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.
Detective Jesse Reese sank into his chair in the New Gotham Police Department headquarters. It had been a long, disturbing night. He glanced at the clock on the wall and realized that it was now early morning. He sighed, leaned back and closed his eyes.
Things had been rather boring at first - Reese and his partner McNally had been conducting a stakeout of the home of one Jacob Zipanski, a long-standing member of the Hawke criminal organization. Zipanzki, or "Zippo" as he had been dubbed by friends within the organization, made his living playing with fire. As one of Hawke's enforcers, it was Zippo's job to take care of the businesses that didn't go along with the organization's vision of New Gotham. It was a job Zippo took very seriously, taking cares to make each arson uniquely different from the last. Any business owner that dared to challenge Al Hawke, would soon find themselves a part of one of Zippo's fiery new masterpieces.
Zippo had never been involved in the politics of the organization, until Nico Sylvestri's bid for control. Zippo had been recruited by Al Hawke himself and his loyalty to the crime boss was unwavering. This made him a target in Sylvestri's clean-up spree.
It took a long time to convince McNally that the stakeout was needed. McNally was happy enough to let the members of the organized crime family kill each other off one by one. He hated stakeouts and the long, boring hours they promised. This stakeout was no exception. Zippo hadn't ventured out of his home once the entire night. After sitting across the street from Zippo's apartment for five hours, McNally had declared the stakeout a waste and they returned to headquarters.
He'd told McNally that he had to take some off time and went to his car. He had wanted to contact Oracle on the transmitter she had given him and find out how Huntress and Dinah were fairing. Once in the car, he inserted the transmitter in his ear, and turning it on, was surprised to hear Barbara's voice. As he listened, he realized that it was a looped recorded message: "Reese, Huntress is bringing Dinah to New Gotham Memorial." Nothing more. Reese raced to New Gotham Memorial. He had hoped Dinah was okay. From what Helena had told him, and what he himself had already witnessed, the girl had been through a lot in her life.
As soon as he'd arrived at the hospital, he'd flashed his badge at the triage nurse and asked about Dinah Redmond. He was totally unprepared for the answer the nurse gave him. As he made his way to Examination Room 1, he spotted Helena slumped in a chair outside the room, head in hands. He could only imagine what she must have been feeling. Helena was very protective of Dinah, especially after what had happened to Dinah's mother.
Helena hadn't even noticed his approach and had only realized he was standing there when he spoke her name. She had tried so hard to keep her emotions under control as she showed him the taunt Sylvestri had left beside Dinah in the warehouse where Helena had found her. When her control began to fail, Reese had held her tightly in his arms, wishing he could do more than just promise her that he would find Sylvestri.
Reese had stayed with Helena and waited for the rape kit and subsequent police statement to be completed. Reese excused himself only to speak with the officer who had taken the statement, telling him that he wanted to be kept apprised of all information regarding this case. Then, he returned to his seat at Helena's side and waited for Barbara and Dinah to exit the room. It was Barbara who came out first. She turned to Helena.
"She's going to need some help," was all she said. Helena jumped up and was in the room in a heartbeat, leaving Reese alone with Barbara.
"She gonna be okay?" Reese asked.
Barbara looked down at her hands, studying them as if she could find the answers there.
"I don't know, Reese. I just don't know." She left then, wanting to bring the car to the exit for Dinah.
Moments later, Helena brought Dinah out in a wheelchair. The young blonde had looked incredibly tiny in the hospital scrubs the nurse had given her. Tiny and broken. She stared at some invisible spot on the ground as Helena wheeled her toward the exit. He walked with them to the car. He had tried to help Dinah into the car, but she had cringed away from his touch, so he backed off. Helena climbed into the back seat of the Hummer with Dinah, and they left, leaving Reese to return the empty wheelchair.
After that, Reese had come back to headquarters. He had a promise to keep. He would find Nico Sylvestri.
Dinah let the water from the shower head cascade over her. She had turned on the hot water as high as it would go. She wanted it gone - all of it - wanted to wash every minute of the past few hours away. As the water hit her face, she closed her eyes.
And saw him. He was leaning over her in the warehouse, sneering at her as she struggled to regain consciousness. He was saying something to her; she could smell his rancid breath as he leaned in close to her face. Dinah couldn't quite understand what it was he was saying...something about enemies and payback. But she did understand what he meant when he pulled out a switchblade and cut the top button from her blouse. She tried to lash out at him with her hands, but realized they were bound behind her. He was straddling her legs. And so she had tried to use her telekinetic powers to thrust him away.
But nothing happened...nothing to him anyway. Dinah screamed as a searing pain erupted inside her skull. Nico Sylvestri laughed then.
Scream all you want, bitch. No one will hear you.
He cut another button, all the while staring into her eyes. She tried to push him away again. Dinah felt as if he had plunged the knife inside her skull and she screamed once more. He had to be using something to stop her powers, causing her this pain. He laughed again.
Starting at the base of her neck, he trailed the flat end of the blade down toward her chest. He grinned at her, pausing the blade only for a moment before slicing through the rest of the buttons. Dinah screamed again...screamed for all she was worth.
