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Because Sometimes You Hurt the One You Love by trancer

Title: Because Sometimes You Hurt The One You Love
Author: trancer
Email: michkidd@earthlink.net
Rating: R for mild violence, language and adult situations
Summary: For every action there's a reaction. Helena gets hers.
Character/Pairing: Helena/Barbara
Category: Pre-relationship, angst
Disclaimer: "Birds of Prey" and characters are copywritten by Miller/Tobin Productions, Warner Brothers, DC comics et al. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author.

**

Because Sometimes You Hurt The One You Love

She�s inside me. Her eyes, her heart, her voice. Especially her voice. Always in my head. A whisper to a scream echoing between my ears. Booming. Commanding. Whining. Debating.

Manipulating.

I am the legs she can no longer run with. The brawn to her brain.

She�s inside me, comforming, pushing against my insides, fitting tighter and smoother than a hand in glove.

Some days, I think I hate her.

"Huntress, HUNTRESS, can you hear me?"

"Yeah, I hear you." I bark back. Voice dripping with disdain.

"Do you see him?" My eyes are her eyes. They focus in the darkness, the dark alley bright as Sunday in the park.

"Yeah." How could I miss him. Calling him a clod would be a compliment. Then again, he doesn�t think anyone is following. People are different when they think no one is watching. I don�t have that luxury. She�s always watching me.

"Well, follow him."

I do. I always do. Obey her voice. Follow her command. Sure, I may resist, but never for long. I can never resist her.

I follow him. He�s a gangster, or something. I wasn�t really paying too much attention. All I needed was the scent, the possibility of violence. That�s one emotion she doesn�t own. My anger.

We walk, hunter and prey, deep down into the bowels of the city. The place the tourists and regular people don�t see. The down below places where up is the street and the scent of the gutter is a welcome relief. Where the walls drip with a darkness, and hint of something foreboding. Violence. Sex. Something else I have she doesn�t, a taste for both.

The walls begin to throb. Pulse with the rhythm of a faraway beat. Soon, the corridors aren�t just for me and him but of the larger rats, the two legged ones, all following the beat of our twisted Piped Piper.

It doesn�t take long to figure out where he�s taking me. I can already smell the smoke, sweat and booze. The tricks and treats of the children of the night.

A hundred bodies writhe and sweat, dance and grind to the beat. A hundred more stand on the sidelines, watching, waiting, doing the dark dangerous things people don�t do in the day, or the light.

I make my way to the catwalk. A platform strung by cables overlooking the dance floor. The vantage point is perfect, I can see everything. Everyone.

"Focus." She drones in my ear.

"I know what I�m doing."

"I didn�t say you didn�t, I said focus."

The pulse reverberating through my body is intoxicating. Hypnotic with a primal intensity. I can�t help the tapping of my toes, the snapping of my fingers. And the beat, beat, beat pounding in my head, drowning out her voice, and all thoughts of duty, honor and destiny. I grab a drink, numb the clarity, dull the senses just a little. Because the thought running through my brain is too delicious to give up just yet.

"HUNTRESS!"

"What?" I yell to no one. Fire anger glares to silence the strange looks around me.

"Have you found the objective?"

"Yes I have." I lick my lips. I�ve definitely found my objective. The hair�s too red, the eyes blue instead of green. But her legs are long and deadly, leading up, up, up to promises of pleasure or pain. I want both.

She feels me watching. Tosses me a smile that goes straight to where it�s supposed to and I�m following. I have new prey now, and I won�t stop.

A kick of a boot, the slam of a door and we�re on each other. Groping, grabbing, fighting for dominance. I win. Pin her where I want her, where I�ve always wanted her. In my head, my arms, between my legs. Our moans are loud. My scream is primal. The rush of pleasure and release takes me higher than any drug.

I leave her panting in the stall. The taste of our sex on my tongue. The voice in my head is silent. I wonder if she enjoyed the show?

Sirens. Police, lots of police. Not here yet, but they soon will be. Too bad, the night�s still young.

Without her voice in my head, I realize I�ve lost my prey. Doesn�t matter, I can find him easily enough. His kind are all the same and not too imaginative.

I wanna go home. Back to the tower, back to her. The game�s no fun if I can�t see my audience react. And she will react.

