If you enjoy the new fiction, lend a hand

The final 2 episodes of Birds of Prey will air as one 2 hour movie on February 19th from 8-10 p.m. on the WB (doublecheck local times and dates)

Title: Secrets, Lies and Videotape
Author:
Janine
Disclaimers:
I do not own the characters of Helena, Barbara, Dinah, Batman, and Catwoman etc. They are the property of DC comics and I suppose the WB network and the creators of Smallville and Tollin/Robbins (geez, this is beginning to feel like an Oscar speech) etcetera, etcetera. I�m just borrowing them for a short period of time.
Fandom:
Birds of Prey (WB)
Rating:
NC-17 (for language and sexual situations)
Pairing:
Helena/Barbara, Dinah/Other
Summary:
Sequel of sorts to �Poetry Feelings�, continues from that time-line at least � robberies, murders, and beating oh my! A new caper for the birds to unravel, amidst their own personal woes.
Email:
jbslayer27@yahoo.com

| Parts 1-12 | Parts 13 - End |

Part One

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Dinah tilted her head to the side, idly watching the girl beside her as she doodled in her notebook and bobbed her head rhythmically to some tune in her head that Dinah wasn�t privy to. She could have asked she supposed they were friends after all. Kind of. Relatively. In some sense. They�d hung out before, once, after a chance conversation in which Dinah had mentioned she loved the �Rocky Horror Picture Show� and Alexa had declared that they simply must go see it then. Dinah had thought that the girl was joking, because even though Alexa was newer to the school than she was, she had had no trouble making new friends. In fact the moment she had pulled into the parking lot and stepped out of her Porsche, hair blowing in the wind as she easily snatched her sunglasses off her face and grinned at the person nearest to her, people had flocked to her and she had accepted them with open arms. So, naturally, when the New Gotham High�s newest golden girl, had suggested they socialize together Dinah had smiled and convinced herself it was never going to happen. But then, the next day Alexa had sidled up to her in the middle of the hallway, and announced that they�d met at William�s on 49th at nine, and if Dinah dressed up she�d pay for her ticket. And then as soon as she�d appeared she�d disappeared again. Well, Dinah had gone � though she didn�t dress up - and Alexa had showed � and paid for the ticket nonetheless - and it had been a great night � until she got home and the talk about dead bodies started.

But, she�d barely spoken to the girl since.

"No volunteers," Barbara said front the front of the classroom drawing Dinah�s attention away from Alexa and towards the redhead. "Good, I get to pick on someone," Barbara continued smiling, as the class chuckled and then tried to avoid eye contact with her. Her smile only grew. "Alexa?" Barbara asked seeing the girl once again hanging off the edge of her desk looking half asleep as she doodled in her note pad.

"Wha�" Alexa asked blinking rapidly before squinting at Barbara.

"That�s not quite correct," Barbara replied with a slight frown. She knew the comment was perhaps a bit out of line, but Alexa frustrated her so. She�d seen the girls file, she�d read her essays and listened closely when she talked. The child was smart, but she was also, indolent, and spoiled, and lazy. There was so much potential there, potential the girl was too bored to explore and it frustrated Barbara. Yes it did. "The question was what type of narrative was Shelley using in �"

"Frame," Alexa rattled off before Barbara could finish. Not even glancing up. "Which would�ve been fine if not for the stylized and, well, trite letter format of the novel. Not one of the 19th centuries great contributions to literature," she continued yawning.

"Trite?" Barbara asked clamping down on the urge to ask if she could get the girl some coffee or water in the face. "How?"

Alexa shrugged and Barbara sighed. She�d lost her again.

"So, now we now that in Frankenstein Shelly employed a frame narrative," Barbara continued turning her attention away from Alexa to the rest of the class. "What we have to ask ourselves is why? What did this type of narration allow her to do that other types of narration wouldn�t?"

Dinah followed Barbara as she moved around the front of the class for a moment longer, then turned her attention back to Alexa only to find the other girl staring at her, her head tilted to the side curiously. Dinah smiled at her self-consciously, wondering if Alexa had noticed her staring earlier. Alexa smiled back. Dinah looked away. Alexa didn�t. So Dinah sat there for long moments, trying to concentrate on what Barbara was saying, but only able to focus on the fact that Alexa was still staring at her. She looked back over at the other girl.

"You wanna go for a drive?" Alexa whispered when Dinah turned to face her.

Dinah blinked. "Now?" she asked.

"Not so much," Alexa responded a slow smile spreading across her face. "I thought maybe after school was out."

"Oh," Dinah responded. Then she blinked.

"You�re an odd one Zip," Alexa muttered still smiling at Dinah after that. She was an odd one herself so it didn�t much faze her. "Tell you what, if you remain in a near catatonic state I�ll assume that you�ve accepted my offer, and settle myself to the idea that I�ll be providing the majority of conversation. If you grunt or utter some other type of unintelligible sound, I�ll assume that mean you�d like to do some other time."

Dinah stayed perfectly still.

Alexa smiled.

====================================================

Part Two

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"You listen to country music?" Barbara asked grinning as she looked down her leg to where Helena was crouched in front of her, her foot gently cradled in the brunette�s hands.

"It�s not even really country," Helena responded frowning slightly as she pushed on Barbara�s leg bending upwards to make a triangle, before slowly stretching it back out again. "It�s practically blues."

"You don�t have to be ashamed," Barbara continued her eyes roaming the ceiling as her back lay flat against the matted floor. "Lot�s of people like country � some of them don�t even have mullets," she continued laughing as she watched Helena place her leg back down on the floor before crawling over her body so that the brunette was looking down at her directly.

"Folksy. Bluesy folksy," Helena stated firmly. "You�ve had your fun, now it�s time to humour me," she continued leaning down and kissing Barbara softly before starting back down towards the redhead�s legs to continue the exercises.

"Why?" Barbara asked defiantly as Helena got back to work, bending her leg up and back down again.

"Because," Helena said, "if you don�t stop. Then I�m gonna have to do this," she went on, placing her hands on Barbara�s hips then slowly sliding them upwards, carrying the material of the redhead�s shirt with them, exposing her abdomen. Dipping her head down, she then placed a soft kiss on Barbara�s stomach just above the waistband of her track pants, and followed it by licking a wet trail up to Barbara�s bellybutton where she paused again, momentarily dipping in her tongue inside, before licking a trial up to the edge of her shirt. There she rose up slightly, and blew softly onto the redhead�s wet skin, smiling as she felt and saw a shiver run through Barbara�s body. "I�d do that," she continued. "And then I�d stop," she finished smirking at Barbara before making a move to start back down to her feet to begin the exercises again.

Barbara�s hand caught her wrist where it lay on the mat before she could move however.

"Bluesy folksy," Barbara said conciliatorily, her eyes trained on Helena. "Now come back up here," she continued ignoring Helena�s self-satisfied grin. She�d wipe that smile off her face soon enough.

"What about �" Helena started, her lips attaching themselves to Barbara�s neck as her hand come to rest on the redhead�s stomach, running up and down it. "You�re physio?" she continued her thumb playfully snapping the elastic waistband of Barbara�s pants.

"I�m sure I�ll get enough of a work out," Barbara responded grinning at Helena as the brunette gazed at her, her hand moving to the back of Helena�s head to direct the brunette�s mouth to hers, which she kissed thoroughly and hungrily.

"I do love it when you talk dirty," Helena mumbled against Barbara�s lips, her hand already slipping into the redhead�s pants.

"Ooaah," Barbara gasped, her eyes fluttering shut as her lips parted forming an �o� before she tilted her head to the side and licked her lips. Marveling at and congratulating nature for always finding away, for the strange and miraculous process that her body had undergone after the shooting that allowed the sensations produced by Helena�s hand to instantaneously travel to her brain, negating the necessity of her injured spinal cord. Nature always found a way.

"I love that more," Helena said to herself as she lowered her lips to Barbara�s chest, sucking one of the redhead�s already painfully erect nipples into her mouth through the thin fabric of her tank top, as her fingers moved slowly in the moist heat at the apex of Barbara�s thighs.

Long minutes passed before Barbara become hazily aware of Helena pushing her shirt up some more, not bothering to take it off, but just pushing it up enough to access the flesh that lay beneath. The redhead�s hand coming to the back of Helena�s head holding her firmly in place as the brunette licked, nipped and sucked at her breasts, nuzzling them as her hand moved steadily but languidly, teasingly, between her legs.