Barbara was stationed near Dinah's bed, waiting for the girl to come out of the shower. She'd been in there for a while, and Barbara was worried. Helena was in the kitchen making some tea. She had been restlessly pacing beside Barbara until a few moments ago, when Barbara sent her to the kitchen to make tea. Helena had been grateful for the task.
Barbara had just decided to go knock on the bathroom door, when she heard the scream. She heard a crash from the kitchen as she rushed toward the bathroom. Suddenly Helena was there beside her as she reached for the doorknob. She threw the door open and they were immediately met by a wall of steam. Peering past, Barbara could just make out the figure huddled in the shower stall.
Helena got there first, tearing open the shower curtain. Dinah was huddled in the corner of the stall, weeping copiously. Barbara reached for Dinah's robe on the back of the door, while Helena reached into the stall to turn off the water.
"Damn," she hissed as the scalding hot water burned her wrist. She grit her teeth and turned off the water. She took the robe from Barbara and, stepping into the stall attempted to wrap it around the weeping girl. At first, Dinah shrank back, not really seeing who it was that was reaching for her. After a moment, she realized that it was Helena and offered no further resistance.
Helena got Dinah to her feet and led her into the bedroom following Barbara. Dinah walked as if in a trance. Helena led her over to the bed and Dinah sank down on it dutifully. Barbara maneuvered her wheelchair so that she faced Dinah.
"What happened, Dinah?"
Dinah looked down at the floor and didn't say anything for several heartbeats. Then, in a whisper, she began, "I...I close my eyes...and I...can see him...laughing at me...touching me...I tried to stop him...I tried, but...I..." She broke down then and Barbara encircled her in a tight embrace. "I couldn't stop him!" she wailed.
Helena stood to the side, arms folded, eyes blazing, trying without much success to push away the mental picture Dinah was painting. She silently left the room while Barbara continued to comfort Dinah.
Barbara found her on the balcony, leaning against the railing, looking out over New Gotham. Helena was staring over the city, but she wasn't really seeing it. Instead, she saw Dinah, curled up in a ball on the floor of the warehouse, the "Payback" note impaled by Nico Sylvestri's switchblade beside her.
"How is she?" Helena asked, never taking her eyes off of the city below.
"I dunno," Barbara ran a hand through her hair. "She finally fell asleep...or rather, passed out from sheer exhaustion. The next few days are going to be very difficult for her."
Leave it to Barbara to state the obvious, Helena thought.
Barbara moved up beside Helena and looked out at the view. She looked over at Helena, but couldn't quite see her face. She reached out and gently placed her hand on Helena's arm.
"You okay?" Barbara asked.
Helena turned her head just slightly to the side; just enough for Barbara to see the intense look on her face and the sudden flash of annoyance at the question. She shrugged off Barbara's touch.
"Me? Am I okay? I'm not the one Sylvestri attacked! Save your concern for Dinah."
Barbara heard the anger, but there was something else she recognized in Helena's voice. Something that made Barbara reach out to Helena again, this time grabbing Helena's arm and turning her so she could read Helena's expression.
"Helena, don't...You can't blame yourself for this. You couldn't have known this would happen."
"No?" Helena's voice dripped sarcasm. "Reese told us that the guy goes after anyone he perceives as the enemy. That he would stop at nothing to get at them."
"Yes," Barbara agreed. "He did say that. And you being his new enemy - that would suggest that he would be coming after you, not Dinah."
"It should have been me, dammit. Not Dinah...she's just a kid!" Her eyes flashed in anger. "She's been through enough without adding this!" She struck the railing with her fist.
Barbara opened her mouth to speak, but was interrupted by a scream from inside the apartment.
Helena reached her first. She reached out to her, but Dinah wasn't fully awake yet. Unaware that it was Helena before her, Dinah lashed out with her fists, connecting squarely with Helena's jaw. Barbara entered the room at that moment. Her eyes went wide as the blow caught Helena by surprise, causing her to reel back slightly.
"Dinah," Barbara called out, but Dinah couldn't hear her, so focused she was on fighting her "attacker".
Helena reached out to Dinah a second time, undaunted as she let the girl strike her again and again.
"Dinah...Dinah, it's a dream...It's okay...It's a dream..." She repeated the words like a mantra, willing them to get through, pulling her into an embrace.
"NO!....No!...No..." As Dinah slowly came fully awake, she stopped struggling and leaned into the embrace. Burying her face in Helena's shoulder, she began to cry.
"It's okay, kid...It's okay...shhh...You're safe...You're safe now." Helena's hand smoothed the back of Dinah's hair as she spoke to her in soothing tones.
"I...every time I close my eyes...I see him..."
Helena gently pushed Dinah back to face her. She brushed tears from the young girl's face and looked her squarely in the eyes.
"You're safe now, Dinah. He can't hurt you here. He won't ever hurt you again...I promise, Dinah...never again." With that Helena pulled Dinah back into the embrace, rocking her gently as she cried.