Stay Out of my Head
Birds of Prey
Helena/Barbara and Dinah/Harley
Disclaimer. I don't own these characters or anything connected to them. This is merely for entertainment, not profit.
God, you are so fucking beautiful. Helena Kyle jumped at the sheer power of the thought that reverberated loudly inside her mind. The longing that was a constant presence inside of Helena and only grew stronger as she watched Barbara Gordon working diligently at the Delphi, tongue poking out of the corner of her mouth as she focused on…whatever it was that had her so fascinated. It was sexy as hell and Helena prayed fervently she hadn't spoken her previous thought aloud. Fortunately, given the fact that she was perched out on the balcony watching her through the window, if she had indeed actually said it out loud, Barbara would have to have the ears of a…well, bat to have heard it.
Snorting at her own thoughts, she relaxed and went back to her favorite hobby of Barbara watching, occasionally breaking the silence with deep, yearning sighs. For as long as she could remember, she'd been completely captivated by the redhead. There was just something about her that constantly drew Helena to her. Maybe it was the silky length of autumn red hair that called out for Helena's hands or the incredibly expressive emerald green eyes that could shift as rapidly and beautifully as the Aurora Borealis shifted in the northern sky. Maybe it was the sculpted body that Barbara worked so hard to keep fit despite being in a wheelchair or the seductively throaty voice that sent shivers down Helena's spine each time Oracle relayed an order into her earpiece. Maybe it was her gentleness, which easily hid a remarkable strength. Maybe it was the warm smile that made Helena's heart feel as if it was once again in one piece, just before flipping over helplessly in her chest. Or maybe it was the way Barbara looked at her, telling Helena she mattered. That she was important to someone. That she was safe. No, Helena thought, it wasn't any one of those things. It was all of them together that made Barbara Gordon impossibly irresistible, not that Helena had any thoughts of resisting. The problem was, Barbara had yet to discover just how available Helena was and it was time that changed.
"Helena, have you seen…oomph,"
Helena's eyes widened as the blonde she hadn't notice enter the balcony, tripped over what appeared to be her own feet and fell forward, stumbling toward the balustrade. Helena instinctively grabbed Dinah's arm to keep her from falling over and she grinned, prepared to make a smartass comment about the youngster's gracefulness. Suddenly Dinah's eyes met hers and her eyebrows lifted almost to her hairline as she stared at Helena in surprise.
"Oh…wow," Dinah muttered feeling the desire for Barbara that was still lingering in Helena's mind. She had known, even without reading either woman that there was something strong between the two older women and sort of hoped they'd finally get a clue and wind up together, but she'd never known Helena felt this strongly about her mentor. The very unamused look on Helena's face told Dinah she'd screwed up…again.
"I'm going to tell you for the last time kid. Stay the fuck out of my head," Helena snapped, yanking her arm away from Dinah's hand.
Dinah flinched at the sharp tone and instinctively hid her hand behind her back. "It was an accident," she protested. "I didn't mean…"
"Sure you did," Helena retorted. "You can't stand not knowing everything that's going on around here, especially with me and you're always trying to snoop around in my private thoughts. Private. Get it?"
Dinah felt her stomach twist painfully as Helena's words stabbed at the insecurities she'd been carrying since she first discovered her abilities. "I'm not," she argued, growing defensive and a little angry. "I can't help what happens when I touch people. I try and I'm getting better but sometimes it just happens. Besides," she added defensively, "I hate to tell you but you're not exactly the dramatically mysterious figure you think you are."
"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Helena snapped, feeling ashamed of herself for lashing out at the young girl who was still trying to learn her way around her powers, but she couldn't help it. Dinah had come too close to seeing what she had struggled for years to keep hidden and she was torn between fear and massive humiliation.
"Oh come on, Helena. You're always wearing your little dark and broody expressions on your face and stomping around as if the world personally hates you. Then there's your clothes, your sarcasm, your anger… all of it. You're an open book, Helena, especially when it comes to Barbara and I don't need to touch you to be able to read that book."
