The final 2 episodes of Birds of Prey will air as one 2 hour movie on February 19th from 8-10 p.m. on the WB (doublecheck local times and dates)
Birds of Prey Ė Legacy
I still wear it sometimes. Sure, I should have gotten rid of it years ago. Back when staring at it was a stab in my heart. A reminder of what was, and what will never be.
But, I still canít get rid of it. I run my hand under the material. Canít help the slight shiver down my spine. The leather is smooth, soft. A second skin. It feels alive. Like, if I just put it on I can be that person again. Strong. Tall. The power and fury pumping in my veins.
These days, I feel only a shadow of my former self. Then again, I was always in the shadows. My fatherís. Bruceís. Helenaís.
Everything always comes back to Helena.
Itís been days since Iíve seen or heard from her. Days since her Ďindiscretioní. Which is a polite way of saying Ďdrunken sexí. I donít think Iíve ever been so angry in all my life.
The sounds of fists punching a bag fill the silence. Dinah is in the training room. She hasnít looked me in the eye since that night. Canít talk without blushing or ending her sentences with an apology.
My legacy. One protťgť seduced and deflowered by the other. Itís hard to be a mentor when the students are learning from the other students. Batman would be so proud.
I make my way to the training room. Sheís focused on the punching bad. Assaults it with unrestrained abandon. Her punches are strong, direct but lack focus, discipline. They pull her out of her stance, leaving her defenseless. Just like another young woman who took her frustrations out on the leather and sand.
"I know youíre there." Dinah says to me, not stopping her attack.
"Time to get the gears greased again."
She pauses for a moment. "Did she call?"
"You gonna go look for her?"
"Sheíll be back. Itís a vicious circle. A mobius strip we canít seem to break out of."
Dinah stops. "Barbara, I.."
"If youíre about to apologize, donít. You made a mistake. Youíre sorry. Right now, itís not you who needs to apologize. I just wish I knew what was going on in her head."
Dinah blushes. Out of shame or embarrassment, I canít tell. Guess sheís learned something else from Helena. How to keep secrets.
"She knows." Dinah mumbles under her breath.
She pauses, uncertain if she should say whatís on her tongue. "Helena knows youíre in love with her."
The air rushes out of my lungs. The air gets thick. It chokes my lungs. Presses down on my body with a crushing weight. My head begins to spin. If I could feel my legs, they would be buckling right about now.
"I have to go." I remove myself from the training room, from the Clock Tower. Away from any and all reminders of Helena, or myself.
Wasnít supposed to know.
Iím supposed to be the calm one, cool, collected under pressure. Instead, I feel the world slipping out from under. The control, something Iíd tried so hard to hold on to, yanked from my grasp.
Itís the first place I thought of. The only place I have left to go. I canít remember the last time Iíd been here. Probably a couple months, feels like years. Itís like I always remembered, like itís always been. Kept and maintained with immaculate precision.
Everything just like he left it.
His presence hovers over this place. A ghost. His legacy emanates from every corner. A feeling so tangible I can reach out and touch it. The memories come in a rush. Me, him, Jason, Dick and all the others. Every lesson. Every experience. Everything he taught me, us.
Everything thrown away because I failed. Failed to teach her, failed to protect her, to separate my head from my heart. To place duty above all else.
My fingers enter the combination. The walls slide open. Light spills across me. His ghost stands before me. Leather, black and shiny as the day he first wore it. Maybe if I just talk to him, he can hear me, he can understand.
"Things have been so chaotic since you left. I, we, tried to move on. Tried to uphold everything you taught. Teach it to those who follow. But, itís been so hard. And Helena," I canít help the smile pulling on my mouth. "Youíd be proud. Sheís like you, strong, stubborn. Except, I think Iím failing her."
I canít help the tears streaming down my face. Please hear me. Please understand.
"I donít know what to do."
"He said those exact words once."
"Alfred," I wipe the tears from my face. "I didnít know you were here."
He smiles, stepping out of the shadows. He stands next to me, eyes forward, hands behind his back, admiring the empty suit.
"He was at his lowest point. When everything seemed lost and out of control. A woman had stolen his heart. A woman who was the antithesis of everything he believed in."
"Yes, but that was different."
"Was it?" He raises an eyebrow. "Why? Because heís Batman and youíre not? Life has a funny way of throwing the most unexpected at the least appropriate times. Youíre not afraid of failing her, or Helena failing you. Youíre afraid if you give into your feelings, it will reflect poorly on him."
"Even super heroes make mistakes. Even Mr. Wayne. His greatest failure isnít that he fell in love, itís that he turned away from it. In this regard, it would be best not to follow in his footsteps."
His words seem to float in the air, linger around us just as heavy as the ghost of Bruce Wayne. Alfred pats my shoulder before heading towards the door.
"Yes, Ms. Gordon."
"Do you think heíll come back?"
"Yes, I do. And I think heíll be very proud of everything youíve accomplished."
The sun cracks over the horizon as I drag myself into my apartment. Thank God, itís Saturday. Iím not sure I could face the world with everything going on in my head. I feel tired, exhausted and wired at the same time. Too much to process.
Slowly, I open the door to my bedroom, aware of the presence inside. Helenaís there, curled up on my bed. I canít remember the countless times sheíd enter my room, stand over me like some Watchman as I slept. Or, the other times, Iíd come home, her scent still lingering on the sheets. Another ghost in my life.
Iím not sure when I feel in love with her. Maybe itís always been this way. A thread woven into our fates, inevitable. The more I fought, the tighter the fabric pulled around me. Until the very thought of her caused my chest to seize. Threatened to break me in two.
Her body trembles slightly. Sweat plasters her hair to her forehead, another nightmare. Helena, so strong and confident, yet here, caught in the throws of another nightmare, she seems fragile.
I slide onto the bed with her. Pull the covers over both our bodies. My hand finds her head, gently pulls the strands from her forehead as I whisper in her ear. Like I used to. She whimpers slightly, turns into me, her arms wrapping around me. Soon, the trembles are gone and weíre wrapped in the warmth of our bodies. I hold her close. Soon, sheíll awake. Slide off silently as she always does. Sleep will not come easy for me either. It never has. My thoughts still churn through my brain. The only thing I can focus on is in my arms. When she is with me, everything feels right. Makes sense. I will still heed the calling. Teach her everything I know. Guide her on her journey. Keep her from the darkness inside her that terrifies us both. Love her with all my heart, even if it is from afar. Even if it kills me. I now know my fate. Itís in my arms. She is my destiny.
She is my legacy.
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