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Working as Friends

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For Dinah, Oracle is more than the little voice in her ear that steers her in a fight, that provides the much needed banter when she is on her own and in a pinch. She likes working with a partner she can always rely on. And Oracle provides what's best in a partner: the important Intel, the help she needs when she's in trouble and the open ear when she needs to get things off her chest.

It doesn't even matter, that she's only a voice in her ear, a green face on computer screens in darkened rooms.

Dinah knows there is an intelligent woman on the other end of the connection, a different kind of hero, an information network in the form of a brilliant mind.

One day, Oracle might be comfortable with being more than a voice.

At the moment Dinah is okay with her holding back, because it doesn't change that they can rely on each other. They're partners. They're friends.

And that's what makes this work more than anything.

_ _

She knows she might be too late. She sees the submarine, submerged already, sees the shapes in the water, spots something brownish red, a struggling human shape beneath the surface. She grabs at it, manages to grasp an arm and pulls.

Strong, trained arms.

The woman pulls herself out as much as Dinah does, and then she has her first, very wet glimpse of the woman that has been her partner and most important friend for a while, although she has never before seen her face.

She has imagined the moment and many possible ways for their first meeting – like meeting in that little bistro she likes so much, or meeting in a museum behaving like movie style secret agents. Maybe she has imagined what Oracle would look like, but her imagination has never taken a definite form. What would a genius hacker look like? She has long before learned not to think in stereotypes, so she isn't surprised when Oracle turns out to be a good looking redhead and about her own age.

And the phantom finally has a real name. Barbara.

There is no time to dwell on that and be thankful for this sign of ultimate trust.

She's sure she's earned it.

But Barbara is hurt and can't get up, can't stand on her own. So Dinah supports her and Barbara clings on with a tight grip, her body belying muscles that one certainly wouldn't expect from the person with the desk job in their little team effort. She's dragged her along for a small distance when she realizes that this is not just due to a gun shot wound in the leg.

There is no time for questions though. Blockbuster and his men are around the corner and they're here for a very specific reason. Blockbuster wants Oracle's head on a platter.

Dinah will have to give him something.

But she sure as hell will not give up a friend.

_ _

She has expected something like this, but seeing it is still something else.

Barbara is sitting in her wheelchair, holding a cup of tea in her hands. She's looking at Dinah expecting... something and Dinah meets her gaze head on, then she lets her eyes drift over all the little details of this room, the place that's obviously made for someone moving around in a wheel chair. It's easy enough to draw conclusions from that.

It's not easy to read Barbara even now that she's not hiding behind a computer screen. Always the mysterious Oracle, Dinah thinks, not really surprised.

“This is not something that happened while Blockie was after you then?” She knows she shouldn't sound so relieved at that, but it would have been hard to accept that this happened, because she was that tiny bit too late.

“No,” Barbara says and takes a sip of tea.

“Then...”

“It was the Joker. Some years ago. Oracle didn't exist back then.”

“Is that why you fight crime?”

“No. You could say I started out young. It's a very long story. My father is the commissioner...”

She knows her eyes are going wide and not at the revelation that her father is Commissioner Gordon, but at the revelation that Barbara and herself have something more in common. “The daughter of a cop. Look at you. There's something I can emphasize with.” She smiles.

Barbara leans back, more relaxed now and smiles back.

“So, what this comes down to,” Dinah says, “is that you're the bravest person I know. Preparing a personal showdown with Blockbuster's goons all on your own. And you were pretty close to winning...”

“I know.”

“And you're a full of yourself.”

“It's one of my more endearing qualities.”

“I can't say you don't have reason to be proud of yourself, girl, but don't push it.”

They laugh together.

Barbara and Dinah. Friends and partners. And tonight just two girls having a good time.

_ _

“Don't you dare tell me I can't do it, Dinah,” Barbara said, her voice rising slightly in agitation, but not yet at the point where she's shouting.

“I didn't say anything, Babs. I know I've messed up. They know what I look like. I could dress up, but they'd spot me before I get anywhere near their precious security systems.”

“That's why I'm going. I'm better with computers anyway.”

“Can't argue there.”

“And I know my way around.”

“I know you do.”

“I can look after myself.”

“I know that.”

“What are we arguing about then?”

“We aren't arguing. I'm not sure what you're doing, genius, but I was waiting for you to come up with a plan of action.”

Barbara folds her hands in her lap and looks at Dinah sideways. “Look at me, Dinah, I'm the harmless girl, if ever there was one. I just need to get into the facility, figure out where they keep our girls and disable their security systems. It's not as hard as it sounds.”

Dinah chuckles. “And how are you going to do that?”

“By playing the damsel in distress, of course.”

Dinah laughs out loud. “They'll never know what hits them. It's what they deserve, too. Who runs a human trafficking ring from a psych ward?”

Barbara's expression turned grave. “It's a scarily successful business plan. I've seen the numbers.”

“We'll put a stop to it. Tonight.” She stands up and puts a hand on Barbara's shoulder, leaning forward to look her right in the eye. “And this time I'll be the little helpful voice in your ear. We'll do this together, like we always do.”

Barbara nods.

They're a team - and they'll see this through as a team. It doesn't matter who has the desk job and who does the leg work. Because they are brilliant at what they do even when the roles are reversed.