Helena panicked at that which meant she got angry. "I strongly suggest you leave Barbara out of this," she warned quietly as she took a menacing step toward the teenager.
Dinah wasn't sure what happened but she literally felt something inside of her snap. She was suddenly very, very tired of being yelled at or judged for something she couldn't help and she was more than tired of being threatened. "Or what?" she shot back, as she narrowed her eyes slightly, feeling a thrill of power rush through her as Helena froze misstep and suddenly struggled to move.
"Let me go," Helena ordered. "Now."
"And let you beat the shit out of me for stating the obvious?" Dinah snorted derisively. "I don't think so."
"Dinah, I'm warning you…"
"I'm not afraid of you," Dinah interrupted sharply. "Not anymore. As you can see, I can take care of myself. You and everyone else may hate me and what I am, but suddenly, thanks to you, I've decided that I like it."
"What the hell is your problem?" Helena nearly shouted as she fought against whatever Dinah was doing to her. She hated being restrained, physically or otherwise and the kid knew it. When she got free…
"Hey, what the hell is going on out here?"
Neither Dinah nor Helena looked as Barbara wheeled herself onto the balcony. She had heard the argument from inside and had assumed it was just another one of their little spats that usually ended with them laughing and flopping on the couch together to watch television. Looking at them now, she saw just how wrong she was. This was much different and far worse than any fight they'd ever had. Helena was enraged and obviously trapped by a mental restraint that Dinah had established. Dinah was just as frightening with her deceptively emotionless expression.
When Dinah turned to face her, it broke the hold she had on Helena and predictably, as soon as she was free, Helena charged toward the teenager, bent on reminding the girl of the dangers of pissing her off.
"Helena stop," Barbara ordered, fearing the younger brunette was about to throw Dinah over the rail.
"She went too far this time," Helena growled, only barely reigning in her fury. "She's always shoving her way into my life and my head and now she's using those powers of hers on me. On ME!"
"Well what do you know, big bad Huntress is a tattle-tale," Dinah sneered, drawing startled glances from both of the older woman.
Barbara frowned as she looked anxiously at her young ward. Dinah had seemed a little…off, the last couple of days and had been less boisterous than usual, but when Barbara asked about it, Dinah said she was fine so she had left it alone. She had never regretted a decision more.
"Dinah" she said as soothingly as she could, "please calm down and tell me what's going on with you. I've asked you not to use your powers on one of us unless it was during training. You know better."
Dinah gaped at her guardian, her mentor, her friend, the woman she'd looked to as a second mother; a better mother than her own had been. She thought she could almost feel her heart shatter when she saw Barbara place herself in front of Helena as if she thought Dinah would hurt the brunette. That unconscious gesture was all it took for Dinah to finally see things as they were and she found herself laughing bitterly.
"Of course you'd take your precious Helena's side without even giving me a chance to explain," she muttered scornfully.
Barbara flinched as if she'd been slapped and Helena growled, ready to tear Dinah apart if she'd used her powers against the woman she loved. Only the warmth of Barbara's fingers on her hand kept her from moving.
"Easy Hel," Barbara murmured before turning back to the surprisingly furious young blonde. "I'm sorry Dinah, you're right," she acknowledged apologetically, while choosing to ignore the "precious" comment. "Tell me what happened."
"Are you fucking kidding?" Dinah asked with true surprise. "If I have to remind you to ask for my side, Barbara then what the hell is the point?" She glared between the two women she'd once thought of as her family and sighed as she realized she'd made a horrible mistake. Maybe she would have been better off with the Redmond's after all.
"You know what? Just forget it," she exclaimed tiredly. "I'm sorry I tripped," she told Helena. "I'm sorry I can't help seeing things when I touch people and I'm sorry I accidently grabbed your arm to keep from falling over the balcony and killing myself." Tears of frustration and rejection stung Dinah's eyes as she thought back to the words thrown at her by her former best friend and everyone else who'd found out her secret. "In fact, let's just say I'm sorry for ever coming here and shoving my way into the little dysfunctional love nest you two have going here."