"Helena," Barbara rasped, her hand urging Helena�s head away from her chest to look at her. She couldn�t take much more of the brunette�s toying.

"I�m busy," Helena responded trying to move her head back down and finding that Barbara had her in a rather firm grip � though it didn�t feel like it until she tried to move. She smiled and tried to move again, once again finding her motion blocked. She stared at Barbara - red-hair spread out around her head wildly, her eyes darkened with passion - and chewed on her bottom lip thoughtfully. So many possibilities, so little time.

"Helena," Barbara said again, a touch of desperation in her voice. As the brunette stared down at her she had continued to move inside of her, increasing her pace and slowing it again just when Barbara thought she was going to give in, slowly driving her insane. "Helena."

"Yes," Helena responded, able to move her head enough that she could look down in-between their bodies to see her hand moving steadily inside of Barbara�s pants. She returned her gaze to Barbara�s watching so that she could see the redhead�s face as she stroked her thumb over her clit.

Barbara�s eyes closed and her hand tightened in Helena�s hair, so that her hold on the brunette was noticeable and on the cusp of painful. Helena shifted to the side slightly, and allowed the bulk of her weight to rest on Barbara, then used her free hand to stroke the arm Barbara was using to hold her captive.

"Helena," Barbara gasped again, loosening her hold a little, but still holding firm. Helena allowed her hand to fall from Barbara�s and used it to prop herself up again, looking down at the redhead intensely as she continued to rock them.

"Why won�t you say it?" Helena asked still staring at Barbara, their eyes locked together.

"I can�t," Barbara was able to get out, her voice low and breathy.

"Why?" Helena asked as she increased her pace.

"I don�t know," Barbara gasped, her back arching as Helena�s thumb moved against her clit again. And then again.

"Tell me what you want," Helena said, lowering her head to Barbara�s neck as she slowed down again. The redhead�s hold on her had grown weaker as the minutes went on and was now barely holding on to her. "Tell," Helena continued kissing along Barbara�s jawbone, "me too�"

"Helena," Barbara said raggedly, cutting the brunette off. "Just �"

"Just what?" Helena whispered into Barbara�s ear before kissing behind it.

"You know what," Barbara replied, her response coming out in ragged gasps.

Helena raised her head once more, to look down at Barbara�s flushed, sweaty face as the redhead writhed beneath her. She maintained her teasing pace for a few moments longer looking down at Barbara and then made a low growling sound in the back of her throat before leaning down attaching her lips to Barbara�s hungrily, as she moved her fingers in and out of the redhead rapidly using her thumb firmly massage Barbara�s clit.

"Ohhhh God!" Barbara cried out as Helena�s lips attached themselves to her neck and the brunette�s hand began to pump in and out of her more rapidly. "I �" Barbara started to say as Helena�s coordinated attack on her continued, until her back arched one last time and her eyes rolled back as her lips parted releasing a harsh, drawn out sigh, as her body shook fiercely in Helena�s strong embrace, and fireworks exploded inside her head, sending delicious sparks throughout her whole body.

Barbara�s hand ran up Helena�s side and around to her back, her fingers scraping down the smooth expanse of skin before dipping into Helena�s waistband as she bit and then licked the brunette�s shoulder.

One of the Helena�s hands rose to cover Barbara�s. Helena gently removed it and began to move off of the redhead.

"Helena," Barbara said, her voice still a rough, rasp. She knew that the brunette was upset that she hadn�t �

"Dinah�s back," Helena said softly her head looking towards the door of the training room, as her hands slid out from under Barbara�s pants causing the waistband to snap snuggly at her waist once again.

Barbara titled her head to the side at that, ignoring the shiver that ran through her body as Helena removed her fingers from inside of her. Now that Helena had mentioned it she could hear the elevator moving. Dinah was on her way up.

"Up we go," Helena said lifting Barbara into her arms. It was faster, and easier to bring Barbara to the chair than the chair to Barbara. Besides, she thought to herself smugly, the redhead�s cogitative processes didn�t seem to have recovered yet from the mind-blowing orgasm she�d just had.

As Helena rested her in the chair, Barbara leaned up capturing her lips in a soft kiss. Helena smiled and brushed some arrant strands of hair off of Barbara�s face before kissing her forehead tenderly. Then she straightened up and looked towards the door, ignoring the fact that Barbara�s eyes were still on her.

"Woo," Dinah said breezing into the room, tossing her backpack to the side before clapping her hands together. "I�m feeling good today," she continued pointing at Helena cockily. "Ready for an ass-whooping?"

"Delivering one, sure," Helena replied grinning at the blonde. Dinah excitement was extremely contagious; no matter how hard she tried she couldn�t resist it. It was highly irritating. "What�s the score again? Ten trillion to none?" she continued cocking her head to the side.

"Give me time," Dinah replied. "Give me time."

"No broken bones you two," Barbara said cutting in. "Remember it�s all fun as long as its cuts and bruises but snapping bone marrow is nobodies friend."

"I don�t understand why I can�t find that on a t-shirt," Helena responded turning to watch the redhead as she started towards the door. "It reeks of wholesome." Sometimes the redhead�s Barbara-isms were really too much.

"That�s what I keep telling Hot Topic, but they won�t reply to my emails," Barbara replied shrugging before smiling. "Seriously, play nice � we�re almost out of morphine."

==============================================================

Part Three

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"I mean it�s not like I�m going to be flying the plane, why the hell do I need to be able to find Botswana on a map?" Gabby complained as she poked at her sandwich, debating whether or not to actually eat it.

"Government got tired of Canadian variety shows mocking our lax education system," Dinah responded looking across the cafeteria to a table located by a large window that looked out onto the school grounds. Alexa was lounging there with mostly various jocks and cheerleaders. She had her cutely booted feet up on the table and was leaning back in one of the crappy plastic chairs that lined the caf�. Her head was tipped down towards her chest causing her wavy black hair to fall across her face. Dinah could just make out the hint of a small on her face, and as she watched the other girl, she saw one of the guys sitting beside her hop out of his chair wrap his arms around her shaking her from side to side as she slapped at him ineffectually. "This mapping exercise is gonna be a bitch," Dinah continued returning her attention to Gabby.

"See this is what I don�t get. It�s last period right, so they�re going to send a bunch of kids out into the city and expect us to come back?" she said incredulously.

Dinah laughed, nodding along. "I know! I figured we could hit Virgin," she continued her voice lowering, though as she spoke she turned her to the side lightly. She had the uncomfortable sensation of being watched. Her eyes immediately drifted back to the table Alexa had been sitting at, and there she found the girls dark brown eyes fascined on her.

Dinah jerked back slightly. Did Alexa just wink at her?

"On the move again," Gabby commented following Dinah�s gaze and seeing the table of the privileged and popular getting up and moving away from their golden perch in the sun. "Not doubt there are very important wedgies to give, and can of some sort to smash against their craniums as the girls compliment each others asses," she continued.

"Alexa isn�t so bad," Dinah said turning to face her friend. It was true she hadn�t spent much time around the other girl, and that she was still largely a mystery to her, but she had always been friendly to her � and everyone else as far as Dinah could tell. Even if her attention was sporadic and fleeting.

"Alexa Wing," Gabby said shaking her head. "She�s spoiled and pompous. Give her a few months and she�ll be as intolerable as the rest of them. I�ve seen�" Gabby continued trailing off as she watched Alexa fall back from the rest of her crowd and begin to backtrack towards the table she and Dinah were sitting at.

"Mind if I make it a crowd?" Alexa asked looking at Dinah, though her gaze briefly flickered to Gabby, even as she pulled out a chair and made herself quite at home.

"Having a zipper emergency Lex?" Kristy Lake asked from a few meters away, smirking at Alexa before turning her eyes towards Dinah and Gabby condescendingly.

"What kind of an emergency could I possibly be having with a zipper?" Alexa asked thoughtfully, looking over at Kristy who was caught unawares having been basking in Dinah�s down turned eyes. "Do you know of any zipper emergencies?" Alexa continued looking at Dinah, a small smile on her face.

"Currently?" Dinah asked a bit dumbly, not exactly sure what was going on, only that she didn�t want the Zipper Girl nickname to be resurrected, though it didn�t look like she had much of a say in the matter.

"Besides mine of course, whatever it may be," Alexa responded her eyes on Dinah, even though Kristy was shifting from foot to foot obviously trying to get her attention without seeming like she had to actually try to get it.

"They tend to be dark and disturbing tales. Extremely creepifying," Dinah responded, not at all opposed to the whole �ignore the bitchy people� tone Alexa seemed to be setting.

