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.
"God...Huntress...Huntress, can you hear me?"
Dinah was kneeling over the unconscious form of Huntress, trying to staunch the blood pouring from the wound left by Wade's knife. Huntress' eyes fluttered.
"Dinah! Talk to me!" Oracle hated this part of the job. Someday, I'll convince them to wear mini-cams. At least then I can see what's happening!
"Huntress is hurt...it's bad...I-I can't stop the bleeding."
Dinah sounded frantic and Barbara's pulse started to race. Helena! Struggling to force down the rising panic, Barbara asked, "Is she conscious?"
Huntress moaned as she struggled to regain consciousness. She could hear Dinah's voice calling her name, but she sounded so far away. Huntress' eyelids fluttered open. Everything was out of focus.
"Huntress, can you hear me?" Dinah repeated.
"Yeah," came the whispered reply. "You...you okay?"
Dinah shook her head in amazement. She's worried about me? "Yeah, I'm fine. Thanks to you. Look, we have to get you back to the Clocktower...Huntress?" Huntress' eyes had started to droop, but they snapped open again. "Okay, I'm gonna bring the Hummer closer to the alleyway. I'll be right back." Dinah ran for the alley entrance. As she passed Wade, she paused long enough to look down at his out-stretched left arm. Attached to the wrist was a wrist gun filled with what looked like the same sort of dart that she had just dodged moments ago. On impulse, she removed the wrist gun, taking it with her to the Hummer.
Seconds later, she was running back into the alley. Huntress had passed out again. Dinah knelt beside her. "Huntress?" Helena's eyes fluttered open. "Okay, Huntress, I'm gonna need some help here." Dinah helped Huntress to a sitting position and put her right arm over her shoulder. As she lifted, Dinah could feel Huntress tense with pain. Dinah half-walked, half-carried Huntress to the Hummer. Huntress made a valiant effort to do most of the walking herself, but toward the end, she started to falter.
"Dinah..." her voice trailed off as she started to loose her footing.
Dinah caught Huntress around the middle with her right arm. "Easy, Huntress. We're almost there."
Making it to the Hummer, Huntress half-fell into the passenger seat. She was unconscious before Dinah could close the door.
"Oracle, I'm on my way. I'm gonna need help getting Helena to the lair."
Oracle's reply sounded wrought with distraction. "Alfred's on it. He'll meet you in the garage. Oracle out."
Dinah turned her attention to the road ahead, concentrating on getting Huntress to the Clocktower as fast as possible without getting stopped by New Gotham's Finest.
Alfred and Dinah quickly pushed the gurney carrying an unconscious Huntress down the hall toward the lab. A quick tap at the code pad by Alfred caused the door to slide open, revealing a very nervous Oracle preparing for the worst.
"Barbara!" Dinah had never been so relieved to see the woman.
"Bring her over here," Barbara said leading the way into another room in the back of the lab. One that Dinah had never had any cause to be in before. For all intents and purposes, the room looked like a mini hospital emergency room. Dinah helped Alfred move Helena from the gurney to the hospital bed in the center of the room.
"Barbara, I- it won't stop bleeding," Dinah had kept it together for Helena's sake, but now tears were streaming down her cheeks as she watched Barbara work on her friend.
"Nghh..." Helena moaned. Her eyelids fluttered open to focus on Barbara's concerned features. "B-Barbara..." Her voice was barely a whisper.
Barbara did her best to mask her concern as she worked to remove Helena's blood-soaked top. She'd never seen Helena this badly hurt. Scratches, cuts, bruises and bruised egos were all they'd had to deal with until now. As Helena's eyes fluttered open, Barbara displayed a smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.
Helena looked up into her mentor's face and knew instantly that something was wrong. She'd never felt this weak before. And Barbara was trying to hide how serious things were - she could tell. She'd seen that look before. The question was, just how serious was it?
Barbara shook her head. "No, not too bad," she lied. Dinah was right, no amount of pressure seemed to be slowing the bleeding. "Alfred, hold this." Alfred traded places with Barbara as she headed to the refrigeration unit and extracted a pint of Type O blood. She had hoped they'd never have to dig into the blood supply, but the way things were going, they might have to replenish the supply before they were done. Steering her chair back to the bed, she noticed that Helena had sank back into unconsciousness. Not good, she thought. I have to find some way to stop this bleeding. "Alfred, I need you to hook this up."
"Certainly, Miss Barbara."
"Dinah, keep pressure on the wound." Barbara steered her wheelchair toward the cabinet on the far wall. She glanced at and moved several bottles until she found the one she was looking for. She prepared a syringe.
"What's that?" Dinah said, cringing at the sight of the syringe.
"It's a coagulant," she said in clipped tones, all business. Dinah marveled at her calm demeanor. She would have been surprised to know what Barbara was thinking at the moment.
This shouldn't be happening. Helena's a quick healer. She's never bled like this. The worst of her injuries bled for about ten minutes, then healed up on it's own. A non-meta would have required ten stitches for the same injury. This had better work.
"Dinah, what happened out there?"
Dinah flashed on Wade's face and instinctively knew she shouldn't bring his name into this right now. "I'm not sure. All I know is that when I got there, Helena was lying there on the floor with a knife sticking out of her stomach."
Absently, Barbara corrected her, "Abdomen. Nowhere near the stomach."
