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 music excerpt playing in the bar in the background is from Coldplay's Clocks.
Barbara steered her chair toward the kitchen. Helena had just left to meet with Reese and Barbara decided that a nice hot cup of tea would help to calm the sudden nervous feeling beginning to grow in the pit of her stomach. Sylvestri was dangerous and Helena's mood had been fairly dark since Dinah's attack. Barbara shook her head.
Every time things seem to be picking up around here...Just when you start to really feel happy...BAMM!! A bomb goes off and knocks you right back on your ass!
As she filled the tea kettle with water, Dinah entered the room.
"Dinah - I was just about to make some tea. Would you like some?"
"No," Dinah answered.
Barbara gave the young girl a long look. She was frowning; head hung low, brow furrowed in thought. Leaving the kettle on the counter beside the sink, Barbara moved away from the sink and brought the wheelchair to a halt in front of Dinah.
"Dinah? What is it?"
After a moment, Dinah met Barbara's eyes. "Did Reese find him? Is that why Helena left?"
"Reese triggered the Batring. That was why Helena left. I don't know if he found Sylvestri, or if maybe he just had some information that he wanted to relay in person."
Dinah listened to Barbara's answer but was unconvinced. "She shouldn't go after him - at least not alone, Barbara. He has powers..."
"I know. Helena told me. Dinah..."
Her words were interrupted by the ringing of the phone. Barbara let it ring for a moment, then reluctantly reached for the receiver.
"Hello?" Her eyes met Dinah’s as she recognized the voice on the other end of the line. "Gabby! Hi." She raised an eyebrow.
Dinah shook her head.
"No, I'm sorry, Gabby. Dinah's not feeling well. Oh, she's got some kind of stomach virus. Me, too, actually. Yes, she's probably going to be out for a while longer. Sure, I'll tell her you called. Okay. Bye." Barbara hung up the phone and looked over at Dinah, who was once more staring at a spot on the floor.
"You know, you can't avoid her forever."
"I know," Dinah answered, her voice barely audible.
Barbara sat staring at Dinah for a moment. Then, reaching a decision, she grabbed Dinah's hand.
"C'mon," she said, gently tugging Dinah along as she headed into the next room. She stopped at the couch and gestured for Dinah to sit.
"We have to talk."
When Barbara had finished telling Dinah all that Joker had done to her that fateful night, they were both in tears. It had been a hard decision to make, telling Dinah about that night, but Dinah needed to know that she wasn't alone. That someone else understood the fear, the pain, the shame. Only someone who had been through it could completely understand.
"It's going to be hard, Dinah, but you're not alone. I'm here for you. So is Helena. And tomorrow, I'm going to start looking for a therapist for you to talk to."
Dinah's eyes went wide.
"You have to talk to someone, Dinah. These nightmares you've been having, the jumpiness - these things are not going to go away on their own." Suddenly, she laughed. "Don't worry, I'll make certain not to pick one with the initials H.Q."
Dinah looked at Barbara blankly for a moment. Then, realization dawned on her and she couldn't help but laugh. Barbara pulled Dinah into a hug.
"Now, why don't you get some rest. It's getting late."
As Dinah rose to leave, the phone rang. Barbara hurried to answer it and Dinah stuck around to see who might be calling so late.
"Barbara, it's Reese."
"Oh, uh, hi. How are you?"
"Is someone there?" Confusion filled Reese's voice.
"You've got that right," Barbara said.
"Okay. My father set Sylvestri up. He's supposed to show up at a closed restaurant on Clancy Street. He thinks he's going to meet a potential supporter."
"Sounds great," Barbara answered enthusiastically.
"Except that Helena took off on me - said that she had to do this alone. Something about his being a meta, but I know there's more to it than that. Has she contacted you at all?"
"Nope. Not a one."
"Damn! Listen, Barbara, I'm in the car headed toward Clancy, but it's clear across town and the meet is in 5 minutes."
"Talk about cutting it close," Barbara said frowning.
"Yeah, well, I would have moved faster, but when I ran out to my car, the tires had been slashed. Of course the do-er left a tell-tale calling card on the dashboard - a set of comm earrings."
"That doesn't sound very good."
"Yeah, I figured you might say something like that."
"Well, don't be a stranger."
"Okay, I'll be in touch."
Barbara hung up the phone and turned to find Dinah's inquisitive features facing her.
"Oh, that was a teacher-friend of mine. Asked if we could grab a bite to eat some day this week. Decided that someday was today. It's getting late, things are closing, and she wants to go grab a bite to eat."
Barbara shook her head and Dinah grinned.
"Sounds like a real night owl, unlike me. I'm going to bed. G'night."
"Good night, Dinah," Barbara said. As soon as the teenager left the room, Barbara slammed a fist into the wheelchair's armrest.
Damn! What the hell is Helena doing?
Nico Sylvestri was pleased with himself. He was about to meet with a very influential member of the Hawke organization. It seems that Mr. Dugan was intrigued by his "work" and wanted to meet with him to discuss his takeover plans. Nico rubbed his hands together. Most of his opposition had been dealt with, he'd had his little revenge - and had fun doing it - and now, he was going to have the support of a big shot in the organization. Things were definitely working in his favor.
