No Kill Policy
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 some time after Love and Betrayal, so if you haven't read that particular fanfic, I suggest you do before reading this one. Warning: Parts of this fanfic may be highly graphic at times. Reader's discretion is advised. I hope you enjoy.
The bell rang at New Gotham High School and students jumped out of the chairs headed for the door of the classroom. It wasn't that they couldn't wait to get away from their teacher. Barbara Gordon somehow made Shakespeare an exciting and fun experience for them. No, the reason why the students in Barbara's 8th period class ran for the door the moment the bell rang was actually quite simple and could be explained in two words: Spring Break.
As the last student filed out the door, Barbara felt a sense of relief as well. She, too, loved Spring Break. It wasn't like she stopped working during the break. No, teaching wasn't her only job - sometimes it wasn't even the most rewarding of the two. But with no classes to teach, no tests to grade, no lesson plans to go over, Barbara could concentrate on her night job.
She sighed as she cleared her notes from the blackboard. She knew that most people would have a hard time understanding just what it was she did at night and why she did it. Most people would not want to spend their free time hunting down the denizens of New Gotham's criminal underworld. They wouldn’t want the responsibility or the danger that went with the job. But, Barbara loved the feeling she got every time one of New Gotham's criminals was brought to justice.
Barbara turned her wheelchair to face her desk and gathered her papers together. She was thinking that she might go home and start checking the Delphi Monitor early, when she heard a commotion just outside the classroom door. In bounded too giggling blonde teenagers.
"Hi, Barbara!" Dinah cried, dropping her books on Barbara's desk.
"Hey, Miss G.," Gabby, Dinah's best friend said, grinning from ear to ear.
"Hi girls," Barbara responded. "Ready to go?"
"Are you kidding?! All day long, I kept counting down the minutes!" was Dinah's reply.
"Tell me about it," Gabby nudged Dinah's arm playfully. "You're eyes were glued to the clock eighth period. Did you even hear a word Mr. Haskins said?"
Dinah laughed. "Something about loving Spring Break?" she joked.
Barbara couldn't help but laugh. The girls' mood was infectious. "Okay, let's go."
Dinah grabbed Barbara's briefcase, shooting a conspiratorial look at Gabby. "Uh, Barbara, I was wondering. Do we have to go home right away? Maybe we can visit with Helena at the Dark Horse?"
Barbara narrowed her eyes.
These two are plotting something, she thought.
"And what makes you think that I want to go to the Dark Horse Bar?" Barbara teased.
"Oh, c'mon, Barbara. Let’s celebrate. No school for a week!" Dinah's eyes pleaded her case.
"Yeah, Miss G. It's not often I can go in there without getting tossed out for being underage," Gabby added.
Barbara had wanted to get right to work. Something told her Dinah knew that, hence the suggested side trip. But Barbara was in a good mood. "Oh well, why not?"
"YES!" The two girls gave each other a high five.
Helena Kyle sent a beer sliding down the bar for Cosmo, a regular customer, with a smile. Life was good these days. For a change, Helena had nothing to worry over and nothing to be angry about. Things in Helena Kyle's life had begun changing for the better lately - her mother's killer had been brought to justice, New Gotham's biggest bad since the Joker - Harley Quinn - was in Arkham, and she had a man in her life.
Yep, she thought, leaning against the bar and gazing toward the window, things are definitely looking up.
"Hey, Kyle, quit daydreaming. We got customers need serving here!"
Helena smiled. Not even Leonard, Helena's boss at the Dark Horse Bar, could ruin her good mood today. As Helena turned to serve the indicated customers - a sloshed business man and his equally tipsy girlfriend - the entrance to the bar opened, admitting fading sunlight, Spring air, and three people who had absolutely no business being in the Dark Horse on a school night.
Thinking that the inebriated business couple could wait, Helena headed over to the table where the trio had settled themselves.
"Hey, Barbara, what gives? This is a school night after all," she said winking.
"Oh, c'mon Helena!" Dinah exclaimed, rolling her eyes. "I must have told you twenty times that Spring Break is today. Gosh! I swear Alzheimer's setting in early!"
"Nah," said Gabby, eyeing the amusement in Helena's eyes. "She's in love. Nothing else can mess with your mind more."