"And me without my marshmallows," Alexa replied with a mock sigh. "Some other time then," she continued looking over at Gabby once more.

She held out her hand.

"Allow me to introduce myself, I�m a woman of wealth and taste," Alexa said by way of introduction, smiling as the curly haired blonde girl glared at her. "Or Alexa, you can go with whatever sets you a tingle," she continued turning her attention back to Dinah. The curly haired blonde was still glaring at her. It was kind of fun.

"What about your friends?" Dinah asked, as she watched the group Alexa had been with before exit the room, more for the sake of conversation than anything.

Alexa glanced lethargically at that, looking in the direction of her other companions. "I�d like to think I�m with some," she replied looking straight at Dinah, her expression and words some of the most frank Dinah had seen from her. "But if you meant my lunchtime companions, I can find them whenever I want to. All I have to do is follow the aroma of �currently in our prime�," she went squeezing Gabby on the shoulder chummily as the girl finally cracked a smile.

"How does that smell?" Dinah asked smiling.

"Kind of dewy," Alexa replied crinkling up her nose. Dinah smiled and leaned back in her chair suddenly feeling all bright and sunny. She was glad Alexa had decided to drop by.

=======================================================

Part Four

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"I�ve been waiting for you," Reese said not even bothering to turn around when he felt the Huntress�s presence behind him. He was leaning against the wall of a dark, dank alleyway, out of site from prying eyes. He was trying to protect her, not everyone would be as chivalrous about allowing her to remain a mystery as he was.

"That�s sweet," Helena responded moving to stand opposite him. "Why?"

"Knew you�d show up," Reese responded pushing off of the wall. She was smirking at him, that small little half smile that always seemed to be permanently on her beautiful features. Either that or a frown. "You�re like my shadow," he continued stepping closer to her. She cocked her head to the side and smiled at him again. She also stepped back, leaving a respectable space between them. She�d been doing that a lot over the last month or so. He couldn�t figure it out, she�d seemed to like him, they�d seemed to like each other, but she was distant now. In a friendly sort of way. He wanted to blame it on her need to remain mysterious, and on her inability to share. But he couldn�t quite, her countenance didn�t say �I want you but I�m stopping myself� anymore � sometimes he wondered if it ever had � as much as it did �I know you want me but you can�t touch�.

"There you go with that sweet talk again. Cause all girls love being called stalkers, though I will give you points for subtly," Helena responded shifting somewhat uncomfortably under his gaze. He was trying to figure her out again. "I don�t suppose there was any evidence this time," she continued, wanting to get to the topic at hand. She had perfected the flirty greeting to such an art form she wasn�t quite sure how to start talking to him without it, but she�d found very quickly that it led to conversations, conversations that became extremely awkward. She felt like she should tell him that she was off the market, but since she�d never really mentioned she was on it, and they weren�t even �first name buddies� she wasn�t sure how to go about telling him, or if she really even needed to.

"No evidence, no clues, no point of entry or exit, no suspects, no anything," Reese replied backing up to lean back against the wall once more. "I don�t suppose you know anything about the robberies?" he asked. She looked up at him sharply, and he realized his question might have sounded a bit like an accusation. It wasn�t like he hadn�t done it before. "Any information would help. The guy�s really upset this time. Whoever it was actually took something that mattered this time �round," he continued.

"Not yet," Helena replied sighing, as her eyes drifted around the alleyway. "It�s just so random, and pointless," she continued shaking her head. "We�re working on it."

"We?" he asked. "I thought you were a lone ranger?"

"The invisible friend would be hurt to know you�ve forgotten her already," Helena replied, smiling nonetheless as she heard Barbara yelling �Do NOT put that in your mouth!� at Dinah over the transceiver.

"Something funny?" Reese asked seeing the genuine smile that had appeared on her face, not able to stop himself from wondering what, or who could�ve put it there. Disappointed that he had never managed to put it there.

"Exceedingly," Helena responded shaking her head as she focused on him once more. Her badass mask was once again in place. This was no time to be getting all domestic and mushy, though sometimes she just couldn�t help it. She still couldn�t figure out exactly how that�d happened. But she wasn�t stupid enough to question it. Barbara may have been the genius, but she wasn�t too shabby herself when it came right down to it. "I�ll be seeing you," she continued, jumping onto a nearby fire escape and continuing up onto the roof.

"Yeah, seeing you," Reese muttered to himself.

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Part Five

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Alexa rubbed at her beautifully bronzed chin savagely as she stared down at the papers scattered around her on the library table. There was an open folder to her left with newspaper clippings, and various scraps of scribbled on paper falling outside of it. She shoved the piece of paper, with all of its arrows and words, to the side sweeping it and the others into the folder impatiently, leaving only one piece of paper lying out on the desk. She was frustrated, and glad to be so, she�d finally found something (well there was one other thing but that was besides the point) to keep her interested. A mystery. One of two (maybe three) she�d recently stumbled upon. It felt good to be occupied, instead of wandering, searching for something, anything to relieve the boredom.

"Seventeen years," she muttered to herself staring at the paper. "Two of them, one big one, one small one, men. Eleven years, two of them, one big one, one small. A man and a woman. Defining features, Caucasian, tall, red hair. Gone. Why? A fire, the destruction of docks, a victory and then� blank. Cause? Or Effect? Five years of nothing. Then a shadow � the Dorset kidnappers, the Randal gang, etcetera, etcetera. Gift-wrapped, hope someone got a tip. Related? Defining features? � A return? Or someone new?" She rambled on running an agitated hand through her hair.

Dinah watched Alexa as she slumped over a desk in the library, her head resting in her hand as she stared at something on the surface of the desk. That was one thing that Dinah had noticed about the girl. She always seemed so relaxed. It was like nothing in the entire world could fluster her, she was un-flusterable. Dinah bet that if the ground were to suddenly start shaking, Alexa would only look up and raise an eyebrow. Maybe think something like �curious� to herself before going back to looking nonchalant. It was kind of irksome. Dinah wondered what she was doing.

"New Gotham�s an interesting city," Alexa said as Dinah sat down beside her. "Old Gotham even more so," she continued smiling over at the blonde. She found herself smiling at the blonde a lot and actually meaning it.

Dinah looked down at the table. There was a photocopy of a newspaper article sitting on the desk. The heading read: "Two Bats, A Cat (woman?) And A Gordon Equal A Deadly Night in Gotham!" Dinah looked over at Alexa quirking at eyebrow.

"She was shot," Alexa said softly.

"Who?" Dinah asked though looking at the headline again she had a good idea who the brunette was talking about.

"The President of my Fanclub, Ms. Gordon," Alexa responded as she traced her index finger over the word �Gordon�. "I wouldn�t have thought," Alexa continued thoughtfully. "She doesn�t act like a victim."

"She wears it well," Dinah agreed her voice practically ringing with pride.

"A small grace," Alexa added, her fingers moving over to trace the words �Two Bats�.

"It�s weird," she continued feeling Dinah�s eyes on her once more. "These obscure references," she went on tapping the words her finger had been rubbing over before. "They go back almost twenty-years. There are mentions of all kinds of weirdoes, but most of them mention two men or a man and a woman. Vigilantes. Unofficially, dressed up like human bats. With capes. I found a couple disreputable articles that called them Batman and Batgirl. Batman!" she exclaimed smiling shaking her head. "Batman," she repeated shaking her head some more. "Not even the reporters could believe it, half the time they sounded like they didn�t even believe what they were writing," she went on. "Crazy ass city. It�s kinda fucking cool."

"You don�t believe that � do you?" Dinah asked, focused more on Alexa�s excited use of the word �weirdoes�, than on the subject. It wasn�t directed at her, but in a way it was, and it hurt her. Because she liked Alexa, she really liked her, and � it just never changed, it didn�t matter where she was everyone reacted negatively, with fear and insults. Hear about something different, they must be weirdoes. She thought she had gotten used to, embraced her freak status, but coming from the girl beside her it hurt. It still hurt.

"I do," Alexa said glancing over at her. There was something in the blonde�s voice but she couldn�t figure out what the cause of it was, not then at least. Dinah was rather hard to read at times, and painful easy at others. This was one of the hard times. "It�s so ridiculous nobody would make it up," she continued. "Besides, it�s � interesting. It�s a mystery."

"What they are?" Dinah asked flatly, her eyes flickering away from Alexa.