**

It�s dark. The familiar hum of computers strangely silent. I walk into the center of the room, Barbara�s space. Her absence is palpable. The blank screens stare at me, almost scornfully. I see a pair of headphones sitting on the desktop, a microphone attached to them, Barbara�s end of our �connection�. Barbara�s not attached to them. She�s left me, left my head, my insides.

Soft steps and sniffling approach from behind. It�s Dinah. I feel her long before she�s within reach. She�s not who I am looking for, who I need.

"Helena?" She calls out to me in that childlike voice of hers. God, why won�t she go away? My hand reaches for Barbara�s transceiver. It�s still warm, and fading. I turn it on just to feel something of her within me.

Dinah steps onto the platform. "She�s gone." She says almost disbelieving.

"What?"

"She...she said Alfred would take care of me now."

"She�ll be back."

"No, she won�t."

I turn to look at her. Her skin is paler than normal, eyes puffy and red. "Do you hear me, I said she�s not coming back."

Her eyes are pleading with me. �Tell me what to do, tell me how to feel�. I wonder if I looked as lost when I came scratching on Barbara�s doorstep.

"Barbara�s just pissed. She�ll get over it."

"Helena."

Something doesn�t feel right. I storm off. I don�t have time for this, or for her. I need to talk to Barbara. Need her.

"Helena!" Dinah grabs my arm, stops my momentum. "What did you do?"

The rush is intense. I can see it on her face. In an instance, Dinah sees everything. Knows everything. What I did. Why. All that�s left is the inevitable mess I somehow have to clean up. Except, it�s more than that. Her eyes go wide, shock, fear, anger. It doesn�t take an empath to figure out what she�s thinking. Except, I never thought Dinah would hit me. Her hand is fast. The slap knocks me back a step, more from shock than anything. A little wisp of a girl like her could never hurt me.

But, she CAN piss me off.

A growl rumbles up my throat and I�m grabbing her and slamming her against the wall. Her eyes lose focus, body limp from the impact. A little harder and I would have knocked her out, a little harder than that I would have killed her.

"How could you?" Her eyes find mine, accusing me.

My hand rears back for some payback. No body hits me. No body hurts me.

"She loves you."

Her words hit me harder than any punch could. I freeze, hand stuck in mid-air. My legs move first, taking me away from Dinah, far away. Her voice calling after me, echoing in my ears.

"Don�t you care? She loves you!!"

Dinah�s words ring in my ears, taunting me. Isn�t this supposed to be part of the game? I push, she bends. She gives, I take. Only, I�ve pushed to hard, taken too much. It�s time to pay the price. I don�t want to pay. I want to take it all back, all of it, go back to the beginning. Only there are no �do over�s� in real life. Just pain, pity, stupid mistakes and the possibility of, some day, getting it right.

I want Barbara. I want her back, inside my head, in the Clocktower, watching over me, bickering with me. Anything but this silence between my ears and the pain in my heart. I hurt her. Take it back.

"Barbara!" I scream her name as I burst through her door. Her apartment is silent, cold. She�s not here. Hasn�t been for awhile. I wander anyway. Assaulted by memories of older times, other times. Laughter. Smiles.

I enter her bedroom. Collapse onto the bed, sheets balled into my fists. Inhale her scent. Think of the times I�d watch her as she slept. How her hair fell about her face, the calmness, a calm I can only dream of having. Then, there were the nightmares. Dreams of darkness and terror, of a single shot that changed all our fates. I hate him. If she�d ask, I�d kill him for her.

God, I just want to hear her voice. Please, let me hear her voice.

Tears. Streaming down my cheeks, until I can no longer hold back the river of pain within me. Until the only thing left in me is sleep, and I crawl into Barbara�s bed, holding her ghost, mourning what was and what will never be.

**

I stop counting the days. They all blend in together anyway. Sleep, work, then endless nights of anger, rage and pain. I�m lost without her. The only thing I know is violence. I take my rage out on the denizens of the night. They deserve it anyway. Besides, the only time I can focus, when I�m not thinking about her and the void in my soul where she used to be is when I�m kicking ass.

Like these guys. They circle around me, smelling a fight. Five against one, they should have brought more friends. I lunge, kicking, punching. Fists cracking against faces, bruising skin, breaking bones.

