit a secret.
Watching Dinah, Helena and Miss G tease each other was fun. Being an only child has its advantages, but sometimes I wished I had a larger family that interacted with each other the way those three did. It was clear to me that they loved each other despite the fact that they weren’t related through blood. I wish I had that kind of relationship with my family…but that’s another story.
My thoughts about a large, happy family were suddenly and rudely interrupted by an elbow to the ribs.
"Hey, that's my sister you're gawking at!"
I hadn’t realized I had been staring at Helena as she walked around the bar, but now that Dinah had pointed it out, I couldn’t resist teasing her.
"Yeah, good looks seem to run in the family."
Boy, could that girl ever turn red!
After a while, the phone rang and it was clear that Helena was talking to her new boyfriend, a New Gotham Police detective named Jesse Reese. Apparently, Reese had invited Helena out to the newest and hottest spot in New Gotham – a club called New Gotham Nights. Dinah nearly leapt out of the seat at the news and practically begged Helena to take us with her. I couldn’t help but look at Dinah as if she was crazy. What adult in their right mind would take a couple of teenagers on a date with them? Apparently, Helena agreed with me, but Dinah, undaunted, assured me that we would be going to New Gotham Nights with Helena and Jesse. I didn’t know how she was going to manage it, but when Dinah got that determined look in her eye, I knew better than to second guess her.
When Miss Gordon dropped me off at my apartment, Dinah whispered that I should tell my Mom that I would be staying over Dinah’s house and that I should get dressed in my clubbing clothes. She said I should meet her at her place in a couple of hours. Amazed that she had told me to meet her at her apartment, I never thought of asking her how she planned to pull this thing off. I rushed into my apartment and set about doing exactly what Dinah suggested.
Of course, my curiosity about Dinah’s apartment was never really sated though. I got as far as the front door and Dinah was already whisking me off to Jesse’s car with Helena right behind her. Helena wryly remarked how amazing it was that I had arrived already dressed for clubbing the moment they were heading out the door. Dinah winked at me and we were on our way. I still didn’t know how she got Helena to take us with her on her date, but after what we saw that night, I really didn’t care.
At first, things were going great. New Gotham Nights was everything it was hyped up to be. The dance floor was huge and there was a giant balcony with a great view of that dance floor. Dinah and I were having a great time dancing and just taking in the sites, when, with only a scream for a warning, the table beside us collapsed under the weight of a man who had fallen from the balcony above. It was the most horrifying thing I had ever seen in my life. I’ve never really wanted to go clubbing since.
The strangest thing about it all was Dinah’s reaction or lack thereof. I mean, here’s this kid from some Podunk town like Opal, Missouri who probably has never seen something like this happen right smack in front of her, and she barely blinks! I’m from a city filled with crime and it scared the hell out of me! I’m not going to say that I was shaking in my boots – New Gotham is not exactly a town that produces timid folk – but it did freak me out just a bit. But not Dinah – cool as a cucumber, she led me away to a quiet corner across the room. She didn’t even act spooked when the cops wanted to talk to her. Weird.
But not as weird as what went on the rest of Spring Break. See, that was the last time I saw Dinah until school resumed. In fact, even when school was back in session, Dinah was nowhere to be found. At first, I got the distinct impression that she was trying to avoid me. I’d left messages at the apartment, but Dinah had never called me back. When she didn’t show up at school after Spring Break, I started to worry. I thought about going over to the apartment, but when I called her that night, Miss Gordon said that they were both sick with some sort of stomach virus.
Something just didn’t seem right about that explanation. The stomach virus excuse was good for a couple of days, not a whole week plus. I just didn’t buy it. And when Dinah did return to school, something was different about her. She seemed quieter than usual. Yeah, she was shy and quiet when I first met her, but she’d been coming out of her shell more and more lately.
Now, it seemed like she’d crawled right back into that shell and I was going to have a heck of a time coaxing her back out. She was even distancing herself from Matt Kendall. After all the hard work she had put in to just getting him to notice her, I couldn’t understand why she would want to shy away from him now. She was even hanging out less with me, rushing off after school to some doctor’s appointment or to run some errand for Miss Gordon.
It was all just very strange and I had the distinct impression that something had happened over the Spring Break to Dinah…something that she felt she either couldn’t or shouldn’t talk to me about. Dinah was keeping yet another secret from me. I wasn’t really sure how to feel about that. I mean, I’m not one of those people that need to know every secret. In fact, I tend to believe that some secrets are best left unrevealed. But the closer I got to Dinah, the more it seemed to matter that she felt she needed to keep things from me.
And yet, did I really want to push it? Pushing her into telling me something she didn’t want to might make things worse. She was already hanging out with me less. What if revealing this secret to me would make her want to spend even less time with me than she was already.
I wasn’t sure what to do. So, I just decided to wait until Dinah felt ready to open up to me, wondering if that day would ever come.