Barbara tried to suppress a smile at that, but couldn't help it. She was glad that Helena had finally found some happiness.
"'kay, so now that we have established that I'm walking around with my head in the clouds and my brain up my ass," Helena teased, "what can I get you? The usual?"
"Yeah," Dinah said, "and then you can pull up a chair. You're shift's about over and we have some Spring Break partying to plan."
Helena laughed and headed off toward the bar. Gabby watched her as she walked, mesmerized. She didn't even notice that Dinah was staring at her, until she received an elbow to the ribs.
"Hey, that's my sister you're gawking at!" Dinah joked.
"Yeah, good looks seem to run in the family," Gabby joked back, causing Dinah to blush.
The phone rang and Helena picked it up as she poured soda into two glasses.
"Dark Horse Bar..."
"Hey, beautiful," a voice murmured in her ear, sending a pleasant chill down her spine.
"Hey yourself," Helena said smiling as she pictured the man on the other end of the phone line.
"What time do you get off from work?"
"You're the detective. Figure it out," Helena teased.
"An hour," came Jesse Reese's answer. "I did my homework. I didn't get this badge of mine being lazy y' know."
Helena grinned. She could picture the bemused look on Jesse’s face as he said that.
"So, what have you got planned after work? 'Cause this new club opened up and?"
"Jesse, don't you have to work?" Helena said confused.
"Helena, it's a beautiful day. Gonna be a beautiful night. I want an equally beautiful girl on my arm. That too much to ask?" Jesse teased. "I took the day off to be with you. So what do you say?"
Helena was blushing now, looking down so no one else would notice. "Okay. I'll give you a call after my shift's done."
"I'll be waiting by the phone."
"You do that, Detective." Helena couldn't resist using the old taunt. She hung up the phone and brought the drinks over to Barbara, Dinah, and Gabby.
"Who was on the phone?" Dinah asked, earning an elbow from Gabby.
"Don't be so nosy," Gabby chided.
"Why? It was so obviously from her special detective," Dinah teased.
Barbara tried to change the subject to save Helena. "So, are you coming by for dinner tonight?"
"I dunno," said Helena. "Jesse wants to go to this new club tonight. Don't know when he's picking me up."
"Oh my gosh! New Gotham Nights! Oh Helena, you have to ask Reese if we can come," Dinah exclaimed.
"Dinah, it's a date! I'm not gonna ask Reese if we can bring a couple of teenagers along on our date," Helena said, eyebrows raised. She headed back to the bar as two new customers arrived.
As Barbara headed towards the Ladies' Room, Dinah leaned closer to Gabby in a conspiratorial manner. "We are going to that club tonight!"
Helena stared at herself in the mirror. She liked what she saw. The sleeveless dress was black, form-fitting, and short - short enough to catch a lot of attention, which was why she had decided to meet Reese here, at the Clocktower, instead of her apartment. She didn't want the guys she worked with gawking or making wisecracks. She was still appraising her reflection in the mirror when Barbara entered the room behind her and let out a low whistle.
"Wow! Reese is going to have his hands full tonight fighting off the competition," Barbara teased.
"You think it's too much?" Helena asked, spinning around so Barbara could get the full effect - mock turtleneck front with a sexy cage back. The dress showed off every sensual curve in the most flattering of fashions. The high-heeled, black pumps complimented the outfit perfectly giving the impression that Helena's legs went on forever.
"You look great, Helena," Barbara assured her. "Reese is going to be one lucky man to have you on his arm tonight."
Helena blushed and Barbara suppressed a laugh. She hadn't seen Helena like this since she was a teenager. It was a refreshing change. This relationship with New Gotham detective Jesse Reese had had a very positive effect on Helena. Barbara hoped it would last. She'd had her share of relationships gone wrong. Two of her most recent painful flirtations with love came to mind and she quickly shoved the thoughts away so as not to spoil the moment.
Just then, Dinah bounded into the room. "Reese's here...whoa! Nice outfit."
"I second that," said Reese, as he entered the room.
Barbara nudged the younger girl and nodded toward the door, but Dinah pretended not to notice.
"So Helena says you're taking her to that new club, New Gotham Nights. I hear it's really great!" Dinah said. "Gabby and I have been wanting to check it out."
