Author name: Zeelee -- author email
Recipient name: Penknife
Requested character(s): Dinah Drake Lance / Black Canary I
Story title: She Knows Your Devils
Disclaimer: Not mine. Am poor. Don't sue.
Spoiler warnings: spoilers for the last few arcs of BIRDS OF PREY.
Author's notes: Thanks to fox1013 and jamjar for audiencing and encouragement,and petronelle for the quick beta.
Summary: Dinah knows she's only putting off the inevitable.
She Knows Your Devils
Dinah Lance knows all about love. Knows how beautiful and destructiveit can be. Knows what it's like to walk in on the man you'd give anythingfor kissing another woman; knows what it's like to send a man to jail whostole or killed to feed the woman and children he loves.
She knows that she is a woman who loves easily and intensely, and knowsthat it's pointless to try and deny this, no matter how many times it hashurt her.
And she's been in the superhero business long enough to know that someday--maybenot soon, maybe not for decades, but someday--she will have to take Oracledown. Take Babs down, no matter how much it hurts.
She can see the signs, both the subtle ones and the ones that mightas well be blaring neon lights pointing to Babs and saying, "Warning: Onthe Path to Totalitarianism!"
The first confrontation comes soon after the Brainiac 'possession.'They're both more freaked out by that than they care to admit; they'reboth feeling the stress of the all-out gang war tearing apart the seamsof the city, and Dinah can tell *just* how little sleep Babs is getting.
The fight, if you could call it that, starts out because Dinah knowsthat Babs has been surviving on espresso and not much else for the pasttwo days, because she's begging Babs to just pass out on the couch fora few hours at least.
And then she explodes.
"God dammit, Babs, what do you think you can do at this point, righthere, right now? The only thing that is going to save this god damn cityfrom itself is a fucking Mussolini!"
Dinah expects a yelled reply, indignation, shocked horror. Instead Babs'mouth snaps shut, and she turns away, hunching her shoulders.
"Oh--oh god, no, Babs, tell me you're not thinking..." Dinah's voicefades away.
Babs clears her throat. "No. Not yet. But." Babs bites her lip.
"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
"You're... you're asking me to be your savior. Your *conscience.* Babs,I-"
"Who *else?* I trust you, Dinah. With my life, with my sanity. And I...I'm not asking you to be my guiding light. I'm asking you to take me downwhen--if-- it becomes necessary."
"You don't know what the hell you are *asking.*" But Dinah knows, hasknown, has been preparing herself whether she likes it or not. But somethings can't be said aloud.
Dinah feels a callused hand encircle her own. "I know," she says softly."I wish I didn't have to ask. But you... you know, Dinah. You know."
"You are such a damn Bat, Oracle." Dinah falls to her knees, the coldsteel of the wheelchair knocking her elbows when she collapses againsther partner. Babs cups her chin, lifts her face, kisses her eyelids. Dinahtangles her fingers in red hair and pulls her from the chair to the floor,lets Babs kneel over her and kiss her all over, running strong hands overDinah's thighs, breasts, belly.
She cries out when Babs makes her come, fingers twisting inside her,lips pressed against the pulse in her neck. Then she sits up and staresat Dinah's naked body, fire-red hair tangled and wild around her face,lips wet and bruised-looking.
"I trust you," is all she says.
Dinah tries to say the same thing back, but the words stick in her throat.
Metropolis isn't bad. It's bright and busy and chaotic and beautiful,and it's no mystery why the most idolized superhero on earth chooses thiscity to protect.
But it's not Gotham, and Babs is homesick. Oh, she puts on a brave face,smiling cheerfully and tackling every supervillain problem they encounterwith zeal, but Dinah can tell. Babs is *such* a Bat, almost more so thanthe big man himself, and for some reason she appears to need sooty streetsand doom and gloom like the way most people need sunlight.
And of course that's not all. Something's up, and Dinah can't shakethe feeling that she might have to take Babs down much sooner than sheanticipated.
And it's not just Babs. Things are getting worse, with their whole *world*:poor, poor Sue, the gang wars in Gotham, the rumors of a powerful vigilantehero murdering villains in Los Angeles, and Mia being forced to kill beforeshe'd even donned a costume.
(Dinah knows that Mia has donned a costume *now*, and she also knowswhy. Logically, she knows it's not Ollie's fault, but...)
Dinah tries not to think about it too much. Repression has been thenoble tool of superheroes for ages, since her *mother's* day.
So she focuses her efforts on one villain at a time, specific targetsthat Babs points out, instead of joining the JLA on the moon and figuringout how to stop the world from destroying itself.
It's funny: as she gets older, Dinah can't help but feel that she knows*less,* not more. For instance: Before she moved to Gotham City, Dinahhad thought that a secret identity was just that: your identity, whichjust happened to be secret. It didn't *change* when you put on the costume.
That was before she came to live and work in Batman's world--Oracle'sworld. A world where costumes had personalities and histories of theirown, and if you didn't watch out they could make you forget that they weren'treally part of you.
But it will be different in Metropolis. Metropolis already *has* itssaving grace, the necessary figure to strike fear into the hearts of allthe scum of the city. Metropolis didn't need Oracle--or at least, didn'tneed it as badly as Gotham did.
When it comes down to it, Dinah knows she is only attempting to slowdown the inevitable. Knows that the same determination that made Babs gofrom a former heroine recovering from a bullet wound to the spine to oneof the most formidable forces in Gotham City, if not the world.
Dinah tries to hide it from Helena, because she knows that one of themost important things in the world right now—or at least in their world—isfor Helena and Babs to respect each other. Get used to working together.Babs doesn't need Dinah sticking her nose in and making Helena needlesslyparanoid.
Besides: this falls on Dinah's head. No one else's.
They haven't mentioned Babs' request and Dinah's agreement since thatnight. Dinah feels the urge to talk about it often, but she always kissesBabs instead.
Sometimes, though, she's kissing Oracle. And it sends a chill down herspine.
She's under surveillance constantly. Oracle is always there, and sometimesBabs is as well, but there is always, always Oracle.
Dinah tries not to think about it too much.
Reference images taken from BIRDS OF PREY #21 and #73.
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