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.
Weeks had passed since Barbara Gordon was attacked. She was spending most of her time recuperating at the Clocktower, which meant being hovered over by Helena, Dinah and Alfred. The rest of the time she spent in therapy or at her apartment, which meant being hovered over by Wade. Never having been one to want - or admit to needing - help, Barbara found her time in recuperation to be most frustrating. As Wade doted on her and tried to fulfill her every need, she couldn't help but remember the conversation they had had shortly after the first time they made love. He had told her that when he looked at her, all he could think of was how much he wanted to take care of her. Oh, how she had blanched at the thought.
She had discussed the statement with Helena later, and Helena had laughed it off, saying that Barbara should be happy that Wade hadn't relegated her to one-night-stand status. After all, he hadn't turned over and asked her for her name, right? Still, Barbara had always been the independent sort and she wasn't prepared to change any time soon. Which meant, every time Wade, Alfred, or the girls tried to help her with something, she usually snapped their heads off. Alfred was probably used to it by now, but the others...well, they were all certainly very understanding, which for some reason pissed Barbara off even more.
Wade had just left and Barbara was headed to the lair. While not exactly ready to head back to work at New Gotham High School, she was making a slow attempt at getting back to her night job as Oracle. Alfred greeted her at the elevator.
"Good morning, Miss Barbara! You're looking rather annoyed. Shall I prepare the usual breakfast?"
"Just some tea would be fine, Alfred," Barbara replied as she steered her wheelchair toward the Delphi Monitor system.
"Ah, yes. The usual. I suppose I should bring it in a plastic cup this morning. I would hate to lose any of the good China once Miss Dinah informs you that she already checked the Delphi Monitor this morning."
Barbara sighed. She couldn't help but smile, though. She knew Alfred was only half kidding after yesterday's flying donut incident. Dinah had checked the Delphi Monitor for Barbara before she had arrived, prompting Barbara to launch into a tirade about not being helpless. Before she had even realized it, she was grabbing a donut from the table in front of Dinah and tossing it across the room. It hit the wall at the precise moment that Helena made her entrance. Glancing at the donut as it slid down the wall, leaving chocolate icing in its path, she had given Barbara a mischievous grin commenting that it was a smart idea to make Dinah use donuts instead of Bat-a-rangs for practice. Just thinking about the incident made Barbara chuckle. Yes, she had been acting like an ass yesterday. All anyone was trying to do was help her get back on her feet - so to speak. She made a mental note to bite her tongue today - and to keep away from any bakery items.
"'Morning, Barbara. How's Wade? Did he sleep well last night?" Helena was coming from the practice room drenched in sweat, which meant another early work out. For days, Helena had been coming by and training Dinah in combat techniques, taking over where Barbara had left off before she had been attacked. Dinah soon followed her, giggling at the implications of Helena's question.
"How would I know?" Barbara said, trying to cover the blush rapidly rising on her cheeks.
"Oh, c'mon now. We're all adults here. Well..." glancing at Dinah, "most of us are anyway." That prompted an elbow to the ribs from Dinah.
Barbara watched the two of them as they sat down to eat the breakfast Alfred had prepared for them. They had certainly become a lot closer these past weeks - hanging out together, practicing together. Helena had even invited Dinah to come hang out at the club with her the other night. Although Barbara thought it was nice to see them finally getting along better, she couldn't help but think that the change had come about as a direct result of the attack. They'd all been through changes since that night. Alfred had confided that Dinah had had trouble sleeping in the days following the attack. Barbara was also having trouble sleeping, plagued by dreams about the unknown attacker. But the most obvious change was the one in Helena. She had been to the hospital every day to visit Barbara until she was released, and Barbara had first noticed the change there. Helena was more subdued than usual, less confrontational. Every once in a while, Barbara would notice Helena watching her, an intense look on her face. It was as if she thought that Barbara might disappear if she stopped watching for an instant.
We really haven't talked about how this has affected her, Barbara thought. But how to broach the subject without bringing out the old defensive Helena was a bit beyond her at the moment. Besides, she had the feeling that Dinah might be helping her on that score. Lately, she'd often catch the two of them speaking with each other in hushed tones, always stopping before she could get within earshot. Whenever she would ask what they were talking about, Helena would brush it off and change the subject, something she usually did when she was uncomfortable with the subject matter.
