In A Song (part 8 of 12)

Tuesday/Wednesday: 1:56am: Clocktower

The sound of the elevator’s door and the low murmur of conversation that followed didn’t make a dent in Barbara’s concentration as she tried to find a pattern to New Gotham’s recent crime spree. She barely heard Dinah’s door shut and, if she’d been asked later on to confirm it, her morals would compel her to admit that she’d completely missed the sound of running water and the noise of the tub in her bathroom filling.

Barbara plugged the details of the last two major crimes, a jewelry store robbery and an armed robbery of an entire bachelor party, into the database and set the mapping program to render. She pulled off her glasses and rubbed her eyes with the heels of her hands. You’re not 25 anymore, Gordon. The recent uptick in crime combined with Helena’s very welcome attentions had slashed the amount of sleep the redhead was getting down to an average of two hours per night. Dry eyes and the effort she was having to make to keep track of details both as Oracle and in the classroom were the earliest signs of extreme fatigue and Barbara knew better than to ignore them for too long. She was rolling her shoulders in an attempt to get rid of a knot under her right shoulder blade when she felt Helena’s gentle touch.

“You sit in front of that machine entirely too much,” Helena purred from behind her. She slide her thumbs and under the fall of Barbara’s hair massaging the base of her neck.

“Where else would you have me sit?” Barbara replied, fully aware of the range of responses she was inviting even the tension was pushed out of her system by the first stirrings of arousal.

Helena clamped down on her reflex impulse to flirt. Instead she smiled to herself, letting a hint of sin edge into her voice. “I’ve got some ideas,” she replied, shaking her head to banish the image of Barbara hovering above her, warm and slick with arousal. She brushed her fingers down Barbara’s neck and outward to work strong trapezius and deltoid muscles. In a smooth motion, Helena moved her hands further down, deft fingers tracing the shape of muscle and sinew to curve around Barbara’s shoulder blades. Barbara’s involuntary groan and the way her head lolled forward brought a soft smile to Helena’s lips.

She worked out the knot, careful not to pinch the underlying nerves with too much pressure. Before the redhead could sit up, Helena leaned forward and kissed Barbara on the back of the neck just where that smooth column of flesh intersected with her shoulder. She suppressed a smile at the resulting moan. She nibbled her way up the redhead’s neck. “I want you,” she whispered, her lips just barely brushing Barbara’s ear.

Barbara shivered, heart thumping in her chest. “Do you really?” she asked, keeping her voice even, stalling for time as she tried to plan what she’d do next. She flexed her hands against the arms of the chair as Helena’s lips caressed her skin. Her breathing was fast and shallow, heat suffusing her chest and face. Barbara wasn’t sure she could plan anything, though: under the onslaught of Helena’s touch her brain seemed to have ceased functioning.

“Yes.” Helena balanced on tiptoes, kissing the side of Barbara’s neck, just under the corner of her jaw. She slid her left hand over Barbara’s shoulder, across her chest and down, fingers brushing over the outer curve of Barbara’s breast. Helena bit down on Barbara’s shoulder careful not to break the skin as her fingers skimmed over the already firm peak of the redhead’s nipple where it strained against her bra and tank-top. The wicked twist of her smile matched the feral yellow of her eyes when Barbara’s groan of pleasure rumbled to her ears.

Helena groaned under her breath when Barbara sought more contact, the desire to have skin under her hands burning its way across her palms as she reached back to lay her hand across the back of Helena’s neck. Barbara arched her back into Helena’s touch even as part of her mind noted her body’s responses, filing them away for later consideration.

Helena tilted Barbara’s chin up as her right hand dropped from Barbara’s shoulder to skim up the inside of her own thigh. “I want you a lot,” she whispered, lips brushing the outer curve of the redhead’s ear. She dipped her mouth, trailing soft kisses along Barbara’s jawline as she brought her right hand up. Helena brushed her thumb across Barbara’s lips. She was happy to see that the redhead’s eyes were closed as her fingers trailed after her thumb.

Barbara gasped as the scent wafting from Helena’s fingers reached her nose. When the pad of Helena’s middle finger softly parted her lips Barbara sucked the brunette’s finger deeply into her mouth. She wasn’t sure whose groan was louder, hers or Helena’s, as Barbara let the wetness coating Helena’s finger cover her tongue completely filling her nose and mouth the most intimate scent and taste of the younger woman. Barbara reached up and found Helena’s wrist, holding it still with soft fingers even as she opened her mouth to let go of Helena’s middle finger. She sucked in the brunette’s forefinger, tongue teasing along the sides as she brushed her thumb against soft skin on the inside of Helena’s wrist. Barbara knew exactly what her touch in that spot would do to the brunette. It was Barbara’s turn to smile at Helena’s loud moan of pleasure.