Hearing Barbara's gasp and seeing Helena's eyes narrow made Dinah realized she'd said too much.
"I'm sorry," she said again and walking off the balcony before she said anything else.
"Oh no you don't," Helena called after her.
"Dinah, wait," Barbara said at the same time.
Dinah didn't want to wait. She knew what would happen if she allowed this conversation to continue, but finding the incredibly fast Helena suddenly in front of her, stopped her before she could reach the elevator. "What?" she nearly shouted in frustrated desperation wondering how everything had gotten so out of control.
"Just what the fuck was that crack about a love nest?"
If Dinah hadn't been meta, she would have come close to fainting at the dangerously quiet tone coming from Helena. However, as she had been painfully reminded several times, she was meta and she was also hurt, angry and fed up with the whole situation she'd found herself in.
"I thought it was fairly obvious," she retorted and then smirked. "Well, maybe to everyone else but you two, but that's how you guys roll isn't it? You just soak up all the angst and drama that surrounds you, don't you? It makes you feel all noble and self-sacrificing clinging to all the darkness. Throw in a bit of unrequited love and that's just the perfect little melodrama, isn't it?"
Helen's heart was in her throat and she couldn't even bear to look at Barbara, fearing she'd see understanding and pity in the compassionate green eyes. She could handle anything but pity. Instead, she focused all of her energy on Dinah.
"Who the hell do you think you are?" she bit out, stepping right into Dinah's space, noses nearly touching. "How can you talk to Barbara like that after everything she's done for you."
Dinah barked out a laugh. "Yes, you took in the unwanted stray and made sure I knew how much you were sacrificing to do it every single day. Yeah I'm so blessed."
"Oh my God," Helena retorted, torn between hurt, anger and concern. "Why are you being such a little brat."
"Helena stop," Barbara said desperately pushing her chair close to the brunette so she could try to pull the two women apart.
Helena heard the tears in Barbara's voice. The sound broke her heart and made her want to beat some sense into the young girl whose telepathic abilities apparently didn't extend to her guardian. However, never able to resist that sad voice, Helena stepped back, scowling furiously even as she seriously wondered what was wrong with the girl and then accepting with no small amount of shame that she was the one who drove Dinah to her little meltdown.
"Fine, you talk to her and find out what's crawled up her ass all of a sudden," she grumbled, knowing she should apologize, but not yet able to do so.
Dinah glared but didn't respond as she looked down at Barbara. The hurt and worried look in the older woman's eyes caused a lump in Dinah's throat, but it was just a few days too late in coming, she thought bitterly. Suddenly her head began to hurt and that made her even more irritated. "What?" she prodded impatiently.
"Dinah, this isn't like you. Why are you saying these things?" Barbara suddenly wondered if somehow one of the meta villains they'd locked up over the last year had somehow gotten to her and messed with her head.
"No Barbara, no one has done anything to me," Dinah said, pulling the thought from Barbara's mind. Hell, they already thought that breaking into people's minds was all she did, she may as well make it true. "I'm saying them because they need to be said. I've never belonged here. I tried so hard," she sniffed wiping angrily at a lone tear that dared escape. "I did everything you wanted everything you asked without complaint. I tried to show you I was happy so you wouldn't think I was too much trouble but even that irritated you. Nothing I did was good enough and I was always in the way but I always knew. I knew that you," she pointed at Barbara, "only took me in because my mother made you and you only allowed me to stay so you could monitor my powers and make sure I used them the way you wanted me to. You," she gestured at the glaring Helena, "never wanted me here at all. You've made that very clear."
"That's not true," Barbara protested urgently, feeling each word cutting deeply because she knew that if Dinah truly felt that way, there had to be some truth behind it.