"So, what's on the agenda for today," Barbara asked.
"I'm going to work and Dinah's going to school. What's ever on the agenda during a school week?" Helena quipped.
"Dinah cutting school and you skipping work." Barbara gave them both a knowing look, then burst out laughing.
"Oh, she's in a playful mood today. What, no donuts to throw?" Dinah feigned ducking behind Helena and laughed.
"Very funny. Aren't you two running late?"
"She's right you know." Helena slid her chair away from the table. "Besides, I have to change before work. See ya' later, Barbara. C'mon, kid, let's go."
"I'll see you after school, Barbara." Dinah picked up her books and headed toward the elevator behind Helena.
"Have fun you two," Barbara called after them.
As soon as they were out of the building, Dinah turned to Helena. "So, are you gonna go see Reese today?"
"Definitely! It was bad enough that the cops couldn't find anything on Barbara's attacker, but now they've just stopped looking. I need to know what's going on!"
-------------New Gotham Police Detective Jesse Reese was just getting out of his car when he had the distinct impression that he was being watched. He spun around.
"Huntress. Who else?" he muttered to himself.
"Why? Were you expecting someone else, Detective?"
"No, but most of the people I know don't delight in sneaking up and scaring the hell out of me," Jesse quipped.
"So, what's new on the Barbara Gordon case?" Huntress asked, folding her arms.
"This is the third time you've asked that question. What is it with you and this case?" Reese arched an eyebrow. "Is the former Commissioner's daughter a friend of yours?"
Huntress' laugh was without mirth. "Hardly. I can barely get along with you. You expect me to be friendly with the top brass' kids?"
"She's his only daughter, and, no, I guess not. But why are you so interested in this one?"
"Let's just say that I'm interested in cases that involve a woman being attacked in her own classroom, behind a locked door, no witnesses, the perp leaves and the door's still locked, no evidence, no leads, and no suspects. Okay?" Huntress gave Reese that no nonsense stare of hers that warned him not to ask too many questions.
"Well, the case is pretty cold right now. Besides, I don't know if you realize this, but there are other crimes occurring in this city every day that need to be investigated."
"Oh, c'mon, Reese. You said it yourself. This is the daughter of the former Commissioner. I would think it was top priority!"
Jesse arched his eyebrow again at her tone. This case was definitely important to Huntress somehow. The question was, why?
"Look, we've had a rash of murders of late. My guys are spread pretty thin right now."
"A murder spree? In New Gotham? Oh, that's new." Huntress' voice was dripping sarcasm.
"Yeah, well, normally I wouldn't be surprised. I mean, hell, there's a lot of crime in this city. But this time...Well, the killings are so close together, yet so randomly done. The victims are beaten and bludgeoned to death. But none of them have anything in common, except that and the fact that they live in New Gotham. No clues. No suspects. No witnesses. Looks like the same perp on each, but we can't really be sure, because there's no evidence."
Huntress growled in frustration. For someone who was bright enough to elevate to the position of detective, sometimes Reese could be incredibly dense.
"Did it ever occur to you, Detective, that these murders might have something to do with the attack on Barbara Gordon. They all have the same M.O?"
"Barbara Gordon is alive," Reese interrupted.
"So maybe SHE was the only survivor. Maybe she was the perp's first and he got sloppy. Who knows? But I think it's worth checking into, don't you?"
"Okay, okay. I'll check into it." He turned to walk toward the precinct. "Look, if you could just tell me why you are so interested in this case..." He turned and realized that he was talking to himself. Detective Jesse Reese sighed. Huntress was definitely a mystery to him. He wished he knew why she was so attached to this case. There had to be a connection between her and Barbara Gordon somehow, but what? He shrugged. Whatever the connection, it would have to wait. The bodies kept on piling up with no end in site. Maybe Huntress was right. Maybe there was a connection between the murders and the attack on Gordon. He'd have to check that angle out, but he was not optimistic about the outcome.