Barbara’s languorous release of her finger only increased the arousal that coursed through Helena’s body. She shucked the loose hold Barbara had on her wrist and she rolled Barbara’s chair away from the computer table. Helena circled around, coming to a stop on the balls of her feet in front the redhead who arched one slim eyebrow at the sight of Helena in nothing but bikini briefs and a tank top. There was no time for Barbara to get out the comment that was clearly forming on her lips before Helena claimed her mouth in a fierce, hard kiss that seemed to go on for days.

When she finally pulled away, leaving Barbara gasping, Helena dropped to her knees. She slid confident hands up the redhead’s thighs to her waist, finding the button on Barbara’s pants and popping it open with ease. She moved her hands down the redhead’s hips and under her ass, fingers curling up to grasp the waistband of both pants and panties. “Lift,” Helena rasped, entirely ready to lever Barbara out of the chair herself.

“Dinah?” Barbara asked, voice barely above a croak.

“Asleep,” Helena growled, meeting Barbara’s eyes with her own feral, yellow ones. “Trust me.”

Barbara managed her weight with ease as Helena pulled the garments past her hips and down her thighs, pushing them into a bunch around her calves. Helena, her eyes closed, ran her cheek up Barbara’s left thigh, delighting in the feel of soft skin against her face. She moved higher, inhaling the rich, complex scent of Barbara’s excitement, her hands sliding back up the outside of the redhead’s thighs and under her ass.

Helena felt Barbara hand come to rest on the back of her head just as she was parting the redhead’s lips with her tongue and rasping the metal stud there over Barbara’s already swollen clit. She couldn’t help but smile as she was engulfed in Barbara’s scent and taste.

The concept of time became a distant memory for Helena. The only things that mattered were Barbara’s reactions: the way her fingers gripped; the low groans that emerged from Barbara’s throat; the rivers of wetness that coated her lips and Helena’s mouth. Helena focused completely on one thing, pleasing the woman in front of her. Her single-minded sense of purpose was rewarded when Barbara’s fingers dug into her shoulder hard enough to bruise. She didn’t stop until she felt the redhead’s shudders subside and that grip soften.

Helena raised herself from Barbara’s lap, pulling up the hem of her tank top to dry her face. She couldn’t suppress her grin of triumph. “What?” she asked in response to the wide grin painting Barbara’s mouth.

“Where did that come from?” Barbara asked, drinking in the sight of Helena’s semi-naked flesh.

She grinned. “From the top level of my dark, dirty imagination. Just think of it as an archeological dig of eroticism,” Helena replied with a wiggle of her own brows. She frowned slightly as she remembered something, tossing a look over her shoulder. “Damn.”

“Damn is right.” Barbara said, her voice low and thick with desire as she leaned forward and grabbed a fistful of Helena’s tank top, pulling her in close for a long, slow, thorough kiss that, when it was done, left Helena short of breath.

“The tub’s cold now,” she murmured against Barbara’s lips. She didn’t want to move out of the redhead’s grasp just yet. With minimal effort she could hear the thump of the other woman’s heart as it returned to its normal rate.

Barbara kissed her again softly. “We have more hot water.” She rested a hand on Helena’s hip, fingers making a small circle on silken skin. “Come on, I’ll give you a lift.”

Helena grinned and shook her head. “I will race you though.” Barbara laughed as her friend ignored the platform’s ramp and stepped down off the side. “Besides,” Helena said, turning around as she backed toward the bedroom, mischievous grin lighting her face. “Someone’s got to find more candles and you can’t be doing it dressed liked that.” She pointedly looked the redhead up and down.

Barbara felt the blush darken her cheeks as she glanced down at the lump of material gathered around her lower legs. She said a silent thank you that Dinah hadn’t discovered and disabled the alarms on her door and window as Helena had done at that age. With a few key strokes, she minimized the Delphi’s functions to the security system and running programs, and rolled down the ramp toward her bedroom.

Tuesday/Wednesday: 2:22am: Bond Bread Warehouse apartments

Jessica Kalen pulled the small cardboard box off the shelf in the storage closet and pulled the chain to turn off the single bare bulb. The sadness she felt settled into a lump in her chest she gripped cardboard softened with age. She shook her head. She needed to do this, to be reminded. She kicked the door shut and made her way across the mostly empty loft to the couch.