"Yes it is," she scoffed. "Every single time I talk to Helena, she warns me not to touch her or go poking around her brain, like I'm some sort of mind rapist or something and you…nothing and nobody else exists once Helena shows up. How many times have we returned from sweeps, both of us bruised, bleeding and hurting and you send me to the bathroom to clean my own wounds alone while you personally fix her up, not even bothering to see how badly I'm hurt? Not bothering to see if I had been affected by the sick, disgusting thoughts spewing from the thugs and would be rapists we beat up? When you do get around to seeing me, your first thought is to remind me how I screwed up or tell me to be more careful because I'm potentially dangerous, like I didn't already know that. I'm nothing to you but another mouth to feed and another freak on the streets."
Barbara opened her mouth to argue but found she couldn't. She remembered an incident just like that happening a few days earlier. "Dinah, first of all, you are not a freak and I swear, I never meant to make you feel that you didn't matter. You do. You're family and I do love you. It's just that Helena and I have a…"
"History," Dinah interrupted coldly. "Yeah, so I've heard. Over and over. Well, I have a history too and as horrible as what happened to you and Helena was, you aren't the only people to suffer in life. Yes, Helena's mother was killed and my heart hurts at what she had to go through, but you know what Helena? Your mother didn't leave you willingly. Mine did. She didn't want me."
"You know that's not what happened honey," Barbara told her as quietly as she could, her own heart aching for the increasingly agitated teen, wondering how long the girl had been holding all of this in and how she'd missed it.
"Yeah, that's what 'mom' said when she finally did come back, but I didn't believe her, not even after she was killed by Hawke. Yeah, that's right. My mother not only abandoned me once, but she came back into my life only to leave it again. So you aren't the only one with abandonment issues Helena. Do you know what it's like to always wonder know what was so wrong with you that it drove her away? To wonder why your own mother didn't want you, your foster parents didn't want you, the kids at school didn't want you? That the two people you came to see as family didn't want you? Do you know what that's like for me? Do you even care?"
Barbara was truly alarmed by how close to hysterics the girl was. Her emotions were spiraling and her grip on her powers had slipped so badly paintings were beginning to rattle on the wall. She took a deep breathe, hoping that she could calm the girl.
"Dinah please, you need to calm down now honey," she soothed, looking to Helena for help.
When she'd heard Dinah bringing up Selena, Helena came very close to giving into her rage but hearing the situation with Black Canary from Dinah's point of view, her anger vanished and she was hit by an enormous wave of guilt at having been so caught up in her own loss, she hadn't seen the teenager had lost just as much. Maybe more.
"Dinah," she started hesitantly, not sure exactly of what she wanted to say, but knowing she'd failed the young girl terribly and needed to make it right.
"No, it's my turn," Dinah interrupted sharply, knowing if she didn't get this out now she never would and it was eating her up inside. She closed her eyes for a moment, willing her violently swirling emotions to settle, relieved when everything in the room stopped moving. She turned her eyes to Barbara.
"I'm so sorry about what happened to you," she said seriously gesturing at Barbara's chair, "Yes, you lost a big part of who you were, but has it occurred to you that you even though you can't walk, you still have your mind and your upper body. You also have a lot of people who love you and you're more powerful with your mind and your weapons than just about anyone I know." Dinah paused as she felt herself begin to weaken and the maelstrom of emotions rioting inside her begin to settle. She wasn't about to tell Barbara that her most powerful weapon were those green eyes that could have anyone doing just about anything with one look. Just then, Barbara shared a glance with Helena and her resolve stiffened again as she was once more reminded of her place in the so-called family.
"And Barbara, I know your parents died too, it seems like that's the only thing all of us have in common," she muttered almost to herself, "but your parents were different," she continued. "They left you with a wonderful man who has loved you like his own daughter and raised you to be a strong and formidable woman. Helena, " she turned to the sulking brunette, "Selena left you with Barbara who helped you deal with your loss as well as your meta abilities . When my mother left, I got stuck with foster parents who had no idea how to handle someone like me. They were afraid of me just like everyone else and when they weren't trying to beat my powers out of me, they avoided me, afraid I would touch them and read their thoughts…just like you. Just like everyone."
"We've never been afraid of you," Barbara objected, nearly choking on the tears she fought to hold back as she listened to the hurting girl. The sadness and loneliness emanating from Dinah was breaking her heart.
