Little Helena Kyle Series

[September 2002]

Fandom: Birds of Prey (TV)
Title: Little Helena Kyle
PenName: Empress Vader
Rating: PG-13
Summary: There was a time when Helena wasn’t aware of her gifts. When she was just the young daughter of a business woman. This story tells the tale of a Young Helena Kyle.
Notes: I was having a hard time trying to put Selina in the role of mother. Having a child/raising a child/being responsible for a child changes people. I spent awhile asking myself how to handle it, I hope I did a good job.
Disclaimer: The Birds of Prey TV series belongs to the WB and some other people that aren’t me.

After giving baby Helena her last bottle, she laid her in the crib. Helena quickly curled up with the teddy bear and stuck her thumb in her mouth. Selina wondered if she should break her of the habit. However, she was in no rush to take away Helena’s baby years. 20 months old, she didn’t know where the months had gone. Just yesterday it seemed like she had a little fragile newborn in her arms.

She paused, barely noticing it. It was faint, a sudden noise on her balcony. Selina checked to make sure Helena was asleep before moving into the main room. She crept slowly toward the balcony making sure it wasn’t who she believed to be. The lights were dim and she could see the outline of someone in a bat suit. But it wasn’t him.

“Barbara,” Selina said flipping on a light.

Batgirl stepped into the room holding a baby bottle in one hand and a pull toy in the other.

“How could you hide this from him?”

“She isn’t his concern,” Selina said taking the baby things from her. “Helena and I are doing just fine.”

“So she is his?”

“She’s mine.”

“He has a right to–”

Selina put up a hand to silence her. “What’s he going to do, strap her on his back as he flies across rooftops.”

“Selina,” Barbara began.

“There’s no place for her in Batman’s life or Bruce Wayne’s. They’re busy enough with each other. I can put away my mask for her, he can’t.”

“It’s not your job to make that decision for him.”

“And it’s not your decision at all. This has nothing to do with you. I’m doing the best I can to give her a normal life, he can never do that. Not only that, imagine the pressure if she ever found out she was the daughter of the legend of Gotham City. Even if he is a myth to most people, he won’t be one to Helena.”

“And what about Catwoman? How will she feel when she learns that?”

“She’ll never need to know about Catwoman.”

“So you’re not going to explain the Metahuman thing to her either. You know she may be…”

“She may be perfectly normal.”

“She’s not even two yet, she may not show signs of her metahuman abilities until–”

“Stop. Right now she’s just Selina Kyle’s little girl. And if I have anything to say about it, it’s going to stay that way. We’re not going to test for it, we’re not going to look for it. If it turns out — then we’ll deal with it. But I’m not going to make her feel like she has to live up to Bruce Wayne, or Batman, or make her worry about some metahuman ability that may never come.”

“You should prepare her. Eventually the truth will see the light. She’s not going to be a baby forever.”

“She’ll be my baby forever,” Selina said looking at the bottle.


about 7 years later

Helena followed Barbara to the car. Miss Barbara had picked her up from the bus station. Helena attended a prep school outside the city and only came home on Holidays and some weekends. She always looked forward to returning to the city and spending time with her mother, so she was a little disappointed that her mother wasn’t there to pick her up. But she liked Miss Barbara, so it wouldn’t be terrible or anything. She was just looking forward to seeing her mother.

“Thanks for picking me up,” Helena said.

“Not a problem,” Barbara said pulling off. “How was this semester?”

“Fine,” Helena replied. “I passed.”

“Just passed?”

“Is my mom home?” Helena questioned changing the subject.

“No, but she will be tomorrow. Tonight you’re sleeping at my house.”

Helena sighed and slouched in the seat.

“Believe me, only something very important could keep her away from you,” Barbara told her.

“Do you think there is anyway Mom wouldn’t make me go back to that school next year.”

“It’s a good school. Bruce Wayne went there I believe,” Barbara told her.

“I don’t care who went there. It’s a bunch of bratty rich kids. I may not be underprivileged, but I’m not one of them and they know it.”

“You’ll be okay,” Barbara said.

“My only friend left the school when his parents moved.”

They were back in the city before they knew it. Barbara took her out to a movie and to lunch. Then shopping. It was getting dark when they arrived at Barbara’s apartment. They opened the door and were shocked to find a man waiting inside.

“What are you doing here?” Barbara asked surprised, but not alarmed at all. Helena reasoned she knew him. “This is Mr. Grayson, say hi Helena.”

“Hi Mr. Grayson,” Helena replied. “I’m Helena.”

“Hi Helena,” the man replied with a smile. His voice was warm.

“She’s the daughter of a friend,” Barbara explained.