"Sylvestri," a voice called out from a dark corner of the room, startling him. "Sorry, did I scare you?"
"You? Never," he sneered. "What the hell do you want?"
Huntress stepped out of the darkness. "We need to talk, you and I."
"Yeah, make it quick, I've got business to take care of," Sylvestri snapped.
"Your 'business' is with me," Huntress spat back. "Dugan's not gonna show, Sylvestri. You've been set up."
"You know, bitch, I've had just enough of you. I would have thought you'd have learned something about messing with me by now." Silvestri reached into his pocket and dug out a brand new switchblade. "Guess I'll have to remind you."
"Listen - you don't know much about me, so let me school you, okay? I don't care about your take-over plans. I don't care about the guys you iced - they probably deserved it. You went after a cop friend of mine - that wasn't a smart move, but I'm over that. But going after Dinah - going after family - that's a mistake I'm not prepared to let you live down."
They began to circle each other. Dugan reached into his pocket, pulling out a switchblade. He snicked it open, gazing at it, holding it up in the spare light of the darkened room, showing it off to Huntress.
"She's a beauty ain't she. A new one to replace the one I had to leave behind." His voice turned reflective. "Hated leaving her there that night. There was so much more I had planned for her. So much more I had wanted to do with her."
"Kind of a sick attachment you have for that blade," Huntress said, disgust apparent in her voice.
"Wasn't talking about the blade. That Dinah...she is something ain't she?"
With a growl, Huntress launched herself at Sylvestri. He ducked the attack, quickly moving to the opposite side of the room. Huntress spun around to face Sylvestri. He grinned evilly.
"Really bothers you, huh?" He laughed. "Got under your skin? Not bad for someone who doesn't know you, huh? Damn, I'm good. Just ask your friend."
Huntress launched a flying kick. Sylvestri tried to duck out of the way, but Huntress connected with his shoulder, knocking him backwards. As he back-pedaled, he tripped over a chair and fell to the floor. Huntress was on him in a heartbeat, landing a flurry of blows before he slashed at her face with the switchblade. She dipped backward, the tip of the blade narrowly missing her left cheek.
It was enough of a distraction for Sylvestri, who thrust upward with his legs, knocking Huntress off balance. As she crashed to the floor, Sylvestri rolled to his feet, backing away, keeping the knife between them.
"Ya know, you're pretty feisty. Now, you're friend - well, she didn't put up much of a fight."
The minute Huntress was on her feet, Sylvestri launched an attack of his own. Slashing at Huntress' midsection with the knife, missing only by inches, then spinning around to come into a backward kick that didn't miss. Huntress staggered back a couple of steps.
Sylvestri was fully into the fight now, launching another kick at the right side of Huntress' head. As she deflected that, he swung the blade at her face. Her left hand was a blur of motion as she grabbed his wrist and twisted, hard. She heard the satisfying snap as the bone broke and the knife clattered to the floor. Still holding Sylvestri's wrist in her left hand, she reached around his head with her right and drove it into her knee. Sylvestri's nose exploded in a fountain of blood. She shoved him backwards and he staggered into a wall.
"Bitch! I'm gonna kill you!"
Sylvestri prepared to charge Huntress, but she was too fast for him. She shot out her left foot, pinning Sylvestri to the wall. She smiled as Sylvestri struggled to free himself. She noticed he was looking at something just to the right of her. As she turned her head, she caught the faint gleam of metal on the floor. It was Sylvestri's discarded knife. Still smiling, Huntress picked up the knife, holding it up for Sylvestri to see.
"You want this?" she purred. She dropped her left leg and Sylvestri sank to his knees on the floor. In two steps, Huntress had him - grabbing his neck in her left hand, she slammed him up against the wall, holding the knife at eye level.
"I said, do you want this? 'Cause I'll be more than happy to give it to you!"
Sylvestri said nothing - just stared into Huntress' eyes. Huntress began to feel that same strange feeling she had the first time she had come in contact with Sylvestri. He was trying to use his powers on her.
"Uhuh, no cheating," she said, spinning the knife in her hand and slamming Sylvestri with its hilt just above his left eye. He screamed in pain, reflexively shutting the eye as blood streamed from his brow.
Huntress spun the knife around again, this time bringing it up high over her shoulder. As she held the knife poised for the kill, she heard Barbara's voice echoing in her head.
We don't kill. No matter what, we don't kill. It makes us less. We don't kill, Helena.
The words repeated themselves in Huntress' head like a mantra as she thought of driving Sylvestri's own blade through his heart. Her knife hand wavered as she struggled with her thoughts.
We don't kill.
No, Huntress thought, he deserves to die!
No matter how evil, we don't kill.
Growling in frustration, she let go of Sylvestri and spun around, throwing the knife as hard as she could across the room. The blade impaled itself in the opposite wall with a resounding twang.
She took a few steps in the direction of the impaled knife, running her hand through her hair.
"Damn!" she yelled in frustration.
She heard an audible click and spun around.
"Didn't anyone ever tell you never to turn your back on your enemies?" Sylvestri said, pulling himself upright, keeping his back-up weapon trained on Huntress' heart.