The tape on the box’s flaps gave easily, the glue having dried out several years before. Jessica pulled the contents out gingerly, setting the items she wasn’t concerned with on the coffee table next to a glass of red wine. She pulled the photo album out of the bottom and set the box on the floor. Brushing some dust off the leatherette cover stamped with gold ink, she opened the small book.

She flipped through the binder, sipping from the glass of wine periodically and letting the grouped photos displayed on each page bring back some small memory, some little joy. The photo she was looking for wasn’t among the standard prints in the cellophane pockets, though, and she hesitated, steeling herself against feelings she both craved and despised.

Jessica slipped the photo out of the back flyleaf of the binder. Black and white, it was an edge to edge print. She ran a soft finger over the planes of the face in the photo, the beautiful girl unaware at the time she’d been photographed. Jessica smiled as she recalled the day, how the sun had warmed her skin while something that passed for love had warmed her heart.

She slipped the photo back under the flyleaf and placed the photo album back into the box. From the items she’d set aside she selected a single sheet of paper, unfolded it, and slowly read the contents. As she did her expression hardened, the memories now not so pleasant. When she reached the end of the short document it was refolded and placed back in the box with the photo album.

Jessica looked over the small pile of items, reminders of her life when it resembled something normal. Not normal, average, she corrected herself. ‘Cause you’ve never been normal. She placed the items in the box, tucking the flaps under each other to secure the top without benefit of tape. She left the box next to the empty wine glass, sorrow and fatigue suddenly weighing heavily in her chest. She left the box on the table, crossing to the bedroom and shutting the door behind her.

Deep in a shadow, in a far corner of the space, Nicky Street sighed and eyed the cardboard box. He’d never asked his sister about her life before him though he’d wondered often how Jess had coped with her meta powers. He’d often mused now nice it must have been to be able to pass, to walk among people without them shying away, without having to always be on guard. Nicky shook his head, annoyed with himself as he realized his left hand was reflexively stroking his very pointed ear. He blinked slowly, blue-black lids covering glowing yellow eyes ever so briefly as he resisted the urge to paw through the box Jess had left on the table. The items in that box were the only remnants of her life before their parents’ death, from before she’d even known he existed. He dropped silently from the wall and exited the apartment nearly as quietly, vowing yet again that he’d not pry into a world where he could never belong.

Wednesday: 6:48am: Barbara’s bedroom

Barbara hit the off button on the clock just seconds before the radio turned on for the alarm. She turned to look at the woman next to her, confirming that the brunette had remained asleep. Helena lay sprawled on her stomach, limbs arranged in a way that would have looked plain silly if Barbara hadn’t already been utterly in love with her. Barbara smiled in spite of the fatigue that still weighed down her system, remembering the scene Helena had set up the night before.

Candles, some burned down to the nub during the unexpected delay in the clocktower’s main room, had covered most of the flat surfaces in Barbara’s generously-sized bathroom. The tub had indeed gone cold but it didn’t take long for the over-sized water heater to remedy that problem. The blush rushed warm to Barbara’s face and tightened much lower parts of her anatomy as she remembered the sight of her own hands caressing Helena’s body, mapping it, and the way the brunette had arched back into her in the soft, flickering light when Barbara moved her hand confidently through the thicket of curls and between Helena’s legs to find her more than aroused. She wasn’t sure which she found more rewarding, the satisfaction of knowing that despite her comparative lack of experience she could still please Helena physically or the intimacy of waking up next to the brunette.

Barbara stared at the ceiling, lost in thought as she contemplated the changes in her physical response and how much she’d underestimated the width and breadth of Helena’s patience as a lover. Through persistence and, Barbara had to admit, extra doses of patience and love, Helena had been able to draw from her body more than Barbara had ever thought would be possible once she’d accepted the reality of her paralysis. Still, not everything was perfect; she knew Helena had been disappointed that her need for sleep outweighed her desire after they’d finished with the bath the night before. Barbara scrubbed a hand across dry eyes and yawned.

“God you’re beautiful when you’re thinking, which, I guess, makes you beautiful all the time,” Helena said quietly.

Barbara turned to look at Helena and was surprised by the naked look of love she saw on the younger woman’s face. “Good morning,” she said softly. Barbara yawned again, more than a little bit embarrassed, as Helena scooted closer to brush soft fingers across her cheek and down her arm.

“Thank you,” she said, watching her hand move over skin as light as cream.