Barbara glared at Dinah, but Helena just laughed. "Barbara, in the course of Dinah's training, have we ever given her the class on subtlety?"
"Apparently not," Barbara said, annoyance clearly apparent.
Reese caught on. "So you wanna come?"
"Are you kidding?! Hell yeah!" Dinah exclaimed.
"Go get dressed," Helena ordered. "And be quick about it or we'll leave you here."
Barbara flashed Helena a surprised look. She was actually inviting Dinah to come along on her date with Reese. She decided to intercede just in case Helena was feeling pressured into taking Dinah along. "Wait just one minute here. I don't remember anyone asking me if a certain 16-year-old could go partying at a new club for all hours of the night."
"Oh, please, Barbara," came Dinah's plea.
"Yeah, Barbara, c'mon. It's Spring Break. She's been working hard. Let the girl have some fun."
Barbara gaped incredulously at Helena, secretly wondering if she had been taken over by pod people. "Well, if it's okay with you, I guess so." She turned to Dinah. "But not too late. Spring Break or not, I'd rather you didn't walk in the door at 3AM or something."
Dinah was about to respond when she caught Helena winking over Barbara's shoulder. Instead, she just hugged Barbara and ran to go get dressed. Barbara sat there for a moment wondering what had just happened, then steered the chair out of the room in a quest for some tea and sanity.
"Have a great time," she threw over her shoulder as she left.
"Ah, all alone at last." Reese walked over to Helena and gave her a quick appraisal. "I'd say I'm one lucky guy tonight, but that wouldn't exactly be true."
Helena frowned, "How's that?"
Reese wrapped his arms around Helena's waist and whispered in her ear, "I've been a lucky guy for some time now."
Helena smiled, suddenly speechless. The night was definitely off to a good start.
They piled into Reese's car - Jesse, Helena, Dinah and Gabby, who had mysteriously materialized just moments before the group was ready to leave. Dinah had smiled sheepishly at Helena then, but Helena wasn't angry. Helena felt wonderful, and she marveled at that fact. It had been a long time in coming, but she was finally getting to know happiness on a regular basis.
She was so happy, that she couldn't help wanting to share that happiness with those around her, hence the invitation to Dinah to tag along. Helena remembered what it had been like being a teenager. Dinah had been through a lot in her life. She'd been handed off to foster parents at a young age. They hadn't understood nor welcomed Dinah's powers and made her feel unwelcome and unwanted. Then, so many years later, she finds out her mother is the legendary Black Canary. Seeing her mother again after so long, had been particularly difficult for Dinah. Initially, Dinah had trouble getting past the fact that her mother, Carolyn Lance AKA: Black Canary, gave her up. But just when she was starting to get to know her, Carolyn was killed by the notorious criminal, Al Hawke.
Helena knew what that was like, knew how hard it was to survive. It drew her closer to Dinah in a way that nothing else could. A mutual bond that no one else could touch. All three of them - Helena, Barbara, Dinah - they had all suffered unbearable losses. It brought them closer to one another as they tried to help each other cope. It had made them a family. And Helena couldn't resist letting her little sister join in on the happy mood she was in. She also couldn't resist teasing her just a little.
"Dinah, ya know, it's amazing how fast you got changed. And Gabby showing up out of nowhere? Sorta like you knew I was gonna let you come along."
Dinah stammered, "Well, I..."
"Thought that if you mentioned how much you had wanted to check the new place out in front of Jesse, he'd convince me that letting you join us would be a good idea? Nice. Don't be so crafty next time. I had every intention of letting you come." That brought a smile to the teenager's face. "Just don't expect to come on all my dates, okay?" Helena said, laughing.
Dinah and Gabby were in their glory. New Gotham Nights was a great club and they were having a wonderful time. From the looks of things, Helena and Reese were having a good time as well. A slow song had come on and, while Dinah and Gabby had left the dance floor, they had stayed. Dinah smiled. She liked seeing Helena so happy. She hoped she found someone like Reese. Not only was he extremely easy on the eyes, he was an all-around great guy. And he'd been great for Helena - supportive, caring, patient. Watching them together, gave Dinah a sense of hope for the future.
"Penny for your thoughts."
As Dinah turned to Gabby, a scream erupted from just a couple of feet away. As the girls turned toward the scream, a body fell from the balcony and crashed through a table beside them.