Love and Betrayal
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 and was written during the one and only season of Birds of Prey. I began writing BOP fan fiction after some annoyance at one of the characters created for the show. The whole idea of writing a fan fiction is to take a show, movie, etc. that you enjoy and put your own spin on it and that is what I have done. This particular story takes place some time after the episode entitled Three Birds and a Baby. I have used a little liberty here with events. I thought this idea up a while back before the episodes that followed Three Birds, so keep in mind that none of the episodes that followed come into play here. This was my first foray into online fanfic and first appeared on a little website known as Birds of Prey Online. I hope you enjoy.
"Helena! How many times do I have to tell you! It's important to keep in constant communication when you are on patrol! Something could have happened! You have to stop turning the comms off whenever it suits your fancy!"
Barbara glared angrily at her protégé. Oh, how she had worried when Helena had gone off-line. And right in the middle of a heated battle with a perp that had been behind a recent mugging spree in New Gotham. After Barbara had lost contact with Helena, she had immediately become angry.
"Why does she always have to do that?" she had thought. But when Helena had been off-line for over an hour, Barbara had become anxious. She knew that Helena hadn't really wanted to take up her father's mantle. In fact, when Helena had first discovered that her father was Bruce Wayne and that his alter ego was Batman, she wanted nothing but for Batman to take revenge on the man who had murdered her mother. When she discovered that would never happen, Helena decided she wanted nothing to do with the man. It was only out of a need to release her anger, coupled with a loyalty toward Barbara Gordon, that Helena reluctantly agreed to become the crime fighter, Huntress.
What if something has happened to her? Thoughts of dread spread in Barbara's mind like a cancer. She had always thought that, as the all-seeing, all-knowing Oracle, she could have Huntress' back via the cyber-technology at her command. But what if she was wrong? Tonight would be the night that Dinah and Gabby would go to a party clear across town. Barbara had silently chided herself for that thought. It wasn't like she could triangulate Huntress' position and send Dinah there even if she had stayed home. With Helena's comm set off, Oracle was virtually deaf and blind. It was actually more frustrating than being stuck in the wheelchair that Barbara had become intimately familiar with over the past seven years.
But when Helena had appeared in the loft elevator three hours later without so much as a scratch, the anger had returned. At this point, Barbara was furious. They'd had this argument before, but things had been different then. Helena had been different. She had been struggling to deal with the loss of her mother then. Now she was dealing with a second loss. Guy.
Helena had rescued him as a baby. They later found that he had been bio-engineered to become an assassin. To accomplish this, Guy was implanted with a special encoded neuro-mesh that when triggered would cause Guy to become severely aggressive. Combine that with a special growth hormone that was triggered every time Guy fell asleep. He grew from an infant to an elderly gentleman in a matter of a couple of days. Somehow, Helena had become attached to Guy. So much so, that she had resurrected the shield she had created for herself after Selina's death. That impenetrable shield that Helena had constructed to ensure that nobody could ever get close enough to cause her pain. Barbara had made every effort to help Helena tear down that shield. Of late, Helena had been lowering the shield on her own. Her defenses were completely down when it came to Guy. Which is why it hurt her so much that she couldn't stop his growth process and keep him from dying. In her mind, heroes were supposed to save people, and by not saving Guy, she had failed him.
Since Guy's death, the shield had been resurrected. Helena had become introverted. She wouldn't let anyone in, even Barbara, and Barbara knew that when she was like this, Helena was self-destructive. She'd take risks and put herself in situations that she might not make it out of. That was what worried Barbara so much during those hours of non-communication - that Helena may have gotten herself into something she knew she couldn't survive. That was why Barbara was so furious now. It was an anger based on fear that was reserved only for those Barbara cared for - for those she loved. And she unleashed it without mercy.
"How could you be so STUPID?!"
Helena stared incredulously at Barbara. From the moment she had stepped out of the elevator, Barbara had lit into her about turning off the comm set. Why couldn't she just understand that, sometimes, Helena just needed to be alone. She'd heard and participated in this same argument hundreds of times in the past. Most of the time, the arguments would run their course and fizzle out with an apology. But this time, Helena refused to back down.
"Damn-it-to-hell, Barbara! Stop treating me like a child! I've been doing this for a while now! I'm damn good at it! I don't always need Jimminy Cricket chattering in my ear! In fact, there are times when I actually believe that your techno-babble may put me to sleep in the middle of a fight! Give me a little credit here! I know how to do the job, dammit!"
"I'm treating you like a child, because you're acting like one! The whole point of you wearing a comm set is so that I can help you when you need help! So sorry if I bore you out there, but the fact is, you need all the help you can get! You're too damn reckless! You need to start thinking before you react! It's what gets you in trouble time and time again! Where are you going?!"
Helena had started walking toward the elevator.
"Out! I've had it with this nonsense! I want to have a little fun!"
"Get back here! You've already had enough fun for the night! We're not through talking about this!"
That got Helena's attention. She spun around, her eyes changing with her mounting anger. "Don't you DARE! Don't you dare presume you have the right to talk to me that way! You have no right to tell me where I can go and you can't tell me what to do! Only one person could ever do that, and she died seven years ago! You're not my mother! You're nothing like her and you never will be!" With that she spun back around, storming into the elevator, and slamming into Dinah who was just exiting it. Then she was gone.
Dinah looked from the elevator to Barbara. "What the hell was that all about? Did I just miss another argument?"
Barbara turned away from Dinah, concealing the look of pain in her eyes. She didn't want the girl to know how much Helena's words had hurt her.
But Alfred hadn't missed the look. "Just another of the non-earth-shattering arguments that frequently mire the sanctity of this clocktower," he said, jokingly.
"Oh. So nothing unusual happened while I was away. Well, the concert was great, but I'm tired. I'm going to bed. G'night."
As soon as Dinah was out of the room, Alfred approached Barbara. "I'm certain that Miss Helena didn't mean any of that. She was just angry."
"I know, Alfred. I know what she's been going through, but that doesn't make the words sting any less. I just wish she'd stop pushing me away and let me in. She's so unhappy and she won't let me help her."
"You can't help someone until they are ready for your help. I learned that with Master Bruce, and Helena is more like her father than she'd care to know." Alfred gave Barbara a knowing look.
"Yes, I suppose you're right. And so is Dinah. It's getting late and, unlike Dinah, I have be at New Gotham High tomorrow. I hate it when the kids get to spend the day relaxing at home, while the teachers get to stress over their futures. It just doesn't seem fair somehow." Laughing, Barbara turned her chair toward the elevator, preparing to return to her apartment and get some well-needed sleep. The long nights of a superhero weren't all they were cracked up to be. Especially when your alter ego had a day job.
It's such a beautiful day, Dinah thought, as she made her way toward Barbara's classroom. She thought Barbara could use a break and wanted to take her to lunch. When she reached the room, she discovered that the door was locked. Thinking that odd, Dinah peered through the window and knocked. What she saw struck fear in her heart. The classroom was a shambles, and in the far corner, Dinah could just make out a shape past Barbara's desk that made her gasp in horror. It was the wheel of Barbara's overturned wheelchair! Without a second thought, Dinah broke the window and reached in to open the door from the inside. Once the door was opened, she ran toward the wheelchair and almost tripped over Barbara's prone form. She lay there on the floor, broken and beaten, and - to Dinah's horror - unmoving.