“For what?” Barbara asked, her efforts to stifle another yawn completely unsuccessful.

Helena kept her focus on her hand, on the contrast between her skin and Barbara’s. She shrugged and swallowed hard as the blush colored her cheeks. Helena knew she’d been lucky the night before, that Barbara’s responses weren’t guaranteed. She also knew deep down that her performance in the clocktower’s main room had been more for her benefit than Barbara’s no matter how loud or hard she’d come. She’d intended on seducing the redhead, on something slow, gentle, and teasing to overcome some of the unease she knew Barbara still harbored about her body’s response. Instead she’d let her own desire push her forward and even though she’d had Barbara’s consent, some part of Helena still felt like she’d taken something without permission.

Barbara waited, knowing what an effective weapon silence could be on Helena. She brushed her free hand through the sleep-mussed layers of Helena’s hair and let her fingers trail down over the younger woman’s cheek. “I should be thanking you,” she said softly, watching Helena’s face. She was surprised when Helena’s head snapped up, surprised more by the pained look the brunette quickly covered with her familiar, rakish smile.

“As I recall, you thanked me plenty in the tub,” Helena said, brushing her hand back up Barbara’s arm and deliberately letting her knuckles graze the outer curve of Barbara’s breast. “You could thank me again if you wanted to.”

Barbara covered Helena’s hand with hers, bringing the brunette’s palm to her lips and kissing softly. “Some of us have day jobs, you know,” she said with a grin. “We don’t all get to roll over and go back to sleep. And, if I call in sick I have to explain to Dinah why I’m staying home.” Barbara shuddered at the thought. She and Dinah had been dancing around a conversation about her relationship with Helena for at least two weeks, neither one of them eager to revisit that territory.

“Barbara, I think she’s knows we’re doing the horizontal mambo,” Helena grinned. She’d purposely kept from Barbara the couple of intimate details she knew Dinah had gotten from random readings during their workout sessions.

Barbara arched an eyebrow. “Horizontal mambo?”

“Horizontal mambo, make the beast with two backs, dirty dance,” Helena said with a grin. “Besides, it’s not like she’s not getting busy herself.” She smiled, recalling the heat she’d seen between Dinah and Gabby during the inaugural 18 and under night the previous week at the Dark Horse.

Barbara worked to keep her expression under control. Laughing would only egg Helena on in her quest for the perfect euphemism. She kissed the brunette lightly before she maneuvered herself out of bed and into her chair. “I rather like ‘eating out’.” Barbara grinned at the shocked look on Helena’s face. She rolled into the bathroom and shut the door behind her.

Wednesday: 7:12am: Bond Bread Warehouse

Marcus King stood in the middle of the semi-dark warehouse and grinned. Even in the half-light the fixtures in the room gleamed, dark wood polished to a high shine that nearly matched brass. Soft velvets and leathers covered the chairs and couched spread about the room. He sensed rather than saw Jake Tupper standing in the door way and turned expectantly.

“The security system checks out,” Tupper said around the ever present plastic straw. “I ran the private rooms twice.”

King nodded as he gave the roulette wheel a test spin. “The bank arrives tomorrow so I suggest you get some sleep today.”

Tupper nodded. He cleared his throat. “And the personnel?”

“Friday morning,” King replied, watching the roulette wheel slow to a stop. “We wouldn’t want them getting too comfortable, would we?” The smile on his face didn’t reach his eyes and the disconnect instantly reformed the lump in Jake’s throat. His discomfort must have shown in his expression for King raised his eyebrows. “You have something to say, Jake?”

“It’s a huge risk, boss. I think we should wait, see how the standard op goes before we try something new,” Tupper said after a short pause. “There are a ton of things that could go wrong. Jess finds out, she’s gonna flip. That’s one broad I don’t want angry in my zip code much less in the same room with me.”

King nodded as he ran his hand over soft felt covering the blackjack table. “Run the systems check again, make sure nothing goes wrong.”

Tupper nodded and left the room, trying to ignore the sinking sensation in his gut.

Wednesday: 11:03am: Barbara’s classroom

Barbara pulled her glasses off and pinched the bridge of her nose. Her second period class needed to hear the speech about the effects of pulling canned essays off the internet on final grades.

“You look like you’re about ready to flog some student,” Jessica said from where she leaned against the frame of the room’s open door.

Barbara picked up the essay in front of her. “I quote, ‘The Oedipus Complex is a theory formed by Sigmund Freud, stating that individuals have a repressed desire for sexual involvement with the parent of the opposite sex while feeling rivalry with with the parent of the same sex’,” she said, dropping the essay on the desk in front of her, gesture clearing conveying her disgust.