A sucker punch to the stomach, then a blow across the back of my head and I�m down. They�re on me, kicking, punching. I think I hear something snap. I guess I should care. The pain on the outside incomparable to what I feel inside. The darkness creeping around my eyes is a welcome relief. I long for the end of this waste of life. I�m nothing, lost, empty without her.

I embrace the darkness. Hopefully, for the last time.

**

Water, hot, almost scalding. It envelopes my body. The warmth seeps under my skin. I shift slightly, suddenly aware of the pain. All over. That�s the worst thing about being a super hero, the pain. And the health coverage sucks.

A cloth gently caresses my face, brushing against my bruises. I open my eyes. She�s here with me, mending to my broken body. Her eyes don�t meet mine, continue to survey the damage done to my face. It�ll heal. The outside always heals.

I can�t believe how much I�ve missed her eyes. The smell of her skin, I inhale it, filing it away into memory. I want to touch her. Hold her. More than anything, I want to hear her voice.

She applies a bandage over my eye, then moves away from me. There�s an edginess to her. Like the alleycat who bites the hand that feeds it, Barbara�s tired of feeling my teeth.

"You ready to talk?" She says dryly, any concern she had for me removed from her voice.

I sit up slightly, ignore the screaming of my muscles. Dinah�s standing in the doorway, her arms folded across her chest. If looks could kill, I�d be flat on my back, buried somewhere close to China.

"Dinah, could you leave us alone for a second?"

"Sure," She can barely contain the contempt in her voice. Her eyes never leave me. "I�ll be right outside."

I wait until she leaves, until we�re alone.

"Have you thought about getting her a leash? I think they make�em in her size."

"Shut up, Helena." She fires me a look. Eyes blazing hot with anger. "When I chose this life, I made an obligation, an oath, you could call it, to place duty above all else. Before my job, my life, my emotions. I let my emotions cloud my judgment. What ever�s going on with you, with us, I can�t let you dictate how I do my job. But, I don�t think I can trust you anymore and I don�t know why. You�re aloof, you�re moody and when I try to get in, to know what�s wrong, you push me away."

"I was an ass."

"Yes, you were. But, I should have known better. All I�m trying to say is no matter how much you antagonize me, I�m not going anywhere. You�re an important part of my life, but this means more. And I won�t let you screw it up."

"Barbara.."

She pushes herself towards the door, away from me. The damage is done.

"Alfred set out some clean clothes for you and a plate in the oven."

The door slams behind her. Our conversation is over. I�m left stewing in my own thoughts. My guilt. I don�t want to feel anymore.

Fuck this.

I pull my battered body out of the tub. Barely towel myself off before trudging into my room. Thank you, Alfred. Black shirt, leather pants, thick boots that kick ass. It�s all I need. All I�ll ever need. Me, myself and I, that�s it from now on. No more voices, no more Barbara, no more..

"Where do you think you�re going?" Dinah�s behind me. The contempt dripping from her voice.

"I�m giving you what you always wanted, a chance to play super hero �cuz I�m outta here."

"No you�re not." She steps into the room, her hands balling into fists.

"You gonna fight me?"

"If I have to." Her eyes are intense.

"You�ll lose." I circle around her. Dinah stands her guard. Barbara�s taught her well, but she�s still no match for me. I shouldn�t take pleasure in the thought of bashing her head in, but if she wants a fight she came to the wrong place.

"I�ll take my chances." Dinah sneers at me. "I won�t let you hurt her."

"News flash kid, I already hurt her."

"So what? You�re just gonna cut and run. God, you�re just like your father."

I lunge, catch off guard, again. Barbara�s gonna have to do something about that. If Dinah lives. The punch is quick, hard, one to the face. The other, straight to the solar plexus. Dinah bowls over, holding her gut, coughing. I�m not done. I grab Dinah by the hair, pulling her back up. I expect to find fear, pain, instead, I find rage and anger. Oh yeah, this I can deal with.

"What the fuck did you just say?"

"I said you�re just like your father. He made a mistake, people got hurt and where is he? He cut and run, just like you." I let her go. She drops like a sack of potatoes, slumping against the wall. But the anger�s still in her voice, rage still burning hot in her eyes.

"I guess it just sucks being Barbara huh?" She coughs, spitting out blood. "First your father fails her, then you come along to screw it up for her all over again. You�re right, Barbara is better off without you."

