A Return to Hell
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 No Kill Policy, so if you haven't read that particular fanfic, I suggest you do before reading this one. Warning: Parts of this fanfic may be graphic at times. Reader's discretion is advised. I hope you enjoy.
Carolyn Lance hadn’t realized how much she sometimes missed being Black Canary. Oh, sure, the tediousness of it had gotten to her – the waiting games, the stress, the bruises. But all in all, she had enjoyed the role of superhero…righter of wrongs…justice seeker…avenger.
Ducking a bat swing aimed at her head and delivering a blow to the solar plexus of the would-be Babe Ruth, Carolyn smiled wryly to herself. If nothing else, this kind of work offered an avenue for aggression – a road on which to let loose all the pent up frustrations that had been mounting incessantly over the past year.
A chain whipped out, painfully encircling itself around Carolyn’s wrist. The thug on the other end of the chain smiled in victory. Amatuer, Carolyn thought as she twisted her hand around the chain to ensure a tight grip, and yanked back hard, twisting her body as she pulled on the weapon of her attacker. His eyes bulged and he let out a surprised yelp as he stumbled forward, impaling himself on the homemade shiv of another thug who had hoped to sneak up behind Carolyn.
That was one thing about being a crime fighter she would never miss – having to constantly be on her guard. Being a master of several martial arts styles didn’t matter. Having lightning fast reflexes were of no consequence. In order to survive as a crime fighter, you had to be aware of everything that was going on around you at all times. It meant having eyes in the back of your head. Over the past year, Carolyn had found happiness in leaving that world behind her. Now, she was gratified to see that the old crime fighting skills hadn’t waned a bit.
Kid, where are you?
The voice that came over the comm set was Huntress. Carolyn’s crime fighting instincts took over as she continued to fight her would-be attackers while concentrating on the conversation taking place over the comms.
Back where you left me, playing my little decoy game.
Carolyn couldn’t suppress the smile that crept to her lips at hearing Dinah’s voice. She could hear the sounds of struggle in the background, but Dinah’s voice betrayed no signs of fear or fatigue. In fact, Dinah sounded like she was enjoying herself.
Like mother, like daughter, she thought, as she side-stepped a pipe-wielding thug, introducing him to the wall behind her with a resounding thud. Carolyn supposed that she should be worried about Dinah, but somehow, she couldn’t bring herself to do so. Barbara had trained her daughter well. She knew that Dinah could handle her role in this rescue mission.
I have her. She’s in bad shape. I’ll be coming on fast and I need you to clear a path.
Carolyn cocked an eyebrow at the tone in Huntress’ voice. Her voice was strained and there was a hint of sadness underlying her tone. Of course, Huntress could simply be reacting to Barbara’s condition. Carolyn was certain that the video tape The Joker had sent Batman contained only a sample of the torture inflicted on Barbara Gordon.
But Carolyn’s trained ears her something else in Huntress’ voice – something that caused her concern. Something that convinced Carolyn that the girls were going to need her help.
“Are you gonna need me for anything, Batman?” she called out in the direction of the door which separated her and her attackers from Batman and the Joker. The response was a terse-sounding “no”. Carolyn nodded. Batman had also heard the tone in his daughter’s voice and he was worried…and just a tad more pissed than when he had begun this mission. Carolyn almost felt sorry for The Joker…almost.
Launching a flying kick that effectively made short work of the last of The Joker’s henchmen, Carolyn sped out of the room and down the hallway.
* * *
Dinah hadn’t liked the tone in Huntress’ voice. Something was wrong – she was sure of it. And when she caught a glimpse of Huntress as she came barreling down the corridor with the limp form of Barbara Gordon cradled in her arms, Dinah knew she had been right. The look on Huntress’ face said it all.
Dinah forced down the feelings of worry and despair. She didn’t have time for them. Right now, Dinah had to focus on clearing a path through the seemingly never ending supply of henchmen. She alternated between using her telekinesis powers on and actually physically fighting with the numerous thugs they encountered on their way to the getaway vehicle. Only recently, Barbara had warned Dinah about the fatigue caused by over-using her telekinesis abilities. Dinah couldn’t afford to push the envelope right now – there was too much at stake.
Huntress kept up a steady pace behind her, making her way through the obstacle of bodies Dinah was leaving in her wake. Dinah spared a glance Huntress’ way and noted the grim look of determination on her face. Just as determined, Dinah turned back to the task at hand. After what seemed like hours, but could only have been a few moments, the two were running out of the warehouse and into the night.
They reached the Hummer and Dinah quickly opened the rear passenger-side door and climbed inside. She reached for Barbara and together, Huntress and Dinah gently lay their precious cargo across the back seat of the Hummer. Dinah exited the vehicle on the driver’s side and so she missed the look of pure agony on Huntress’ face as she sank to her knees beside the vehicle.
As Dinah reached for the front driver side door, she realized that Huntress hadn’t gotten into the rear of the vehicle with Barbara. She had assumed that Huntress would want to ride in the back while she drove them to safety. Had Huntress wanted to drive? Dinah looked back toward the open rear door and gasped. On her knees beside the vehicle, head bowed, was Huntress.
* * *
As Huntress had raced down the hall with Barbara cradled in her arms, she forced herself to focus on one thing – getting Barbara to safety. She barely registered any of the skirmish before her as Dinah cleared the way for them. She refused to acknowledge the pain slicing up and down her back as she ran onward toward her goal.
Huntress kept her eyes forward, trusting Dinah to get the job done. She had no choice at this point. It took all of her inner strength to keep going. Her body screamed out in protest, but she wouldn’t give in. In her arms lay the single most important person in Huntress’ life. There was no way she would allow the agony of her injuries to prevent her from keeping her promise to Barbara. She would get her out – she would get her to safety.
Suddenly, somehow, they were beside the Hummer and Dinah was climbing into the back seat, beckoning for Barbara. Huntress leaned in and helped Dinah gently lay Barbara across the back seat. As she did so, she could feel something tear, but ignored it. The job at hand was far more important.
It was only after Barbara was comfortably placed in the back seat of the Hummer and Dinah prepared to jump into the driver seat, that the agony of Huntress’ injuries finally conquered her determination. Her legs buckled beneath the force of the pain and she sank to her knees. Huntress heard Dinah call out her name, but she found herself unable to respond.