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.
Helena woke to find Alfred staring down at her, tray in hand. She stared back up at him in confusion. It took her a couple of minutes to realize that she wasn't in her own apartment. She had sank down on the couch after Dinah had finally fallen asleep, emotionally drained. That was the last thing she remembered before finding herself peering up into Alfred's face.
"Thought you could use something to eat, Miss Helena," Alfred said, setting down the tray.
"In a minute. Thanks, Alfred." She rose from the couch and walked toward the bedroom. The door was opened just a crack and she peered in to find Barbara sleeping in her wheelchair beside the bed. Helena entered the room silently and crossed over to where Barbara was seated. As she passed the bed, she paused to look down at Dinah's sleeping form. She lay still for the moment, but her brow was furrowed as if in deep thought, and Helena could only guess what was going on behind those closed eyelids.
Helena moved quietly over to Barbara and placed a hand on her shoulder. Barbara awoke instantly, her eyes darting to the bed. Seeing that Dinah was quietly sleeping for the moment, Barbara relaxed a bit. Helena motioned for Barbara to follow her as she turned and walked out of the bedroom. Once the door was shut behind them, Helena turned toward her mentor and gave her an appraising look, frowning. Barbara looked exhausted.
"You know, sleeping like that can't be good for you," she said, reaching for the coffee carafe.
Barbara gave a shrug. "About an hour after you fell asleep, I went in to check on Dinah. She was crying out in her sleep and I tried to comfort her as best I could. When she settled down, I couldn't leave the room - didn't want to leave her alone..." Barbara trailed off.
Dinah's shouldn't have to go through this alone. Shouldn't have to go through this at all. She's so young. No one should have to know what this is like. No one.
Helena took a sip of her coffee and watched as Barbara, lost in her own thoughts, stared off into space. Helena squinted her eyes. She got the sinking feeling that there was something Barbara wasn't telling her. She hated it when Barbara kept secrets from her. She hoped she was wrong, but the look on Barbara's face told her she wasn't. Helena put her coffee cup down and walked over to Barbara.
"You okay?" Helena asked, placing a hand on Barbara's shoulder.
"What?...Oh...Yeah, I'm fine. Just tired I guess." Barbara turned and steered the wheelchair toward the tray of food Alfred had left. She examined the contents of the tray, but selected nothing.
Helena followed her over to the tray and sat down opposite Barbara on the couch. Barbara averted her eyes and suddenly Helena knew she was right.
"Hey," she said in a low tone. "I thought we agreed after Clayface - no more secrets." She reached out a hand to touch Barbara's.
"Barbara...c'mon...I know there's something you're not telling me."
Barbara avoided Helena's gaze. How could she tell Helena when she had barely been able to deal with this herself? She bit down on her lower lip.
Helena leaned in closer.
"Barbara...talk to me."
Barbara looked up into Helena's eyes and the tears fell unbidden.
"There are certain things I remember about the day Joker shot me. I remember hearing that your mother had been murdered. I remember rushing to open the door because I thought...I thought it was someone I knew behind that door. I remember the shock when I opened it and saw him standing there, a gun leveled at my chest. It was all so surreal. I saw the muzzle flash, heard the gun fire, but a part of my brain just couldn't process the fact that Joker had just shot me. I remember wondering why it was that I was falling and once I hit the floor, why I couldn't get back up. The last thing I remember, before waking up in the hospital, is the sound of Joker's voice and his laughter as he stood over me."
Knock, knock. Who's there? Batgirl - past tense!
"When I awoke in the hospital bed, there was so much my father and my doctors had to explain to me. I could barely process all that they told me. They told me I was shot by Joker. They told me I would never walk again. They told me Joker had been recaptured. They told me that he was in prison. They told me that Batman had mysteriously disappeared. But they didn't tell me everything.
"It wasn't until I started having the nightmares every night that I realized they had left something out. When I told my father about the nightmares, he blanched, and I knew that I had guessed right. Every night I would close my eyes to sleep. And every night, he would be there, his face inches from mine. I could see his face, smell his breath, hear his laughter, feel his hands on me...I was powerless to stop him. Every night the same nightmare."
Helena could barely believe what she was hearing. Tears filled her eyes as she listened to her mentor's anguished tale. In a voice just barely above a whisper she said what Barbara couldn't, "He raped you."
Barbara nodded her head, the tears flowing more freely. "It was his last act of revenge. The shooting - that was for Batman and my father. The...the rape...that was for me alone. Taking my life wouldn't be enough for him. He wanted to make certain that I wouldn't die with dignity. It didn't matter that I was barely conscious, that I barely registered what was happening to me. This was his last act of defiance and he enjoyed every minute of it."
Helena shook her head, tears coursing down her cheeks as well. "Just when I thought I couldn't hate the bastard more..."
"They weren't going to tell me," Barbara continued. "They were hoping I wouldn't remember or that I was unconscious when it happened. I felt so angry...so alone...I had such a hard time dealing with what happened to me...
"I prayed that neither of you would know that agony. Dinah's going to need us now more than ever before. She needs to know that we're here for her - that she doesn't have to go through this alone. She'll need counseling - professional help - but she'll need us, too. We're her family and she needs to know that what happened doesn't affect the way we feel about her.
"And we need to find Sylvestri - bring him to justice. Because the last thing Dinah needs is to believe that he could come back - do this to her again. We have to find him and lock him up for good."