God,he can be exasperating sometimes! Helena thought as she stepped into her apartment above the Dark Horse Bar. She sank down on the bed and thought about what she had learned from Reese. A murder spree. Dinah had said that there seemed to be a lot of activity in New Gotham of late and Barbara had agreed. Helena had no idea how much activity though. She wasn't really that kind of crime fighter. She excelled in the stealth and combat parts of her job. In that way, she was a lot like the Batgirl of old. Dinah was more like today's Oracle - wowed by computers and eager to learn. Technology just wasn't Helena's cup of tea. It bothered her, however, that her lack of computer savvy had kept her from realizing all of the activity she was missing. She was surprised that Barbara hadn't said anything. Then again, she had made Helena promise that she wouldn't go on patrols until Barbara could watch her back as Oracle.
Barbara was not going to be happy to find out that Helena had kept her promise about patrolling, but was actually doing some stealthy detective work around the school and police station, in an effort to discover Barbara's attacker. When Helena had voiced her frustrations about hoe the New Gotham Police were handling the case, Barbara asked her to give them some slack and let them do their jobs. That wasn't exactly like Barbara, and Helena worried that maybe this attack had changed her in a way that Joker's bullet hadn't. She was still a fighter - that much was evident in the fact that she had not only survived the attack, but that she was recovering fairly quickly. What bothered Helena was that the always work-conscientious, always vigilant, always itching-to-fight-crime attitude that Barbara had possessed for as long as Helena had known her, seemed to be a bit toned-down of late.
Helena decided to get Barbara back into the game again tonight. She'd tell her about her conversation with Reese, conveniently leaving out the parts which mentioned Barbara, and see if she could get Barbara's crime fighting juices flowing again. Helena hadn't really thought that the murder spree had anything to do with the attack on Barbara, but she couldn't stand the idea of her case being put on the back burner. She knew it was selfish, but if the idea Helena had sprouted in Reese's mind helped the New Gotham Police pay a little more attention to Barbara's case, so much the better.
Helena looked at the clock beside the bed and realized she had only an hour to shower and change clothes before her shift began. Not even enough time for a quick nap. Sighing, she reluctantly stood an headed toward the shower, thinking of how she was going to convince Barbara to investigate these recent murders. Hopefully, it wouldn't take much convincing. Helena needed a good night of ass-kicking to release some of the pent-up anger she still felt at not being able to prevent what had happened to Barbara. Sparring with Dinah wasn't good enough. She couldn't go all out in those fights. After all, she was trying to help train her, not put her in the hospital. Laughing a little at the thought, Helena slipped under the showerhead and let the steaming hot water wash away her worries.
"So, how was your day today?" Helena asked as she stepped out of the elevator.
Dinah glanced up from her homework. It only took one look for Dinah to tell that Helena was up to something. She looked toward Barbara and saw the wary expression on her face as she answered.
"Great! So I guess you're ready to quit your days of boredom and get down to some exciting crime fighting!" Seeing Barbara's expression, Helena decided to press on before she could reply. If she was going to get Barbara back on track, she was going to have to dangle a little bait. "You see, I ran into Detective Reese on the way to work..."
"You just happened to run into him?"
Without stopping to acknowledge the skepticism in Barbara's voice, Helena continued, "...and he told me that there's been this really bizarre run of murders lately. He says that they seem random, but they all have the same M.O. The thing he can't seem to figure out is what ties each victim to the other." Helena secretly smiled to herself as she watched Barbara's expression change from one of wariness to one of interest. She was hooked - the old Barbara was slowly returning. Now it was time to take the plunge. "I figured that this would be a great way to make a return to crime fighting. What do you think? Feel up to it?"
Dinah watched Barbara and grinned. She knew that Barbara had seen the reports about the murders. Dinah had read them herself on the Delphi Monitor. But none of the reports had even suggested a link to the others. Now, the old distracted look had returned to Barbara's face as she pieced together the information she had read on the Delphi Monitor with what Helena was now telling her.
"I wonder..." Both girls rejoiced as Barbara steered her wheelchair toward the banks of computers they had secretly dubbed Oracle's Realm. She would never admit it to either of them, but as she typed away at one of the keyboards, Barbara secretly rejoiced at returning to her passion.
After about an hour, Barbara looked up triumphant. "Okay, I think I have something!"