"No," Alexa responded sounding mildly surprised as if the idea hadn�t even entered her mind. "What they are doesn�t matter, so much as who they were. Or where they went," she continued chewing her bottom lip with excitement. "Almost twenty years of allegedly fighting the worst of Gotham crime under the cover of night, and then nothing. Absolutely nothing," she said fiddling with the piece of paper. "It�s weird."

"Yeah," Dinah said, knowing that the story may have been weird, but it was more tragic than anything else. And somewhat relieved to hear Alexa�s take on the weirdoes of Gotham was a pretty positive one, if not very politically correct.

"More interesting than math anyway," Alexa continued glancing over at the open textbook to her left. "Bet Batman," she said the name mockingly, "didn�t need to know no math."

"Repelling class, or hitting things 101 was probably more his style," Dinah responded grinning as Alexa smirked at her. Alexa had an infectious smirk. Actually Alexa had an infectious everything.

"I took Crotch Shots 101 in New York," Alexa replied. Dinah looked at her. "Well, they called it �Self Defense�," she added with a smile. "You wanna go steal some Jell-O from the cafeteria?" she asked suddenly.

"Why?" Dinah asked. She was beginning to feel like a broken record. She couldn�t keep up with Alexa sometimes, it was like the girl�s brain didn�t follow any linear pattern, she�d just jump from topic to topic. It was confusing. Dinah liked that about her.

"More interesting than math," Alexa responded standing up. "Come on, deviant behavior is fun," she added holding out her hand to Dinah with a wink.

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Part Six

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Barbara dropped her head into her hands dramatically, shaking her head before peaking out the side, an embarrassed smile on her face. She rued this day. She hated it when days she would rue just snuck up on her like that. She liked to be prepared for her day ruing. If criminals could warn her she didn�t see why the faculty of a High School couldn�t. �So you still won�t tell us who you�re dating, huh Gordon? Well, you�ll come to rue the day� was all it would�ve taken. But no � they had to be all spontaneous about it.

She was pretty sure she was blushing. She wondered how long it would take until the pleading started.

"Come on Liz," she said a moment later in a rather pleading tone. Well, that answered that question.

When she�d arrived at the teacher�s lounge she�d found everyone crowded around a table in the middle of the room and immediately joined them to see what all the commotion was about. Peaking her head in she�d been surprised to see a rather tasteful floral arrangement sitting in the middle of the table as everyone gaped at it. She�d been even more surprised when Elizabeth Calloway, one of schools science teachers, had pushed the flowers in her direction and smiled at her cheekily, before saying �don�t just sit there read the card�.

So, she�d read the card, and she�d grinned broadly then looked up and noticed everyone smiling at her and had tried to hide the fact that she was smiling broadly which only made things worse. Then she�d made the horrible mistake of placing the card down on the table open, which gave Liz the opportunity to read it to everyone in the room with glee:

"A rose for rose � that sucks doesn�t it? Oh well, I guess you�ll just have to pretend that I wrote something poetic and stirring � while you�re at it you could as well imagine that I wrote it in loopy, Elizabethan handwriting, because that�s pretty �like you.

H."

After Liz had read it, Barbara had internally cursed Helena for being so damn cute, and then she�d smiled because Helena was so damn cute, and then everyone in the room had gone �awww� � or made some equally embarrassing sound � and she�d begun to rue the day.

"There�s a really easy way to end this, Gordon," Liz chortled, much to Barbara�s chagrin and almost everyone else�s amusement. There was one face in the room besides Barbara�s that looked unimpressed with the attention the flowers were getting, however.

"What do you say we leave her alone, huh? She�s changing colour," Wade commented from his perch near the fridge. He�d come in just for the beginning of the letter reading and teasing. Barbara looked over to him as he said it, he couldn�t read her expression. He never could really, not even when they were dating. He�d wish he had been able to because then he might have been able to see the break-up coming. But he couldn�t, and he hadn�t. �H� was probably able to read her expression. He looked away.

"Henry maybe?" Liz continued after glancing disapprovingly at Wade. He�d been a real stick in the mud over the last month. It�d been kind of obvious that he had a thing for Barbara since his first day at the school, but as far as she knew nothing had come of it, which was probably why he was being pissy about it now. Still his unrequited love didn�t mean he should try and ruin everyone else�s fun. Barbara was rather inscrutable when it came to her private life. Outside of the basics nobody really knew that much about the redhead. So, this was an amazing opportunity to try and glean some information out of her, Wade�s ill-fated crushes be damned. Some of them had been waiting years for something like this.

"Harold?" another voice guessed in a singsong voice. It was Nate Granser, she was going to leave the board full of chalky writing next time she had a room before him.

Barbara sighed and looked away from Wade, who was now studying his shoe, and around the assembled group of teachers. They were in a high school that was true; she just didn�t see why they had to act like they still attended. Of course, she would�ve had fun with it, if she hadn�t been the focus of the ribbing. Oh, it was so tough to admit you couldn�t take your medicine.

"Herbert?" another person guessed. Then nudged her on the shoulder. It was Carol Halder. Barbara avoided her eyes and sighed as a chorus of �H� names greeted her as she was almost nudged out of her chair. She should�ve gone out for lunch.

"Helena." Barbara looked up towards the door at that, looking somewhat startled. "Kyle�s here to see Barbara," Cassie, the school�s secretary, continued poking her head into the room before opening the door allowing Helena to brush past her. The brunette was wearing black pointed boots, tight washed out jeans with a stylishly big belt, a tight fitting black collared shirt, and a cocky smile. All eyes in the room were on her � and then on Barbara � and then on Helena and Barbara once more.

Barbara sighed deeply, now they�d all gone and made a casual link.

"I�m guessing you don�t get many visitors?" she said glancing at Barbara before looking around the room at the still staring teachers, her gaze momentarily falling on the flowers she�d sent before returning to Barbara and the card clutched in the hands of a decidedly gossipy looking woman. "Whose birthday?" she asked innocently seeing Barbara staring at her.

"No one�s," Liz responded looking somewhat confused. "Gordon�s got an admirer," she continued looking between Helena and the flowers. She�d thought � but � it couldn�t be � she�d taught Helena herself when the girl had been at the school.

"Some girls have all the luck," Helena said tilting her head to the side with faux seriousness as she looked at her former science teacher. She�d never liked Calloway. "I hate to interrupt the teasing and humiliation, but do you think I could borrow her for a minute?"

"If Barbara doesn�t think H will mind," Liz responded perking up again noticing the familiarity with which Helena rested her hand on Barbara�s shoulder.

"I am H," Helena responded innocuously.

"You are?" Liz asked perking up even more, her eyes widening slightly at the idea of Barbara dating this, tall, rebellious, model looking former student. She was feeling superior and jealous. Helena had grown up good.

"Am an H," Helena replied looking over at the woman as she gaped at her. "I�m Helena, remember? You used to say things like �Quiet down Helena!� or �Sit down right now Helena before I break my foot off in your ass�," she continued as Liz looked at her unimpressed. "That last one was paraphrased. Anyway, good times. So, what H are you talking about?"

"The H from the card," Liz responded looking down at the card as if to confirm its existence. Dealing with Helena had always been exhausting. She�d warned Barbara when she�d heard the girl had gone to live with her. Barbara hadn�t listened.

"I�m not good at writing cards, it�s probably not me then," Helena replied mildly, looking over at Barbara who was watching her and trying not to smile. The redhead knew she was playing with Liz and enjoying it immensely. Barbara had told her that Liz didn�t like her much.

"Neither is card H," Liz responded leaning towards Helena suspiciously.

"Can I see the card?" Helena asked.

"Why would you need to see it if you wrote it?" Liz asked narrowing her eyes at the brunette.

"Well, how am I supposed to know if I wrote it unless I look at it to see if it�s something I wrote or not?" Helena asked quirking an eyebrow at the other woman.

Liz looked at her dubiously for a moment then handed the card over.

Helena glanced at it briefly. "Kinda sounds like me actually. Especially the �pretty like you part�," she continued glancing down at Barbara dully. "You are very pretty," she stated leering obviously at Barbara.

"Shut up," Barbara responded smiling and taking the card back.

"Not very nice though," Helena said shaking her head as she looked around the room. "If I did send the flowers I�d be thinking about taking them back now."

"What�re you doing here?" Barbara asked seeing Liz start to glare at Helena. She had realized Helena was making fun of her.

"I just couldn�t stay away. With you being so very pretty and all. I had to get inspiration for another card," Helena replied noticing for the first time that the rest of the staff was looking at her rather darkly now too. She�d probably keyed some of their cars when she was acting out. "Is it not funny anymore?" she asked a moment later.