"Right...well...the guy that stabbed her turned to fight me and Helena took him out before he could...wait! I have something?" Realizing that in the rush to help Huntress, she hadn't even taken her coat off, Dinah reached in her pocket and withdrew Wade's wrist gun. "He tried to shoot me with this. He must have shot Helena with it."
"Let me see." Barbara reached for the weapon. "What are these? Tranq-loads?"
"These cartridges are normally used to inject tranquilizers." She headed toward the counter and the microscope.
"Well, whatever it is, Helena sure didn't want him to shoot me with it," Dinah said.
"Hmmm..." Barbara was no longer listening, setting up a slide of the liquid in one of the cartridges for analysis. "Alfred, I need a sample of Helena's blood for analysis."
Alfred readily complied with the request. "Do you think this has something to do with why Miss Helena's healing powers haven't kicked in?"
"Could be. I've never seen anything like this." Barbara prepared another slide with Helena's blood. After a few seconds, Barbara knew she was right. "Yes, she definitely has this chemical in her blood stream. But what it is and exactly how it's affecting her? I'll have to run it through the computer."
Two hours later, Barbara still hadn't found any answers. Computer analysis didn't tell her anything that would help. What she did find out had her seriously worried. Alfred walked over to the counter where Barbara was hard at work. He set down a cup of tea.
"Thought you might be needing this."
She looked up gratefully at Alfred. "Thanks." She looked toward Helena. She was still unconscious, but the bleeding had stopped. Alfred had sent Dinah to get cleaned up.
Alfred followed her gaze. He, too, was worried. "Have you discovered anything?" He indicated the numerous slides and test tubes on the counter in front of Barbara.
Barbara forced herself to look away from Helena. "No...well, yes, but...Take a look at this." She indicated the screen to her left. "This is what Helena's blood normally looks like." She tapped the keys of the keyboard in front of the screen and the view split. Indicating the right portion of the screen, she said, "This is the sample you took before. Do you see the difference?"
"Why, yes. I believe I do."
"Whatever our attacker shot her with, it's attacking her cells. Mutating them. That's why she wasn't healing on her own. And I'm willing to bet that's why she was so fatigued during the fight."
"Can you stop it?"
"I'm not sure, Alfred. I've never really seen anything like this before."
They both turned as Dinah entered the room and headed toward the bed. "Hey. How is she?"
"Still unconscious, I'm afraid," Alfred answered. "Would you like some tea, Miss Dinah?"
Dinah pulled a stool over beside the bed and sat down. She was exhausted, but she was too worried about Helena to rest. "Yes, Alfred, thanks." As Alfred stepped out of the room, Dinah looked at Helena's face and frowned. She brushed some hair off her forehead and paused. "Barbara, she's running a fever."
Barbara steered the wheelchair toward the bed. "What?" She touched Helena's cheek with the back of her hand and frowned. Helena was extremely warm to the touch. "Her body's treating this as an infection. Whatever this thing is that he shot her with, it's attacking her cells. The cells are fighting back the resulting infection..."
"Causing a fever," Dinah finished. "So, by 'whatever' I guess it's safe to say that you don't know what it is yet?"
"Not really, but I'm working on it. I have to find some way to reverse the effects."
Hours later, Barbara tossed her glasses on the counter in frustration. She'd sent Dinah to bed three hours ago. The young girl had stayed by Helena's bedside, taking care of her as Barbara worked tirelessly with the lab equipment, trying to find some way to reverse the effects of the mystery drug. Barbara had caught Dinah nodding off and the realization hit her that it was early morning. With all that Dinah had been through last night, she should have gotten some sleep long ago. So, now she was alone in the infirmary with Helena, no closer to finding a cure for her condition than she had been when they had brought her here. And her condition was growing rapidly worse.
A moan escaped Helena's lips, jarring Barbara out of her thoughts. Helena hadn't been conscious for hours. Barbara quickly steered her wheelchair to Helena's bedside, grabbing a wet cloth from a nearby table as she did. Helena's fever had steadily risen as the hours passed. She was drenched in sweat. As Barbara dabbed her forehead gently, Helena's eyes fluttered open.
"Barbara?" Barbara had to strain to hear Helena's voice. Alfred quietly entered the room as Barbara strained to hear her protégé's voice. She barely registered his entrance.
"I'm here, Helena."
"I...I think...Am...I...dying?" she whispered, finally focusing on Barbara's face.
Barbara's mouth dropped open. For a moment, all words escaped her as she struggled to find an answer to Helena's question. She leaned forward in her chair. "No, Helena." She placed her hand on Helena's cheek, noting that Helena's temperature had risen even higher than the last time she had checked. There was a sternness to her voice as she said, "No, you're not dying. Do you hear me, Helena? You are not going to die. You'll be okay. Helena?" But Helena had already sank back into unconsciousness.
Barbara slumped back in her chair and ran a hand through her hair. As Alfred approached, he noticed tears making their way down Barbara's cheeks.
"I don't know what to do, Alfred. Everything I've tried," she waved a hand in frustration, "nothing works!" She leaned forward again to brush a sweaty strand of hair from Helena's face. "I can't help her. He was always so much better at this sort of thing." Barbara looked up at Alfred. "Please, Alfred, I know you have a way to contact him. You have to. Helena's life depends on it."