Jessica crossed to the desk and sat in the visitor’s chair. “Hamlet, right?”

“Exactly, and replicated in seven different papers right down to the misplaced comma,” Barbara replied with sigh. “I’m not sure sometimes which was the worse thing to happen to teaching, the internet or video games.”

“Definitely the internet,” Jessica said with a nod. She picked up one of the discarded essays and scanned it quickly. “This is really bad.”

Barbara watched her old friend carefully, smile curling on her lips as she flicked rapidly through many fond memories, some public, and some not so public. “You didn’t come here to discuss my second period’s utter disinterest in the classics, did you?” she asked, affection threading its way into her tone.

Jessica met Barbara’s eyes. “I didn’t, no. Do you have plans for dinner? I thought it would be nice to catch up.”

Barbara shook her head after a quick, mental review of her obligations as Oracle and of Helena’s work schedule. “I don’t. Eight o’clock? Donatello’s is still open.” She grinned at the thought of adding another happy evening at what was their favorite restaurant to the pile of memories she already associated with Jessica.

“It’s a date. I’ll see you then,” Jessica said, holding out the essay with two fingers. “And tell this guy that Oedipus only has one S in it.” The round sound of Barbara’s laugh rang in Jessica’s ears as she sauntered down the hall.

Wednesday: 2:37pm: Clocktower kitchen

Helena squatted in front of the cabinet, frown creasing her forehead. She closed the doors, stood, and opened the upper cabinet. Not seeing what she was looking for, she shut those doors as well. She turned around, considering which storage spot she should attack first.

“Miss Helena,” Alfred said quietly. Helena turned to look at him and smiled.

“Thank you, Alfred,” she said, taking the green vase from him. She rinsed the vase, set it aside on the counter, and began cutting the bottoms off the dozen roses that lay spread over a piece of newsprint. She some gut feeling told her that despite all the touching, tasting, and teasing that had been going on in the past couple of weeks, the traditional gestures courtship were something that Barbara would appreciate.

Alfred watched her for a few moments, nodding his approval as she did the cutting under cool, running water making sure to stagger the stems’ lengths slightly to allow for a pleasing arrangement in the vase. “Would you like me to do that?” he asked.

Helena shook her head with a smile. “Nope, I’ve got it.” She turned off the water and added several of the longer roses to the vase. “You’ve been pretty quiet about everything that’s going on around here,” Helena said, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. She suspected he had an opinion, and was nearly as convinced that he’d never share it.

“Indeed,” he replied, removing his jacket and rolling up his sleeves. He stepped over and washed his hands at the kitchen sink.

Helena added the last of the dozen to the vase. “Well, what do you think?”

“I think they’re lovely,” Alfred said, knowing full well Helena didn’t mean the roses. He smiled when the brunette rolled her eyes, stalking from the kitchen with the vase in both hands. “And I’m glad you’re both happy,” he said very quietly. “I just hope it lasts.”

Wednesday: 4:26pm: Gabby’s bedroom

Dinah groaned loudly as she felt the pleasure that had been building slowly in her extremities move inward as it focused and crested into orgasm. Part of her hoped the release of making noise would over take her telekinetic powers keeping the furniture and the knick-knacks steady in their places. The other part of her enjoyed not only making the noise but what such an obvious expression of pleasure did for the girl who’d caused her to make the noise in the first place. Her hopes were crushed as she relaxed back into the mattress only to hear a soft thump from the corner where Gabby’s desk stood.

Gabby lifted her head quickly, looking over her shoulder at the bedroom door. Not hearing any more loud noises, she grabbed a corner of blanket and carefully dried off her chin. She blushed hard when she felt Dinah brush a hand through her hair.

“Hey,” she said, smiling up at Dinah.

Dinah grinned back. “Hey yourself.” Dinah motioned softly. Gabby crawled up the bed, settling on her side next to the taller girl.

“Sorry if I startled you. I heard this thump and thought my Mom was home early,” Gabby said, shaking her head. That she was a lesbian was no secret but Gabby didn’t think her mother wanted to be confronted with the realities her sex life any more than she wanted to share them.

Dinah swallowed hard. She pulled herself into a sitting position, dragging the pillow that had been supporting her head into her lap. She met Gabby’s eyes and took in the now worried expression paint her face as she tried to calm the fear that prickled at the back of her neck. “There’s something I need to tell you,” she said quietly.

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