"And you wonder why you get kicked out of places," Barbara responded shaking her head.

"I don�t wonder, I mourn," Helena replied. "Anyway, now that I�ve worn out my welcome � again," she said grinning. "Can I talk to you for a minute. There�s been a muffin top emergency."

--------------------------------------------------------------

"There was no alert," Barbara said once she certain the door to the empty classroom was shut.

"There was," Helena replied moving to perch herself on the edge of Barbara�s desk. "It woke me up," she continued frowning slightly. "I shut it off before it could alert you," she continued idly riffling through the paper on the desk. Barbara pushed her hands away stopping her from nosing around. It wasn�t her room.

"Why?" she asked drawing Helena�s attention back to her.

"There was nothing you could have done about it anyway," Helena responded looking around the classroom. "There was another robbery, discovered relatively early this morning. They got footage of it," she continued watching Barbara�s eyes flash with interest. "But not of the murder."

"Murder?" Barbara asked looking up at Helena sharply. If it was the same person who had been committing the other robberies, there shouldn�t have been a murder the crimes had been totally non-violent up until that point.

"Hmmm," Helena responded. "The police think that the woman, the owner of the house, must have walked in on the robbery. The room was pretty trashed, looked like there was a struggle then not so much," she continued watching as Barbara processed the information, then looked up at her questioningly. "I went to see Reese," she said answering Barbara�s question before she could ask it.

Barbara�s back tensed and she rolled her shoulders minutely. "You went to a police station in broad daylight?" she asked. "You do remember that you have a record don�t you? I know that you like to rebel, but you won�t wear a mask and even though I was able to erase your prints �"

"I went to his house," Helena interjected, cutting off the rest of Barbara�s lecture. She did not want to get into the mask debate again.

"His house?" Barbara asked a moment later. She�d been brought up short by that one. She didn�t know Helena knew where he lived. She didn�t like that Helena knew where he lived.

"His dwelling, or personal abode," Helena responded drawing Barbara�s eye back to her from where they had fallen into her lap. "He�s nightshift, they�d called him in cause it was his case," she went on. "I�m going to meet him tonight and look at the tape."

"You�ve got him stealing evidence now?" Barbara asked somewhat archly, biting down on the rest of her response before it could pass through her lips. She wasn�t being fair and she knew it. It was good that Helena had gotten Reese to trust her. It made things on their end a lot easier and slightly more legal. Reese would show her the recording instead of Helena having to break in and make a copy of it. They could get information that wasn�t on the scanners or in reports. It was a good thing. But for some reason she had to remind herself of that.

"Borrowing," Helena responded pushing off the desk to stand up. "Are you mad about something?" she asked making a point of putting some distance between them. She moved to lean against one of the nearby desks.

"No," Barbara responded immediately, though she wasn�t sure she was being entirely truthful. "I�m sorry," she said moving over to Helena and taking her hand in hers, gently stroking the skin with her thumb. "I loved the flowers," she added smiling over at the brunette.

"Seems like everybody loved the flowers," Helena responded smiling back as Barbara kept her hand in hers. "They didn�t tease you too badly did they?"

"Of course they did," Barbara responded laughing softly. "I loved the flowers," she continued letting Helena know that she didn�t care about the teasing.

"Would it be inappropriate for me to try and kiss you in here?" Helena asked looking at Barbara thoughtfully.

"Of course," Barbara replied, knowing that Helena was going to kiss her anyway.

"I guess it�s just your bad luck I�m so terribly inappropriate then," Helena responded leaning forward to attach her lips to Barbara�s, her hands coming to rest on the redhead�s knees. The truth was she�d been listening in the hallway for anybody looking to encroach on their hideaway.

"Bad luck," Barbara said softly, resting her head on Helena�s shoulder. "It feels pretty good."

Helena smiled. "I should get you flowers more often," she said reluctantly moving away from Barbara, stepping to the side and turning to face the window as the door to the classroom opened.

"I thought this was econ," a tall, gangly boy with an overburdened backpack muttered seeing Barbara sitting in the classroom. Before his eyes drifted over to Helena and then all over Helena who proceeded to stare at him making it painfully obvious that she had noticed his roving eyes.

"You�re in the right room, I was just picking something up," Barbara responded trying the draw the boys attention away from her glaring girlfriend. "How�s your arm?" Barbara asked smiling. He was getting that flustered �I�m so stupid� look on his face and she wanted to relieve his anxiety.

"Oh, it�s getting better," he said rubbing at the cast on left arm. "It itches a lot though. Yesterday I tried to jam at wire hanger down in there �" he continued. Helena rolled her eyes. A quick exit was in order.

========================================================

Part Seven

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"You know," Dinah said shyly pushing the curtain to the side. "I didn�t think that anyone actually threw costume balls," she continued stepping out into the open carpeted area of the back of the shop. She was talking to relieve her nerves, but she was confused as to why she had nerves in the first place. Actually she wasn�t really confused, she just didn�t want to think about it too much.

"If there were any justice in the world nobody would. They�re horribly pretentious and boring � it was my mothers idea," Alexa responded straightening up in the plush chair she had been sitting on as Dinah emerged from behind the change room curtain. "I feel like a pimp," she continued her eyes raking over Dinah slowly, appraisingly.

She smiled.

"Do I look slutty?" Dinah asked frowning slightly as she looked down at herself. The costume was a bit revealing, but she didn�t think it screamed streetwalker.

Alexa smirked as she watched Dinah look herself over. "More like an escort. A classy one," she replied, laughing as Dinah looked over at her quirking an eyebrow before striking a pose and pouting at her.

"How much would I go for?" Dinah asked shifting into another stance, hitching up the already short skirt to show a bit more leg.

"At least $1500 an hour," Alexa said leaning forward, looking at Dinah intently. "I could never afford you," she continued sighing and pouting slightly as she leaned back into her chair.

Dinah looked around at the back room of the store they were in, which was decorated with rich, coloured fabrics, and soft carpeting. It was probably the most expensive store she had ever been in. They didn�t even have stores like that in Opal. Then her eyes drifted back over to Alexa herself who was wearing expensive (probably Italian) black boots, black leather pants, and a fitted, understated, white collared shirt that probably cost as much as Dinah�s entire wardrobe. And it was all topped off with a pair of authentic Mossimo sunglasses perched on top of her head.

"I doubt that," Dinah said simply.

"Alright, I could probably scrounge it together," Alexa conceded with a smile having been aware of Dinah�s inspection of her and what she must have been thinking. "Are you trying to get at something?" she continued wiggling her eyebrows at the blonde a moment later.

"Next in line then," Dinah said turning around and stepping into the change room to hide the blush that had started to spread across her cheeks at Alexa�s comment.

"I wouldn�t pay for you anyway," Alexa said standing up and moving to pace in front of the curtain of Dinah�s change room. "I�d woo you," she continued smiling, looking down at her feet as she moved.

"Because you�re cheap?" Dinah asked not having to see the other girl to know that she was smiling. She�d gotten very good at reading the small changes in Alexa�s inflections and tones.

"No, exactly the opposite," Alexa said slowly, stopping her pacing and standing still. "I like to pay an honest price, an object�s worth. I would really never be able to afford you," she continued her voice soft and sober.

Dinah paused, her arms raised to pull a shirt over top of her, her eyes trained on the curtain of the change room through which she could make out the shadow of Alexa�s stationary figure. She didn�t know what to say to that. She didn�t know if Alexa�s joking � or not. However, she did know that she didn�t want it to be a joke. She wanted Alexa to mean it.

"I�ve got another one for you," Alexa said conversationally a moment later, speaking calmly and clearly as if nothing had happened before. She had moved over to the corner of the room without Dinah seeing her and was know holding something in her hand. It was nothing but a large blob to Dinah but she was sure it was beautiful. "Hurry up and get naked so you can try it on."

========================================================

Part Eight

------------

"We got there too late, couldn�t catch them in the act, but we did like you said and did the lady, made it look real messy like there was a fight too," the man said in a voice that was higher than normal. The woman was standing uncomfortably close to him, looking at him with eyes that did not appear to be completely sane. The truth was the lady scared him shitless, but she paid well � as long as you lived long enough to collect.

"Too late?" Harley asked, her voice rising high with curiosity as her hand shot out and grasped the man about the throat, squeezing none to gently. "You knew where, you knew when � and you were too late?" she asked smiling at him though her tone was coated with displeasure. "That doesn�t sound very competent," she went on stroking his hair with her free hand. "Did you see them at least?" she asked her tone now soothing.

