And I would be the one
to hold you down,
kiss you so hard
I’ll take your breath away...
And after I wipe away the tears,
just close your eyes, dear...
-Sarah McLachlan, Possession
There was something magnetic in the Kyle blood, something passed along in the Kyle DNA from mother to daughter and geared to drive Barbara Gordon right out of her mind.
The more Barbara tried to fight it, the worse it got.
Selena had laughed at her reticence back then, told her that trying to resist was like the ocean trying to resist the tidal pull of the moon. That was the lure of their connection, really - Barbara as immovable object and Selena as irresistible force.
Only Barbara wasn't so immovable in Selena's arms, no matter how hard she tried to be. Tough-as-nails Barbara Gordon - the original Miss Independent - needed only a look or a touch from the former cat burglar to turn her knees, and her will, to water.
Part of her loved the submission to Selena's will just as intensely as she loathed it...
What she and Selena shared wasn't as easily categorized as simple love or lust - though both were present in frightening amounts - but it was something they both came to treasure in their own ways. Selena, Barbara suspected, wasn't really one for love in the traditional sense of the word, but she tried hard to make sure Barbara understood that she wasn't a mere plaything or idle indulgence, and that was enough most days.
On the days it wasn't, the other woman in Barbara's life more than made up for it.
Little Helena Kyle - Selena's secret daughter by Barbara's own mentor Bruce Wayne, and the undisputed real love of Selena's life - was, at 9 years old, as forthright as her mother was cagey and as simple as her mother was complex. Even then, she'd had her mother's gift for charming everyone in sight, and Barbara had adored her as much as anyone.
She'd taken a certain sisterly - and occasionally maternal - pride in watching Helena become a young woman full of life and promise, even after her relationship with Selena had faded into the much mellower bond of a tried-and-true friendship.
Then had come that horrible day she'd never forget - Selena brutally cut down in the blink of an eye, Barbara's own hard-won dreams shattered by a bullet to the spine that should have killed her, and Bruce vanished into thin air when she'd needed him the most.
Helping a 16-year-old Helena through her grief had given her the strength to fight through hers and keep pushing forward, and she'd never had a prouder or more frightening moment than when she signed the papers making her Helena's legal guardian.
She and Helena had been two of a kind in those days, shattered souls rebuilding their lives inch by painful inch. She'd molded Helena into The Huntress while remaking herself into the all-knowing Oracle, and they'd both thrived despite themselves.
If Helena all-grown-up came to remind her more and more of her mother Selena in looks and attitude - with all the confusing associations that brought up - Barbara ignored it and told herself she was just happy to see that something of the woman she'd loved had survived in the daughter that woman had loved more than anything else.
Eventually, Helena had made it blazingly clear that, while she was every inch her mother's daughter, she was nothing if not her own creature. Unfortunately for Barbara, that creature was every bit as mesmerizing as Selena had ever been.
Barbara could still recount by the nanosecond the moment she came to realize that her feelings for Helena had long ago ceased to be that of a friend or of a mentor for her charge. She could also recount by the same nanosecond the horror that had followed the realization, and the guilt that still haunted her for it.
She couldn't help but feel she was betraying her duty to Selena every time she stared covertly at Helena's lithe figure, and reconciling the quiet little girl she'd known with the brash leather-clad hoyden that Helena had become was next to impossible.
True to form, the difficulty of ignoring her feelings for Helena was directly proportional to how hard she tried to block them out - the more she tried, the more impossible it seemed.
Not even nightmares of Bruce returning in a righteous fury from his self-imposed exile, or of Selena's ghost returning to haunt her for her failings, seemed to help her get a grip on her unruly emotions.
It might have helped if Helena - who, Barbara was sure, knew *exactly* what was going on - had seemed offended or upset or even just disinterested. On the contrary - just Barbara's luck - Helena seemed to take great amusement in teasing her at every given opportunity and watching her flounder.
Like tonight, when Helena was invading every bit of Barbara's personal space she could and laughing her ass off at Barbara's attempts to hide just how much it was affecting her.
She could see Helena's plan without really trying - push her until she finally just gave up and pushed back - and it was *this* close to working. Helena didn't quite have her mother's finesse at it, but was making entirely too good a show for herself anyway for Barbara's comfort.
When Helena's game made her mess up the simple research program she was writing for the fourth time in a row, Barbara finally lost her patience and snapped at her - only to see a hurt look flicker across the younger woman's face.
Pulling away, Barbara wheeled around to look Helena in the eyes. "Look, Helena, I know what you're trying to do, but - I just can't."
Helena just grinned at her. "What, you think you're the only one kinda weirded out by the fact that you knew me as a kid? That's ancient history now."
"That's part of it, yes." Barbara admitted, pulling off her glasses and rubbing at the bridge of her nose. "There are... other things, too, that you don't know about."
"You mean like the fact that you and my mom were lovers? I figured that out ages ago." Helena smiled again as Barbara just blinked. "I don't care, Barbara - I'm not my mother and I know you know that."
The two women watched each other in silence. Barbara tried to break the silence first, but Helena silenced her with a finger against her lips. "You've got issues with us being together - I can respect that. You wouldn't be you if you didn't - it's part of why I love you."
Barbara just blinked at her. "Did you say... love?"
"I damn sure didn't say hate." The brunette replied with a wink. "And I'm pretty sure I didn't stutter."
Barbara had to wheel herself back a bit to try and give herself room to sort out the rush of conflicting emotions that the confession provoked. "Helena, I -"
"Don't sweat it." Helena reassured her. Then she leaned in and kissed Barbara lightly on the lips before the redhead could move away. "I can wait."
With that, she sauntered off, humming happily to herself as a stunned Barbara stared after her.
Standing in the shadows just out of sight, she grinned to see the brilliant smile that graced Barbara's features as the redhead returned to her work, absently humming the same tune.
One day, she told herself, and maybe sooner than either of them had thought...