I kick my leg, straight towards her head. My foot imbeds in the wall, missing Dinah�s skull by the width of a hair. Just as quickly, I remove my foot. I stare down at Dinah, blood, fury, pumping in my veins. I want to hurt her, beat her senseless, make her hurt. As much as I do.

"I�m not like my father."

Alarms pierce the room. The Delphi System blaring loudly throughout the Clock Tower. I�m out the door, Dinah on my heels. Damn, she�s getting fast.

Barbara is downstairs, fingers clicking away on her keyboard.

"What is it?"

"Bank robbery, I�m hacking into the bank security system now."

Our eyes shift to the monitors. It�s not good. Bank robbery gone bad is more like it. Six guys, with guns, sixteen hostages, maybe more, an ugly situation about to get uglier.

"Where�re the cops?"

"The bank�s on the South End. The majority of the precinct are already responding to bomb scare on 15th."

"Fifteenth? It�ll take them at least 20 minutes to get there."

Barbara ignores me. "Dinah, are you ready?"

"Yeah."

"What? You�ve gotta be kidding me. You�re sending Dinah?"

"Dinah�s all I have." Tiny daggers cut my heart.

"No," I grab the tiny earpiece off the desk top and head towards the door. "She�s not."

**

The night slowly gives way to the dawn. The shadows creeping back into their corners taking the denizens of the night with them. A rebirth I suppose. A new opportunity to make things right, or screw them up.

I make my way to the Clock Tower. My body still throbbing.

She�s there, staring towards the sunrise. Sometimes, I wonder what she�s thinking. If it�s the past, the present, me. Other times, I just stare. Like right now, I stand on the edge of the staircase, watching her, wondering if it will ever be as it once was.

"I know you�re there." She calls back to me. "You should think about getting some less audible footwear."

"Why does less audible sound too much like less fashionable." I dare to walk on the balcony, joining Barbara on the platform. "I wasn�t sure if I was still welcome."

"You�re always welcome, Helena."

"I�m not sure your lapdog agrees."

"Maybe she would if you hadn�t hit her."

"I�ll apologize."

"Don�t apologize if you don�t mean it."

"I mean it Barbara." She looks at me for the first time in days. Really looks at me, her eyes filling the hole in my soul and making things feel like they�re supposed to be. Like when she looks at me things have meaning, I have meaning. "I mean it."

Barbara gets quiet for a moment. Her eyes locked with mine staring so intently I wonder if she can see into my soul.

"What do you want from me, Helena?"

Voices, hundreds of them, scream inside my head. I want you to touch me. Kiss me. Hold me. Fuck me. Hurt me.

"If you could have any wish in the world, what would it be?" I ask instead.

"You can�t answer a question with a question." She smiles softly.

"Yeah, well, I can�t do a lot of things." Barbara stares at me with a puzzled expression on her face.

"If I could have any wish in the world," She turns to me, green eyes boring into my soul, "I�d wish I could take your pain away."

Silence. Like someone shut off the volume to the world. It wraps around me, crushing my lungs, squeezing my heart. I turn away, stop staring into her eyes because looking into them makes me hurt more than anything I�ve ever felt before. It hurts because I know she still loves me, after everything I�ve done and said. And for the first time, I don�t feel anger, or pain, I feel unworthy.

She�s gone.

I don�t have to see her to know it. I can sense it. Just me, myself and I, and I�m the last person I want to be left alone with.

**

"Is it safe?" Dinah calls out to me.

"Yeah," I roll my eyes. "It�s safe."

She stands a comfortable distance from me. Her body tense, like she�s waiting for me to strike.

"You�ve been out here a long time."

"Just thinking."

"For four hours? I didn�t think you were capable of that kind of thought."

Somehow, she manages to get a smile from me. I turn to her seeing her, I guess, for the first time in months. Gone is the insecure willowy little girl, instead, a strong young woman with the courage and heart of a lion.

"I�m sorry about that." I point to the bruised skin under her eye.

"Don�t worry about it." She smiles and tucks her hair behind her ear. "If I�m gonna be a super hero gotta learn to take a few lumps."

"Yeah, well, those lumps shouldn�t be coming from me."

"I pushed you to get a reaction. I got one."