“You’re babysitting?” he asked surprised.

“Yeah, she’s staying the night with me.” Barbara turned to Helena. “I want you to get your toothbrush, take a bath, get ready for bed, okay kid.”

“Okay,” Helena said going to her small bag and retrieving a toothbrush and toothpaste. Then she grabbed a nightgown from one of her larger bags.

“I’ll meet you in the study,” Mr. Grayson said to Barbara and then he stepped out of the room.

“Is that your boyfriend?” Helena asked in a whisper. “Were you suppose to go on a date?”

“That’s none of your business.” Barbara told her. “I know you have a habit of getting into things that are none of your business, but don’t let curiosity get the better of you.”

“Okay,” Helena said reluctantly heading to the bathroom.


Helena took a bath, brushed her teeth and put on her nightgown. She came into Barbara’s living room and found the couch was already laid out for her. She laid down on the couch and turned on the TV. She spent awhile fliping channels, but her eyes kept glancing toward the cracked door that hid Miss Barbara and Mr. Grayson from view. She tried to focus on some show called “You’ll never believe it’s True” that talked about a rumored flying man, but somehow the story just didn’t interest her.

She tried to lean her head over the couch to catch a word or two of conversation. She fell off the couch trying. She was use to falling, she had two left feet. She quit dance, much to her mother’s dismay, because she lacked coordination.

She got up and moved closer to the door, she had to get a peak at them. She imagined seeing them kissing softly, trying not to wake her. Maybe she’d say she want some orange juice or something and they would look embarrassed. That would be funny, grownups hated to be caught by a kid. She slowly slid across the wall and peaked in the door. She was surprised to find the two were…working. Barbara was typing on the computer as Mr. Grayson leaned over her.

“Poor kid,” Barbara said. “He’s only 11. He doesn’t realize what he’s doing. Just running scared.”

“And shooting flames out of his hands. He’s lucky his parents are alive. That may not be the case next time.”

“That’s why he ran, he didn’t want to chance hurting them again,” Barbara said. “He seems to be learning to control it. Look at the incidents since he ran away from home.”

Suddenly there was a crash. Helena had knocked over an umbrella holder trying to get closer. She’d give anything to lose that slight klutz reflex that was often her undoing. Mr. Grayson and Barbara were looking right at her and instead of them being embarrassed, like she imagined, she was embarrassed.

“Sorry,” Helena said. “I was, looking for–I didn’t hear anything.”

“Helena, don’t lie,” Barbara told her. She sighed and walked up to Helena. “What did you hear?”

“There’s some freak kid is starting fires by touching things.”

“He’s not a freak, he’s a metahuman.”

“What’s that?”

“There are people in this world with special abilities.”

“Like on ‘You’ll never believe it’s true’?” Helena asked.

“Something like that. And they’re not bad people or necessarily good people. But when they start to get there gifts–”

“Wait, a kid could be as normal as I am and suddenly have these abilities one day and not even know they‘re coming.”

“Yes, commonly there gifts can become active in late adolescence, but nothing is exact. This boy is not quite 12. He touched his parents bedroom door, going to tell them something and the door caught on fire. He didn’t realize he did it, but trying to get them out he caused more of a problem. He ran out the door asking someone to call the fire department, he was scared to touch the phone. They climbed out there window. They were fine, but there son ran away that night and we’ve been trying to find him.”

“Is that what you do, with Mr. Grayson? I mean he’s not your boyfriend?”

Barbara turned and smiled at the man behind her. “He’s a … special friend, okay?”

“What are you going to do when you find him?”

“Help him find ways to control what he has, reunite him with his parents.”

“He must be really scared. I can’t imagine how I would feel if thought I killed or almost killed my mom. I’m glad it’s not me.”

“Well then you should let us work. Are you ready to go to bed now and let us do what we have to do?”

“Yeah,” Helena said.

Barbara walked Helena back to the couch and tucked her in.

“When your mother comes in the morning, I don’t want her to think I kept you up all night.”

“Okay, I’ll try to sleep goodnight.”

“Goodnight Helena.”

Barbara went back into the study.

“You sure explained a lot to her,” her male companion said.

“Helena’s a special kid,” Barbara told him. “Let’s get to work.”


The next morning, Selina Kyle arrived just as Helena was finishing her bowl of cereal. She hadn’t told Barbara, but she’d had a nightmare last night about burning up her mother as she slept. Her hands were flame and though it didn’t harm her, but she couldn’t touch anyone or anything. She fought to wake up and break free from the horrible nightmare. She didn’t tell Barbara about the nightmare, she didn’t want Barbara to think she’s made a mistake in telling her about the boy.

