Simply In Love
Fandom: Birds of Prey
Disclaimer: DC Comics own the characters, not me.
Summary: Love, love, love shouted from the rooftops, love.
It’s the little things that give them away.
For instance, at this very moment, Dinah is running her finger up and down Barbara’s neck. Not even sexually, just sort of tickling. Up and down, while Barbara’s eyes are half-closed and she’s half-smiling.
Babs and Dinah are in love and everyone knows it except Babs and Dinah.
Helena is fairly certain about this; she’s asked around. The grapevine is good for this sort of thing.
Possibly Batman doesn’t know.
Probably that’s a good thing.
But Babs and Dinah are so much in love that it can hurt to be near them. Helena’s already slept with half of their ex-boyfriends, and for some reason, that’s less scary than the idea of getting in between Oracle and Canary.
And they just don’t know, don’t understand how many people would die or kill to be as comfortable as they are with each other. How lonely it makes Helena feel to watch Barbara put her hand atop Dinah’s and squeeze. The way their patter is always well-timed, taunt and response, snap and snap-back.
“Your hair is getting long,” Dinah comments to Barbara, apropos of nothing. “Do you like it that way?”
“It’s something new,” Barbara answers as Dinah lifts up the mass of it — it’s only shoulder-length, but still, the image is pretty and intimate and Helena burns, she is so lonely. It’d be easier if Babs and Dinah started making out, because then Helena could say something.
Instead she is the third wheel, and watching Dinah twist the mass of hair.
“It’s heavy. I think I like it,” Dinah said. “Helena, what do you think?”
“I never like it shoulder length. Longer or shorter, but it’s so wishy-washy at the shoulders,” Helena replies. “It’s cute, but I’d grow it out just a little longer. That way you can put it up or braid it.”
“Braid it?” Babs asks. “Did I join the Little House on the Prairie while I wasn’t looking?”
“It’d be a fucking twisted version,” Dinah says. “I hated that show. It was so preachy.”
Barbara snorts. “I meant the books, Dinah,” she says. “You didn’t read the books?”
“I’m a blonde. It’s a well-known fact that pretty blonde girls never have to learn to read if they don’t want to,” Dinah sasses. “I read the Lloyd Alexander books. And boy books. Little House was girly and sissy.”
“I loved those books,” Babs says, twisting her face.
“Oh, I bet you did,” Dinah replies, giggling. “So can I braid your hair, then?”
“No,” Barbara says, pulling a face. “You made fun of me, so no, you cannot play with my hair.”
Anyone else, Helena would be about ready to say, “why don’t you two just get MARRIED?” but there’s all kinds of wrong about that. First of all, they’d have to go to Canada. Second all, Babs and Dinah don’t know. They just don’t. They’d say that they were partners, the way Batman and Robin are partners, and sexualizing EVERYTHING was degrading. Partners and friends. That’s all.
Helena thinks maybe they have a little bit of lesbian fear, herself. Dinah’s supposedly a giant ho-bag, and Barbara has the undying love of more than a few big-name heroes. It rings a little desperate, because the men come and go, but there’s always each other. The chair probably helps with that, too. And Barbara’s no Kathy Kane. She’s a cop’s kid, she’s a hard-working symbol of the American Dream, and she’s not getting into the politics of sexuality.
Never mind that Nightwings come and go, but if Babs lost Dinah, she’d lose it. And vice versa.
“Helena, I need the juice,” Dinah says, snapping in Helena’s face. “What are you thinking about?”
“Being in love,” Helena says. “It’s got to be nice.”
“Yeah,” Dinah says. “What, you’ve never been in love?”
Helena shrugs. “Sure,” she says. “But not the good kind. The kind where you think you’re in love and then you wonder how you could be that dumb. I wouldn’t mind being in the kind of love where you know that you can trust them.”
Dinah grins sheepishly. “That is really nice,” she admits, and Helena knows Dinah doesn’t know that Babs is looking at her right now, right now, and there’s something possessive there. “But I need juice! And then I will go sell flowers while the small children of Gotham learn from you.”
Barbara slides her the pitcher of juice with a wry smile. “Here,” she says. “Bring home a bunch of something attractive. Something unusual. Tulips.”
“Will do,” Dinah replies. “Lots of colors?”
“As many as you can find,” Barbara says as Dinah pours a glass. “Thank you.”
“Of course,” Dinah says, and Helena’s alone again, as alone as if she weren’t in the room. “An enormous vase of them for you, Babs.”
Like Helena would say, if anyone would ask, it’s clear that Barbara and Dinah are in love, love as real as anything she’s seen.
They give themselves away every moment of every day, but at least unlike most secrets in Gotham and Metropolis and the meta-human world, this is a good secret. A happy secret.
One that Helena can actually enjoy keeping.