"Oh no?" Dinah reached out a hand to touch Barbara's cheek and then her lips lifted in a bitter smile and she chuckled without amusement when the redhead instinctively flinched back.
Barbara's eyes slammed shut as she instantly realized her mistake. Backing away was pure instinct. She would have done it if anyone had suddenly reached out to touch her, not just Dinah. Well, anyone but Helena, she admitted ruefully. Oh God, what had she done?
"I'm not afraid of you Dinah," she insisted firmly, the pain of what she'd inadvertently done nearly choking her. She met Dinah's cold blue eyes, willing the girl to see the truth in her eyes.
"It doesn't matter," Dinah said in resignation as she backed away, the emotions filling the room, including her own were making her head spin. She straightened her spine and gathered her strength. What she was about to say needed to be said calmly so they wouldn't continue to think she was simply having a tantrum.
"As of today, you can go back to your lives together full of self-denial, brooding and obliviousness without fear of my prying where I don't belong," she announced simply. "I'm moving out."
"What? You can't do that?" Helena nearly shouted. Her guilt nearly causing her knees to buckle. She knew she'd been less than welcoming to the youngster when she'd first arrived but she couldn't help it. She had finally reached the point where she thought Barbara was starting to see her as a woman and had only begun her slow subtle seduction of the redhead when Dinah showed up and taken Barbara's attention away and she'd been trying ever since to find another way. Then her unnecessary cruelty earlier….she never truly meant to hurt Dinah and she'd never expected Dinah to turn on them so viciously.
"Why not?" Dinah asked calmly, knowing what Barbara's reply to that would be and looking forward to their reaction to her own answer.
"Because you're a minor and I'm your legal guardian," Barbara shot back in desperation. She was totally lost on how to deal with Dinah at this point. She had never expected that the usually sweet and good-natured girl was holding on to such hostility.
Dinah laughed. Barbra really was predictable, she thought. "Actually no I'm not. It appears to have escaped your usually perfect memory that I turned 18 today. As of today I'm a legal adult and you're no longer my guardian."
"Oh fuck," Helena swore softly, mentally kicking her own ass all over New Gotham.
Barbara frowned as if her mind was double-checking every fact she knew about Dinah and she groaned as she realized the teenager was telling the truth.
"Shit, shit, shit," she swore fervently under her breath and then looked up at the blonde staring at her defiantly. "Dinah, God I'm sorry. I really don't know how I forgot, you know I never forget anything," she said almost pleadingly.
"I guess you're human after all," Dinah muttered, but the tone of her voice gave nothing away.
"So is that what this is about?" Helena asked, more confused than angry now. "You're pissed off because we forgot your birthday?" She wanted to retract that asinine comment as soon as it passed her lips but she couldn't.
Dinah sighed heavily and looked between the two women, shaking her head. "You really think I'd be pissed off just because of a birthday? Did you hear anything I said?" she nearly shouted, fighting back tears. "Do you even know me at all?"
"Dinah," Barbara started.
"No. I'm done," Dinah said harshly. "I think it's time for me to finally find someplace I belong. Somewhere I'm actually wanted."
"Dinah, we do want you," Barbara protested fiercely, wondering how she could possibly convince her. Surely, the telepath could see that. "Can't you feel I'm telling the truth? Can't you tell how we feel about you."
"You just assume that I… no, forget it. I've made my decision. And don't worry, I won't use my abilities to go around killing or mind raping people," she added bitterly and then stepping around Barbara she headed toward the elevator and grabbed her purse. She hit the button and cast one look at the two women who were staring at her as if she'd suddenly grown a third head and she couldn't really blame them. She had no idea what had come over her, but she couldn't…wouldn't take it back.
Against her will, she felt the shock and dismay coming from the two older women, but it didn't seem to matter. Even if she stayed, she'd constantly have to live with being an outsider to the bond that existed between them and a constant witness to the way they seemed to get lost in each other, even if they themselves didn't understand why. On top of that, she'd always have to fight to keep from accidently picking up on stray thoughts or emotions for fear of enraging Helena. She just didn't have the energy anymore and she was tired of always having to defend herself for something she couldn't help.