"It was dark �" he started to say, but stopped that route upon seeing her eyes harden. "It was a woman we know that," he added hastily. "But she � she was wearing a mask," he said closing his eyes.

"How � vexing," Harley said letting the man go. "Good for her though, it�s about time people started showing some standards again," she continued pacing in front of him. "Well, you know what you have to do," she went on looking back up at him. "I want my picture back!" she finished, her voice rising shrilly before she pouted slightly. Everybody was always trying to ruin her plans. It wasn�t fair.

"Yes, of course. We�ll get her," the man responded and then turned to make a hasty exit. His neck was still in one piece. He was lucky.

Harley sat down in one of her chairs, her head resting in the palm of her hand as her arm rested on the arm of chair. She stared at the floor glumly. Now there was a new person nosing into her business. She was never going to�

"Sorry, I�m a bit early," Helena said breezing into the office.

Harley straightened up in the chair then stood, a mask of cool, professionalism sliding across her features before she turned to face Helena.

"Helena," she greeted warmly. "That�s perfectly alright," she continued feeling her feverish mind start to cool. She blinked and sat down opposite Helena. "My door�s always open," she continued.

====================================================

Part Nine

-----------

Helena curled the small piece of wire around her ear and then adjusted the flat, ocular lens in front of her eye. "Do you read?" she asked waving her hand in front of it.

>>Yeah<< Barbara responded. >>Don�t do that anymore<<

"What? This?" Helena asked waving her hand in front of the eyepiece some more. "Why?"

>>It�s making us a bit motion sick<< Barbara responded wincing as she heard Helena laugh and wave her hand some more.

"I didn�t know this was going to be a group activity," Reese commented drawing Helena�s attention over to him. He was standing beside a dilapidated looking vid player and screen.

"We�re all on the same side," Helena replied taking a seat. "Don�t worry, it won�t get out to the press or anyone else," she continued crossing her legs as he moved to sit beside her. "What? No popcorn?" she asked as he dropped into a nearby chair and aimed the remote at the player.

"Who says the guys always gotta buy," Reese responded, looking at her just long enough to see her smirk and roll her eyes before starting the recording.

Helena watched � and therefore Barbara and Dinah also � as a shadowy female figure approached the front of a large, impressive looking house. The surrounding was dark and murky, but the porch lights allowed them to clearly make-out a trim, most likely female form dressed from head to toe in black. The woman stopped upon reaching the door, then looked around her cautiously before glancing up. She was looking straight into the camera. She stared at it for a long moment and then turned to face the locked door once more. Then once facing it she stepped forward and disappeared through the surface.

"We�re not sure what exactly happened there, it could be a camera glitch. Durning says that there are some electronic devices that can be used to interrupt live feeds, it�s possible," Reese started to say, pausing the recording.

"That�s no glitch," Helena said cutting him off as she leaned forward. "You�re getting this right?" she said to Barbara.

>>More than getting it<< Barbara responded as the feed from Helena�s eyepiece went into her digital recorder, and she edited and cleared up the feed.

"How do you know?" Reese asked realizing that the last part of her statement wasn�t directed at him.

"She phased through that door," Helena replied turning to look him. "She�s a meta-thingie," she continued her eyes back on the screen.

>>Intangible<< Barbara said into the earpiece.

"When I said that�" Reese started to say.

"I know, really, it�s relatively forgiven," Helena interjected cutting him off. "She�s an intangible. That means she can alter her molecular density at an atomic level," she continued as Barbara fed her the information. "Basically she can make herself lighter than air and denser than rock and then reform in regular proportions."

"That�s not possible," Reese said staring at her.

"If you say so," Helena replied. She didn�t feel like having this conversation with him again. "Let�s see the rest of the video."

Reese stared at her for a second, and then started the recording up again. "This is from the hallway camera directly inside of the house. From this point on what you�ll be seeing has been edited to show her progress throughout the house," he explained before leaning back in his chair.

They watched as she slowly made her way throughout the house. She stuck close to the walls, following the cameras as they followed her. Gloved hands brushing against the walls, sometimes phasing through and then back out again. She paced up and down the same path for a few minutes and then stopped suddenly in front of a frescoed wall.

>>She�s good<< Barbara commented softly into Helena�s ear.

"Why do you say that, she doesn�t look like she�s doing a whole lot of anything," Helena commented, as her eyes remained trained on the screen.

>>She�s been checking out the wiring used on the camera�s to see how they�re connected<< Barbara responded watching as the woman phased through wall and disappeared out of sight. A moment later there was a flicker and the monitor Helena was watching went dead.

"What happened?" Helena asked. She wanted to look around but she kept her eyes trained on the screen so that Barbara�s recording wouldn�t be interrupted if it started up again.

>>She cut the feed<< Barbara replied. She sounded impressed.

"There was a control room behind that wall. One of two interconnected ones. She blew out the system," Reese responded with a sigh, turning the screen off. "Cut off all the cameras. We don�t know what happened after that, only that the study upstairs was ransacked and the owner ended up in a pool of her own blood in the middle of it."

"Charming imagery," Helena commented. "No way to tell how long she was in there?"

"None," Reese replied. "She didn�t trip anything going in or going out. All the doors are wired to sound an alarm if tripped once the security system is operational, but none of them were tripped, and she � as far as we can tell � purposefully defused only the camera�s, which were our only way of determining a time frame."

"Neat," Helena said to herself softly.

"You�re impressed by this?" Reese asked with a touch of distaste.

"I am," Helena responded. "But that�s not what I meant. The job was very neat. Tidy. She is good," she finished staring off into space. He wasn�t sure if she was talking to him or the person on the other end of her communicator. "Nothing tonight?" she asked looking over at him.

"Not so far," Reese replied. "Although we might not find out until the morning like with this one," he continued.

"Way to look at that glass as half full," Helena snarked standing up. Reese was a real downer sometimes. "Do you know what was taken?"

"The estate can�t tell us if anything was taken. If something was it wasn�t your typical jewels, or rare stamp collection. There�s nothing of value in the house that can�t be accounted for," Reese replied rubbing at his temples.

Helena placed her hand on his shoulder drawing his eyes over to hers. "I�ll let you know if we find anything," she said in what she hoped was a reassuring voice. He looked all raggedy and ill kept, it was sad. She felt bad for thinking that he was downer before � even if he was. He was a good guy, in a bad world and that could get depressing every once in while.

He nodded. "But you have to go now."

"Yeah," she said removing her hand and stepping back. "Thanks for the tape � it was a lot of help. I�ll have to save your life again some time soon," she continued smirking. Then she turned around and swept out of the door.

Reese didn�t bother following to look down the hallway. He knew she�d be gone. She was predictable that way.

====================================================

Part Ten

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"Hey," Dinah said knocking on Alexa�s door lightly before sticking her head into the crack of the door.

"Come in," Alexa responded lazily raising her hand up and waving her in. There were about ten other kids from school, hanging around on the lower floor in Alexa�s living room, playing Play-Station, pool, watching satellite TV, making use of the unsupervised bar. She�d seen Alexa slip out of the room about fifteen minutes earlier, after brooding in a corner for an hour or so, and had decided to seek the other girl out. Alexa was the reason she was there after all. Unlike the others, she was more interested in the girl than in her house.

"You okay?" Dinah asked walking into the room and perching on the edge of the bed a bit uncomfortably. The room was big, but dark and she couldn�t make much out.

"Headache," Alexa responded, taking her arm from where it had been lying over her eyes and letting it flop to the side to turn on a light. Then looking at Dinah for the first time since the blonde had walked into the room, she smiled.

"What?" Dinah asked cocking her head to the side and nervously tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

"Nothing, I�m just not surprised you came up here," Alexa said struggling into a sitting position.

"Is that such a surprising thing?" Dinah asked moving further onto the bed and drawing her legs up under her.

"Sure," Alexa replied. "The rooms not exactly crowded is it?" she went on to say smiling.

"I don�t know," Dinah said smiling as she looked around the room. "You�re a bit of a pack rat aren�t you?" she asked laughing as her eyes surveyed numerous overstuffed boxes littering the room, half filled plastic containers, jammed shelves.

"You don�t like?" Alexa asked smiling herself as she looked around the room. Surprised and pleased that she really did care what Dinah thought of it.

