rysler

FIc: Old Money (Birds of Prey) Huntress/Oracle

Sep. 19th, 2008 | 05:01 pm
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Title: Old Money
Author: rysler
Date: September 19, 2008
Source: Birds of Prey (comics), hints of No Man's Land and 52/OYL.
Pairing: Huntress/Oracle
Rating: G

For warpedscientist by request.

Old Money:

Dinah's departure left Barbara scrambling for new agents. Untested, untrained--distressingly young--she found she didn't trust them half as much as the honey voice that used to purr in her earbud. Shiva was so far a comforting presence, but of course she couldn't trust Shiva.

That left Huntress.

No one trusted Huntress. Not the Bat, not the police, not the kids. Barbara was probably crazy, especially after their past--not just Dick, but Sarah, too--only craziness would drive her to the jewelry counter at Nordstroms, looking for a thank-you-for-being-trustworthy gift for a woman who was, in fact, the nemesis of social order and Big Brother.

She'd asked the Question, fellow anti-Hobbesian miscreant, what a girl like Huntress would want.

Totally unhelpful. Both of them.

She'd considered other things before jewelry.

Desperately considered.

A new mask maybe, for comfort, but Huntress wouldn't appreciate that, even with Wayne technology making it softer and more supple and perhaps adding goggles.

Wayne technology would be especially unappreciated.

A new bike--but Huntress would want to make her own choices. And there was no way Barbara would step between Huntress and Shiva--riding Dinah's bike, no less.

Bad idea.

Flowers.

A card.

A website--But thehuntress.com was taken, and Huntress hated email.

So she'd made the ultimate, fatal mistake of asking Nightwing, and letting him convince her of the jewelry plan.

"Look, I know it sounds trite--" he said.

"Sounds?"

He took her shoulders. "No matter how liberated the superhero--no matter how allergic to gold or how much it clashes with the costume, the way her face will light up when you pull out the velvet box--that's the best thing in the world. Go oldschool, Babs. It'll be a perfect token of your affection."

"It's not affection. Geez, Dick."

He gave her a funny look.


Well, it wasn't. So here she was, the great Oracle without the insight, staring at diamonds.

Diamonds were off the list, of course, despite their beauty and their quantity.

Silver--silver was classy, right? Was platinum classy? Titanium?

Titanium. Beloved by baseball players everywhere. A necklace would be more practical for battle than a bracelet or rings. Marginally. Though Huntress had enough around her neck already.

Perhaps a tattoo would be more suitable.

Barbara snorted and remembered what Nightwing had told her. The wearing and the having weren't important. Only the receiving mattered.

She made her choice.

* * *

Weeks later...

Barbara blanched at the hospital's antiseptic smell. Unable to cover her mouth and push her wheels at the same time, she settled for holding her breath until she reached the door she wanted. A policeman stood outside it. She didn't recognize him.

She asked, "Is Ms. Bertinelli a prisoner?"

"No ma'am. Just waiting for you, Ms. Gordon. For her own safety."

She liked to think that her father didn't know who her friends were, but the Huntress had nearly died trying to save his wife.

Of course he knew.

The policeman opened the door for her and wisely did not offer to push her chair.

Helena looked small in her green hospital gown. Her left wrist was bandaged and her eyes were blackened, but nothing on her face would scar. Her leg, Barbara had been told, had to be stapled back together.

"I got my appendix out," Helena said cheerfully, turning her head on the pillow to focus on Barbara. "They were rooting around in there, trying to stop the bleeding, and were like, hey."

Barbara wheeled closer.

Helena fingered the titanium chain around her neck. The only adornment she wore. Though her fingernails were still purple. She said, "I wouldn't let them take it off. They wanted to cut it off with bolt cutters. Hello?"

"Helena," Barbara said. "I could get you another one."

"It wouldn't be quite like this."

Barbara sighed.

The policeman cleared his throat. "They're ready to release you, Ms. Bertinelli."

"Thank God."

He wheeled an empty wheelchair to the far side of the bed. A male nurse, burly enough to lift Helena in his arms, pulled the sheet back and did just that, putting her gently into the chair.

"Ow, ow, ow!"

"All yours," the nurse said to Barbara.

The policeman took the handlebars.

"Were you a bad patient?" Barbara asked.

"Only when they ran out of Jell-O."

* * *

Helena got into bed herself, slowly and painfully, and then looked out at Metropolis. Her bed was positioned so she could see the afternoon skyline without moving, but still, she complained. "Why do we live in a tower? Why not a mansion? It's so phallic."

"That's old money talking."

"It is not. Like I have any."

"Old money is less about money and more about breeding."

Helena snorted. "Phallic."

"Whatever. It's Superman's tower."

"Good point."

Barbara settled on the edge of the bed, her legs halfway over the side. Helena had to look up to see her.

Helena said, "I can't believe you're more mobile than me."

"Usually am," Barbara murmured. She touched the necklace at Helena's throat.

Helena narrowed her eyes.

"Please be more careful, Hel. When you're out of commission, the whole operation loses efficiency."

"Thanks," Helena said. She started out the window, but her hand touched the necklace, and brushed Barbara's fingers. "What does this mean? Am I your favorite now? Efficiency?"

"Hel," Barbara murmured, pressing her temple to Helena's. "You're not one of many. You're the only one."

"I was hoping."

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Comments {11}

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From: merfilly
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 01:40 am
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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 02:39 am
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Thank you! low key purr of a fic is an incredible phrase. I'm going to strive to earn it again.

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murasaki1200's user pictures

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From: murasaki1200
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 12:33 pm
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'the whole operation loses efficiency' = lolz. Oh Babs.
Nice touch. It's so even keeled and matter of fact, the sweetness kind of sneaks up on you.

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 01:14 pm
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Thank you! Yes, poor Babs. She totally wishes she could be alone in her clocktower.

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xenasgab's user pictures

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From: xenasgab
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 01:39 pm
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Nyceeeeeeee!

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 09:32 pm
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Eee, thank you! :)

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morningafter2's user pictures

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From: morningafter2
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 09:02 pm
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Oh, yes.

The world needs more Babs/Helena. It really does.

And you write them so well, which makes me very happy. And gives me a reason to use my Birds of Prey icons that everyone else just says "...Who's that?" in response to.

Edited at 2008-09-20 09:02 pm (UTC)

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Sep. 20th, 2008 - 09:33 pm
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I must agree that the world needs Babs/Helena. Thank you for your kind praise. And I love your icon!

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From: warpedscientist
Date: Sep. 21st, 2008 - 12:21 pm
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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Sep. 28th, 2008 - 10:30 pm
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You're welcome! I thought I had replied sooner, sorry about that.

Oracle/Shiva is a scary, intriguing thought. Shiva has always struck me as a one-woman gal, but I should live a little.

I'm so happy people still appreciate this fandom. Yay! Thank you for your request.

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mrswoman's user pictures

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From: mrswoman
Date: Sep. 27th, 2008 - 10:37 pm
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Oh, I so miss you writing these two - in fact, any Birds fic - but these two, as you know, are my favourites, and this one was just so perfectly Oracle/Huntress. Thank you :)

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rysler's user pictures

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From: rysler
Date: Sep. 28th, 2008 - 10:31 pm
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You're welcome. ::hug:: I miss them, too. Thank you for coming over and reading. :)

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