"Thanks for letting me stay as long as you did," Dinah said sadly just as the elevator arrived. Her head throbbing painfully, she stepped in and waited for the doors to close before she began to panic. She had no idea what she was going to do or where she'd go, but it was for the best. At least that's what she told herself.
"What the fuck just happened?" Helena asked, stunned. She should have been mocking Dinah's rather childish tantrum, but she couldn't. The pain coming from the girl was too strong and while her actions were overly dramatic, she knew Dinah meant every word she said.
"I failed her and drove her away," Barbara said numbly, just before breaking down into tears. "I made her think we… I didn't care about her."
Helena was instantly on her knees and pulling Barbara her into her arms and murmuring every comforting word she could think of into the distraught woman's ear. In the eight years they'd spent together, she'd rarely seen the usually composed woman so shaken and it hurt her more than just about anything she could imagine.
"No Barbara, you didn't," she whispered fervently in Barbara's ear as she moved one hand to stroke comfortingly along her back. She pulled back slightly and placed a trembling hand on a tear stained cheek. "This…what happened was my fault," she admitted glumly.
Barbara reached up to cover Helena's hand with hers. "What happened outside?" she asked quietly once her tears had stopped.
Helena tried to move away but Barbara wouldn't allow it. She sighed and unable to help herself, ran her thumb across Barbara's cheek. She briefly thought about lying, but said to hell with it. She caused this fuck up and if her humiliation was the price for trying to set things right she'd pay it.
"It was just like Dinah said," she admitted reluctantly. "She tripped and when she touched me she…she saw something I didn't want her to see and I sort of freaked out." Helena dropped her head in shame as her angry and thoughtless words replayed over in her mind.
Barbara dropped their clasped hands into her lap and used her free hand to lift Helena's eyes to hers. "What did she see Helena?" she asked quietly, her heart racing as she suspected she already knew the answer and unsure of what it meant.
Helena swallowed and then swallowed again as she braced herself to lay her heart at Barbara's feet. "She saw… she saw the truth about how I feel about you."
Barbara's eyes shut tightly at the revelation she had known was coming but was still ill prepared to hear. "And how…how exactly do you feel about me?" she prodded quietly.
"This isn't the time," Helena prevaricated, trying not to succumb to an impossible hope.
Barbara offered a shaky smile and placed her hand on Helena's face. "Oh but it is. This...dance or whatever it is we've been doing for so long is part of what has driven Dinah to this point don't you think?"
Helena inhaled sharply. "What are you saying Barbara?"
Despite her anxiousness to find Dinah and her worry for the teen's mental state, she found herself temporarily lost in Helena's hopeful blue eyes. Eyes that held more love than Barbara had ever seen in anyone else's. Knowing that time was short she slid the hand resting on Helena's face up into her short dark hair and pulled the befuddled face close to hers and captured Helena's startled lips.
It was a brief kiss, but there was no mistaken the intent behind it and Helena fought not to take complete control over it and release the desire that had been simmering just inside of her for years.
"Barbara?" She finally whispered; confusion, excitement and fear for Dinah all warring inside of her.
"Helena, what I'm saying is that Dinah was right. We've spent so much time denying or avoiding how we feel about each other and all that did was just make it worse and we…I found myself unable to see anything but you and you became overly protective of your thoughts."
Barbara took a breath and looked away nervously, terrified that maybe she and Dinah had both been wrong about Helena's feelings but she couldn't give up now. "Maybe, if we both acknowledge that there's an…um...attraction between us, we can finally shoot the herd of elephants that have been stampeding through the Clocktower and start seeing what's going on around us."
Helena closed her eyes and mentally groaned. She was hearing what she'd wanted to hear for so long, but it was so not the right time to do anything about it. Though Helena did feel compelled to make one small correction and lifted her hands to cup Barbara's face, making sure the older woman could see how very serious she was. "It's more than an attraction Barbara," she whispered. "At least for me."