"No, I do. It�s � it�s very you, I think," Dinah replied. And it was true the more that she thought about it. The rooms walls where painted red with navy trim, and the perimeter was lined with hanging icicle Christmas lights, while simple, understated artwork hung on the walls. A leaf stuck onto a black background in a silver frame. A collage of photographs pasted onto a foam board. It was a calming, like Alexa. But then if you looked at the floor of the room and in the closets, it was a mess. Clothes, and paper and boxes all over the place, hanging half off of things, draped carelessly here and there. But Dinah thought that that was also Alexa, in the girls dark brown eyes she had always seen something shifting behind her calm exterior. Like her room she was full of surprises.

"Is that a good thing?" Alexa asked watching Dinah closely as she looked about her room.

"I think so," Dinah replied looking back over to meet Alexa�s eyes momentarily before looking away again. The dark-haired girl was holding her gaze rather intensely; it felt like she was almost looking inside of her. It made Dinah feel warm, and uncomfortable. She couldn�t hold it.

"Good," Alexa said softly a moment later, tilting her head down to look at the bed covers. "Sometimes we don�t see ourselves the way we are, maybe better or worse than the reality. But if someone else � well, maybe you�re alright then," she went on picking at her covers.

"What do you mean?" Dinah asked looking back over at her.

"I don�t know exactly," Alexa responded looking back up at her, smiling widely before shaking her head ruefully. "I just know that I like me better around you."

Dinah blinked at her for a moment, and Alexa smiled again somewhat self-concioiusly.

"You do?" Dinah asked finally, smiling herself.

"Yeah, things are calmer. Clearer. I�m not so restless. I�m often restless, it�s one of my less attractive personality traits," Alexa answered grinning self-depreciatingly. She was often self-depreciating Dinah had noticed. It made her more endearing and mysterious at the same time.

"You always seem so still outside," Dinah replied trying to reconcile what she had seen of Alexa with what Alexa saw in herself.

"On the outside," Alexa agreed. "All of the chaos is in my head. It makes me do things like steal Jell-O from the cafeteria, and extreme ski, and free-dive, and play rugby, and learn how to punch stuffed bags in my free time," she continued shaking her head. "My Mom says I�m hyperactive and probably have undiagnosed attention deficit disorder. I think she�s just being catty, but that seems to pretty much describe it something. I mean, sometimes I feel like a can of soda sitting on the sidewalk in August in the blazing sun. The pressure keeps building and building until I almost can�t stand it and then I pop," she finished looking up at Dinah through her eyelashes. She looked small then, vulnerable. Not her usual larger than life persona. Dinah liked this version just as much, maybe more.

"Do you feel like that now? Is that why you�re up here?" Dinah asked, her mind whirling in a million different directions, wanting to ask a million different question, but some sense of propriety and fear stopping her.

"Yeah, but it�s not why I�m up here," Alexa responded tilting her head up a bit to meet Dinah�s eyes. She wasn�t smiling, but her eyes were bright and warm. "Do you ever get the urge to do something you know you shouldn�t?"

"All the time," Dinah responded, her brain filling mostly with thoughts of wanting to throttle Helena, but also filling with thoughts of Alexa. Mostly what she looked like in the change room after getting out of the shower. She shook her head trying to clear her mind of those particular images.

"I kind of feel like that right now," Alexa told her, her voice dropping secretively.

"How do you control it?" Dinah asked. She knew that her mind automatically configuring the worst possible outcome and then playing in over and over again usually did it for her.

"I don�t," Alexa responded shaking her head. "And usually it doesn�t end up as bad everyone thinks it will," she continued shifting down the bed until she was sitting across from Dinah. "Like this for instance," she went on gesturing between them.

"What?" Dinah asked not quite following.

Alexa simply looked at her, and then slowly leaned forward until her face was directly in front of Dinah�s. She hovered there for a moment, and then closed the rest of the distance between them and brushed her lips against Dinah�s.

Dinah was still for a moment, not so much surprised by the action since she�d been preparing herself for it since Alexa had leaned towards her, but by the actuality of the feelings produced. She felt shivery, and warm all over. She leaned forward instinctively and placed her hand on Alexa�s arm as if to steady herself. At that, Alexa moved forward some more, never breaking the contact between their lips and placed her hand on Dinah�s hip as she sucked on the blonde�s bottom lip, before slipping her tongue into Dinah�s mouth when Dinah�s lips parted. Dinah�s hand traveled up Alexa�s arm, and around to the back of her neck, holding onto the other girl tightly as she kissed her back, her mind a whirlwind of pleasure and sensation.

"You want a tour of the rest of the house?" Alexa asked as she pulled away from Dinah�s lips to sit in front of the blonde once more.

"No," Dinah practically growled in response, before she realized how her answer must have sounded and reddened some more. "I mean �"

"There�s lots of other rooms we can make-out in," Alexa interjected smiling knowingly. "Some closets, some pantry�s, some alcoves. We could be at it for quite a while. If you�re up to it that is," she continued looking at Dinah carefully. She wanted her to be comfortable. She wanted to do this right. To do right by Dinah.

"What is this?" Dinah asked watching as Alexa uncurled her lithe form and stood up holding a hand out to her. As she asked it, she thought that it was maybe a little unfair. To be asking the other girl something she couldn�t even attempt to answer herself. What was it for her? Was it a crush? Was it love? Was it lust? Was it none of those things, or maybe it was something waiting to grow into something more?

"I don�t know," Alexa responded honestly. "This is the first non-familial emotional attachment I think I�ve made," she continued scrunching her brow thoughtfully. "But I think we�re doing well so far."

"Because we respect each other as people," Dinah responded allowing Alexa to pull her up. She was tired of thinking, but flirting she could take some more of.

"Exactly," Alexa replied. "Well let�s get on with the tour so I can kiss you some more. Then we can go back into the living room and stare at each meaningfully over pizza as people use my pool cues as lightsabres and puke in the bathroom. Doesn�t that sound romantic?"

"No, but oddly enough it feels that way," Dinah replied laughing softly as she allowed herself to be led out of the room.

========================================================

Part Eleven

--------------

Helena dipped the spoon back into the container of Hagendaas Irish Cream ice-cream and scooped out a neat proportion. "One for you," she said smiling as she brought the spoon to Barbara�s lips. "And one for me," she continued leaning in and kissing Barbara lightly, licking her lips as she pulled back.

"I can�t believe I�m letting you feed me," Barbara grumbled before once again accepting a small scoop from Helena, before accepting Helena�s lips once more.

"It�s spontaneous and romantic," Helena replied taking the scoop in her own mouth this time, before leaning in to kiss Barbara once more. She was becoming a fan of routine. "And more than a little yummy," she continued smiling.

Barbara gasped a moment later and looked down towards her chest.

"Ooops," Helena said looking up at her with mock surprise. "I dropped some," she continued before smiling rakishly, and lowering her head placing her tongue at the tip of the �v� of Barbara�s shirt and licking upwards making short work of the ice-cream blob. "Finish your story," Helena continued once she was done � for the moment.

"Story?" Barbara asked looking at Helena as the brunette settled herself a top her body. "Oh that," she continued a moment later, when Helena merely smiled at her. The brunette enjoyed distracting her far too much. Actually she liked being distracted far too much.

"You�ve gotta learn to stay focused Ms. Gordon," Helena said dropping her head onto Barbara�s shoulder as she rested the small container of ice-cream on the redhead�s stomach.

"It�s just so frustrating," Barbara said ignoring Helena as she opened her mouth to accept another spoonful of ice-cream. "There�s more in her, I can see it. She�s knows it too. She�s knows she doesn�t have to try, so she doesn�t. It�s so frustrating."

"Why should she?" Helena asked before licking the spoon and dropping in back into the tub. "Try if she doesn�t have to. She�s probably bored. It breeds apathy you know," she continued bringing the spoon up to Barbara again.

"Does this mean we should step up your training program?" Barbara asked raising an eyebrow at Helena.

"I�m plenty challenged thank you," Helena responded pressing a kiss to Barbara�s shoulder. "Maybe you should make this Alexa kid dodge a knife welding machine. That�d probably wake her up."

"The school board tends to frown on that sort of thing. I tried to beat a child once with a meter stick, and you should�ve heard the stern talking to I got. Knife welding machines would definitely lead to finger wagging," Barbara replied smirking. "She�s been a bit better lately though. I think Dinah might actually be having a positive affect on her."

"She�s my hero," Helena responded propping herself up so that she could look down at Barbara.

"I�m sure Dinah will be overjoyed to hear that," Barbara responded watching Helena�s eyes light up as she smiled.