She joins me on the ledge. Her legs swinging over the edge. A couple months ago, Dinah wouldn�t get near the ledge. Now, she�s sitting like it�s a picnic bench seemingly oblivious to the thousand feet of space between her feet and the ground.

"Why didn�t you tell her?"

"What?"

"I know you�re capable of deep thoughts, no point in playing dumb now."

I roll my eyes.

"I just don�t understand, knowing what you know, feeling what you feel, how you can let her walk away from you like that. If it were me, I�d.."

"Whoa, hold on there a sec. If it were you? When did you stop having a crush on me?"

"Oh please, I got over that whole bad girl thing a long time ago."

"Did you now?" I place my hand on her knee. My brain filled with thoughts of blond hair, moans and sweat. My thoughts now her thoughts. Dinah gasps, swats my hand away, scrambling back onto the balcony. Faced flushed, knees trembling. I can near her heart racing. Wonder how many cold showers it will take Dinah to erase THAT image out of her head.

"Y...you�re..." Dinah stammers.

"Creative."

"No."

"Seductive."

"No."

"Repulsive?"

"NO!" Her eyes blaze hot, but not with desire. "You�re afraid."

This time, I�m the one who breaks the eye contact.

"Who died and made you Dr. Freud." I hop off the ledge, walking towards the door. Dinah grabs my arm, again. One of these days she�s gonna learn.

"I don�t understand." She pleads with me. "How can you turn away from her if you love her."

"Fer Christ�s sake Dinah, love�s not sugar and spice and everything nice. It�s messy and complicated and fucked up."

"AND IT�S WORTH IT!" She screams at me. "It�s worth all the pain, and hurt, and fear, because it�s the one thing in this world that makes any sense. And I don�t see how you can be so fucking stupid.."

I punch her, not hard, okay maybe a little. It gets her to shut up anyway. She falls to the ground hand over the rebruised patch of skin on her face. I stand over her, hands shaking, rage bubbling to the surface.

"See, this is me, I�m a ball of violence and pain looking to hurt the closest thing near me."

"Fine, have it your way." Dinah clambers onto her feet. "You wanna hide behind your Little Miss Anger Management routine, go ahead. Just remember, she won�t wait forever. And there just might be someone waiting in the wings to grab what you won�t."

I stomp back to the ledge.

"Oh and Helena," She calls to me. I don�t want to look at her but I do anyway.

"Thanks for the imagery. I had no idea two people could do that. I�ll have to try that out sometime." She flashes me a coy smile that�s less humorous than it is a warning. Little sister is wearing big sis� clothes, only now, they�re starting to fit.

**

It�s dark when I enter her room. It�s always dark. Barbara�s asleep on her bed. I slink into a corner, hiding in the shadows. I stay there, watching her. I don�t know why I do this, watch her as she sleeps. I�m not sure if it�s because of how I feel towards her, or the fascination I have with how calm she sleeps, serene.

Barbara�s heart begins to race. A dream. One of the good kinds. Sweat forms on her skin, her chest rising and falling increasing in pace. I step towards the bed. It takes everything I have not to crawl under the covers with her. Mold my body to hers, show her how it feels to have her inside me. Watch her face as she says my name.

"Helena."

I freeze. All sound lost under the drumming of my heart. How many times have I wished for this moment? To hear her name on my lips, whispered breathlessly, passionately.

"Are you watching over me?"

"I always watch over you." It�s supposed to be humorous.

"I know." She smiles, rising up onto her elbows, Venus in repose. "Why do you come back?"

"I don�t know. I�m fucked up."

"We�re all fucked up in our own special little way."

"Not like me. There�s this thing inside me. This darkness. And it scares me because I want to embrace it so much, to give in to all those dark impulses that are a part of me. I come back because you�re the only thing in this world that I care about. That keeps me from going insane."

"If that�s true, then why do you leave?"

The answer is there on the tip of my tongue. All I have to do is say it. Say what I feel, how I feel. I don�t.

"I don�t want to hurt you anymore Barbara. I can�t."

"Helena," She calls to me.

I turn from her and walk away. My heads screams at me, curses, loud, violently. My body speaks another language, pulling me away from her. Back into the night where I belong. Back where the violence and pain makes sense. I leave because I have to. I leave because sometimes I hurt the one I love.

END

Read the Sequel:
Breakable

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