Barbara shivered at the quiet intensity. "For me too," she acknowledged seriously. "But now, we have a lost bird to bring home.'
"Definitely, but we will be following up on this later." The tone of Helena's voice was more innocent question than a statement and Barbara couldn't help but offer a gentle smile and a nod.
"I'm going to call her friend Gabby and find out if she has any idea of what's going on," Barbara commented, her mind fully back her ward. "I can't believe I couldn't see how much she's been hurting."
Helena nodded. "Me too, but God, she's so damned perky all the time. How were we supposed to know? We're not the psychics," she argued, but it didn't have much fire in it. She should have known been able to see it but she couldn't. She had been to lost in her own drama.
Barbara shrugged. "All we can do is be better," she said firmly, "but first we have to find her and convince her to come home."
"Yeah, but I can't promise not to…" Helena paused as the phone rang. Hoping it was Dinah, she put it on speaker.
"Dinah?" Helena asked hopefully.
"No, it's Gabby."
Both Helena and Barbara sighed in disappointment. "Sorry Gabby. Dinah isn't here. She left a little while ago. You haven't talked to her, have you?"
There was a long pause. "No, but I need to. Do you know where she went?"
Barbara suddenly had a suspicion of what might have set Dinah off. "No, she didn't say. She was really upset," she said pointedly. "You wouldn't happen to know why, would you?"
There was another long pause before they heard a telling sniffle. "I…yeah," Gabby said, and it was obvious she was fighting tears. "I caused it."
"What happened?" Helena asked as calmly as possible.
"I…well I had taken Dinah to dinner for her birthday and we had just left the restaurant when we saw these big ugly guys picking on a couple of kids. When she started to get involved I told her it was too dangerous and to just call the cops, but then she did something…she moved her hands or something and the big guys went flying. They got up and charged us and I… I don't know what she was doing but she kept them from hurting me, hurting us without even touching them and she eventually slammed them into the wall until they were unconscious and finally called the cops. When she turned back to me, I guess…well I freaked out. I…"
Gabby's rambling tale broke off as she began to cry in earnest. "I didn't mean it," she finally said once she was able to speak again.
Barbara's eyes were closed as she could imagine in detail how the girl had reacted and how it had affected Dinah. "What didn't you mean Gabby?" she asked gently.
"I…I was afraid. I called her a freak and told her to stay away from me and I never wanted to see her again."
"Oh Jesus," Helena groaned. She ran her hands through her hair, sadness and sympathy for the girl she considered a sister, filling her senses.
"I swear I didn't mean it," Gabby pleaded desperately. "I just… I didn't know what to think and I panicked."
"We know," Barbara said in understanding, even as she added one more thing to the 'it's my fault' list. She'd been the one who'd insisted Dinah keep her talents hidden from everyone. She should have known the girl would need to confide in someone and that eventually she was bound to find herself in situation where she slipped. Some genius she was turning out to be. "It's not your fault, Gabby. Dinah's apparently been suppressing a lot of things and it just boiled over tonight," she assured her. "Do you have any idea where she might have gone?"
"No," Gabby sniffed, "but I want to help you look. Please?"
Barbara hesitated. She had no desire to let an outsider into the Clocktower. They'd already learned the hard way that it was too risky, but could she do it for Dinah? She didn't even need to think about it. She gave Gabby the address. "Call when you get here and I'll buzz you up."
Gabby agreed and hung up and Barbara turned to Helena who as already putting her boots on. "Well that answers a lot," she said unhappily.
"Poor kid," Helena said sympathetically. "She was getting it from everywhere I guess."
Barbara nodded. "I hope she'll let us try to make it up to her. If we find her that is."
Helena put her transceivers on. "We'll find her," she swore with determination as she entered full Huntress mode. Walking over to Barbara, she dropped a brief but hard kiss on the redhead's lips, still shocked that she was allowed to do so. Before Barbara could reply, she headed to the balcony and with a small wave; she jumped out into the night in search of a little Canary.