"Not Dinah. Alexa. Blondie�s never been out of the clock so much. It�s great," Helena replied leaning down to kiss Barbara slowly and deeply, the hand that had been holding onto the ice-cream container falling over the edge of the couch to rest it on the floor.

Barbara smiled her hands coming to rest on Helena�s hips. "There is that," she responded smiling.

Then her lips found other activities to engage in.

Bracing her hand on the back of the couch, Barbara wrapped her other arm around Helena�s waist using the leverage to turn them over so that she was lying on top of the brunette, never once breaking the heated series of kisses they were exchanging.

"Take off your shirt," Barbara whispered in Helena�s ear before kissing behind it and then moving her way down the brunette�s neck, stopping only when she reached the edge of the material of Helena�s shirt.

Using the arm she still had braced against the back of the couch, Barbara then slowly pushed her way down Helena�s body as the brunette dutifully removed her shirt and dropped it onto the floor smiling rakishly.

Barbara looked up at her and smiled back at Helena as her hands moved to the brunette�s pants, easily unbuttoning them without ever having to look down.

"You�ve got a look in your eye," Helena said softly, before chewing on her bottom lip as Barbara continued to watch her. She lifted her hips up allowing the redhead to slide her pants and panties over her hips and then down her legs, which caused Barbara to break eye contact with her for the first time in minutes as she fully removed Helena�s pants and tossed them to the side.

Barbara then lowered her head and began to kiss a trail up Helena�s thigh, as her hands roamed the parts of the brunette�s legs that weren�t occupied by her lips, moving up and down caressing the silky smooth skin. She loved Helena�s body, every single part of it. Helena was so incredibly beautiful. Barbara wanted to lick every inch of her.

Helena let her head drop back against the arm of the chair and sighed deeply, raising her hips slightly. She felt Barbara smile against the skin of her hip, before nipping it lightly. Then the redhead�s lips were gone from her body, and one of her hands was resting on Helena�s abdomen holding her hips down.

Helena raised her head up at this latest development looking down her body to see what Barbara was up to. She was a fan of the lips and caressing and the kissing of her body, she didn�t like that it had stopped.

Meeting the redhead�s eyes, she grinned and then gasped as Barbara painted a trail of cold ice-cream along her stomach and hips, her eyes closing as the redhead�s mouth then moved back to her body, cleaning up the mess she had made with long, sweeping strokes of her tongue.

Helena�s hands came up to massage her breasts through the lacy material of her bra, her hips bucking as she pinched and rolled her nipples while Barbara scrapped her teeth along her skin.

"So impatient," Barbara muttered against Helena�s quivering abdomen as her hand trailed up and down the brunette�s leg. But she made no effort to stop Helena�s motions. She was actually enjoying them a lot. There was something about seeing the brunette so overcome with passion that she couldn�t help but touch herself that was incredibly erotic. She continued to watch Helena, her hand sliding up the brunette�s leg and around her waist to squeeze her ass, causing Helena to groan and her to smile. She let her free arm drop over the edge of the couch.

"Oh good god!" Helena exclaimed a moment later, her eyes shooting open and her hips twitching as she looked down her body to see what Barbara was doing down there, perfectly willing to beg her not to stop. Barbara had applied something cold to her sex, and after the initial shock had worn off, she found the sensations the contrast between hot and cold was creating to be almost overwhelming.

"OoohAahhhh," Helena moaned her head falling back again, as her hands began to aggressively fondle her breasts again. She could feel Barbara�s mouth on her now, her tongue slowly moving up and down the length of her sex, slowly lapping at her own essence and the ice-cream as the redhead�s hands continued to roam about her body.

Helena�s right hand fell to her side, scratching and grasping at the material of the couch cushion as her head thrashed from side to side, and her hips undulated rhythmically as Barbara continued her expert and relentless attack on her. The redhead�s fingers now moving inside of her rapidly, stretching her as her lips covered her clit.

"Bar�" Helena moaned, her eyes fluttering towards the back of her head as her hands continued to grasp at the couch desperately. Bright lights were dancing behind the lids of her eyes, and she hot, very hot. She was hyper aware of every inch of her body, of the warmth where Barbara�s body rested against hers, and of the feel of the cool air of the loft against the skin of her sweaty, overheating body. She couldn�t think, her body was a just a big, quivering raw nerve ending. She was so close, just one more � "Barbara!!!!" she cried out, her hips rising one last time remaining lifted off the couch for a long moment, Barbara rising and then falling back down with her, never ceasing her motions.

Placing her hand on the arm of the chair so that she had a firm grasp on it, Barbara pulled herself up the brunette�s body slowly kissing and licking her way, enjoying the taste of Helena�s sweaty skin, mixed together with her other taste.

She dropped her head onto Helena�s shoulder and wrapped her arm around her waist, listening to the brunette�s heartbeat as it raced beneath her breast, feeling the rapid rise and fall of her chest as Helena slowly recovered from her orgasm.

"I," Helena said softly, her breathing still a little ragged. "Don�t care how obnoxious this Alexa kid is. You better give her a passing grade," she continued a huge smile spreading across her face as Barbara kissed her neck. That had been good, really, really, really good. "Is there any ice-cream left?"

=========================================================

Part Twelve

----------------

Helena raced across the rooftop, her feet barely touching the ground as she sped across the wet gravel. The masked woman was just ahead of her, heading for a �

"Fuck," Helena muttered watching as the woman disappeared through the chimneystack she was heading right for. Immediately, Helena relaxed her legs muscles bending her knees slightly, and then launched herself upwards to land precariously on the edge of the stack. Halting for a moment to try and regain her balance as she swayed, she then jumped cleanly over the other side and began to look around. "Fuck," she muttered again not seeing the woman anywhere. Quickly she made her way to the side of the building and looked down. Success! She was heading down the escape ladder.

>>Note to self, buy thesaurus for secret lair<< Barbara said into the transceiver as Helena started down the ladder.

"Fuck off," Helena replied playfully, her eyes all the while looking down to keep the masked woman in her sight.

>>I�m hurt. Addendum, soap<< Barbara responded not sounding hurt at all.

Helena made no response, she was too busy swinging to the side of the ladder and dropping down to the ground. The masked woman was near the bottom and Helena landed with just enough time to reach up and grab her before she could jump, yanking her down to the ground.

The woman immediately twisted Helena�s arm breaking the brunette�s hold on her, before rounding on her bringing her elbow into contact with Helena�s jaw. Helena maintained her position despite the blow and surged ramming into the other woman with her shoulder, knocking her off balance. Using her opponents momentarily dazed state, Helena then reached forward, grabbing the masked woman by the shoulders and yanking her downwards burying her knee into the woman�s abdomen before knocking her to the side with a well-placed elbow to her right eye. Payback was a bitch.

The woman fell onto the ground, rolling to her side and then onto her back, placing her hands behind her head and flipping back upright into a ready position. She didn�t maintain it for long, choosing instead to fake to the right with her arm while kicking out at Helena�s shin. Oooh, so it was a dirty fight she wanted. Helena was all over that.

And they danced that savage dance, kicking and punching, ducking and weaving, aiming for flesh and bone, until Helena jumping up into the air kicked the masked woman in her chest with both of her feet, sending her flying against a nearby wall as she landed and approached her. She saw the masked woman struggling to get up, her feet slipping on torn up newspapers and beer cans and other street trash. Helena could smell fear and she moved faster.

But as soon as she smelt it, it was gone and the woman was standing, looking at her calmly. If Helena could�ve seen her mouth she would�ve been sure she was smiling. It was fine with her, all the more fun to kick her ass then. She lunged forward.

Helena quickly placed her hand in front of her, her palm coming into contact with the wall right before her face. That could�ve hurt.

"Fuck!" Helena yelled hitting her hand against the wall before twirling away, kicking at some trash angrily. "She phased out," she continued in a softer voice, clearly addressing Barbara this time.

>>Were you able to tell what she stole?<< Barbara asked trying to get Helena to concentrate on something other than her escaped prey. The Huntress didn�t like to lose.

"It was small, couldn�t tell what it was," Helena replied still kicking at the ground angrily and looking towards the wall like she wanted to rip it apart with her bare hands. She wanted to pick up one of the ugly metal garbage bins that lined and alley and chuck it, and then kick it, and then chuck it again. But she controlled herself. She only chucked the bin the one time.

>>Come on back<< Barbara said hearing the commotion on Helena�s end and knowing that she was destroying someone�s property. >>I�m sure somebody needs whatever that was<<

Continue to Chapters 13 - End

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