“Mom,” Helena said excitedly as Selina Kyle came in. She ran and gave her a hug.

“Hey kid,” Selina said returning the hug. “How was your night with Barbara?”

“Great, I learned about Metahumans.”

“You what?” she said turning an accusatory gaze on Barbara.

“Well, I kind of walked in on her and Mr. Grayson talking about–.”

“Mr. Grayson?” Selina asked with a note of panic in her voice. “He was here?”

“Yeah, you know him?” Helena replied, suddenly aware of the fact she should have kept her mouth shut.

“Helena, go wait in the car I need to talk to Barbara alone.”

Helena barely heard “I trusted you with my daughter and you–” as she walked down the stairs. Eves dropping had already caused enough trouble, she didn’t want anymore trouble traced to her right now.


Very little actual arguing happened in the apartment. Selina had been more afraid then furious. She thought of Helena as hers, but she was aware that it was only half true. It had been a fluke that Barbara found out about Helena. But she knew the older Helena got, there was more of a chance of someone putting the pieces together.

“What was he doing here?” she asked.

“As far as your daughter is concerned, he didn’t even ask her last name. She’s just a friend’s child. But you know Selina, eventually she will know. Eventually she’ll ask questions you don’t want to answer. You can’t lie to her when that time comes.”

“She’s just a little girl.”

“She won’t be forever.”

“But I’m going to let her be that little girl for as long as possible. You don’t have a child, you don’t know what’s it’s like. ”

“I still think we should –”

“Don’t, you know the kind of criminal element gunning for Batman. What do you think they would do if they found out he had a helpless little girl out there?”

“She’d be Bruce Wayne’s daughter, not Batman’s.”

“For how long?”


Walking out the door, Helena made one of her famous mistakes, looking at her feet as she walked. And she walked right into someone as she stepped off the bottom step. She rolled one way, he rolled the other.

“Sorry,” Helena said.

“It’s okay,” the older boy said getting up. “I wasn’t paying attention either.”

Looking at him, Helena assumed the boy with dirty brown hair was about 12. He started to wipe the dirt off his clothes, then stopped and stared at his hands.

“Are they scratched?” Helena asked going up to him. “Let me see.”

She reached for his hands, but he pulled them away.

“Don’t,” he said with fear in his eyes. Then he turned and ran.

“Weird kid,” Helena said to herself as her mother came out the building.

“Get in the car Helena,” Selina said.

“Barbara didn’t tell me on purpose and Mr. Grayson was really nice before he left this morning,” Helena explained.

“Get in the car.”

“I didn’t see them do anything. Really mom, no kissing or nothing. They was just working on–”

“Helena, car!!” Selina said sharply.

Helena did as she was told. Selina put her daughters stuff in the back seat then got in the car herself. She started the car.

“Mom, I—”

“I’m not mad at Barbara,” Selina told her. “Don’t worry about it.”

That settled Helena’s mind a little, very little. Something was wrong and if it wasn’t anger, what was it?


Any conversations about Mr. Grayson and Barbara died before they reached home. They stopped home just to change and put away Helena’s bags. Her mother asked her about school and she told how she did coloring it as best she could. Then she got the “work hard” speech. They went out to a museum and had a special lunch after. Then Selina stopper by a friends house and they sent Helena to play with the man’s 5 year old daughter. Helena was upset at first, but the younger girl seemed to like her so the evening wasn’t to bad.

By the time Helena got home, it was time for dinner.

“I think we should find some activity to keep you busy over the summer,” Selina said at the dinner table.

“Mom, it’s called a vacation for a reason.”

“Bad things happen when kids are idle”

“Then why can’t we do stuff together?”

“We usually do, but right now I don’t want you getting into trouble.”

“You mean you want someone watching me every second of the day,” Helena mumbled.

“Helena, that’s not true. If I had the time, we’d take one of our fun little vacations, but I’m very busy right now. And I don’t want you getting into trouble.”

“There are plenty of 9 year olds who spend there day playing and don’t get in trouble.”

“I didn’t say you couldn’t play. Pick a sport and play it.”

“Me, a sport, you have got to be kidding. I couldn’t hit, catch, or sink a ball in a basket to save my life and I trip over my own feet.”

“But you take your falls and keep on going, eventually you’d learn coordination and balance.”

“Sure I would.”

“Watch the way you talk to me,” he mother warned. “You’re coming really close to getting hit in the mouth.”


“We don’t live in the safest city in the world Helena. However, we do have a community center that offers several activities that you can enjoy doing.” She handed her a pamphlet. “I was thinking gymnastics or maybe karate. ”

“I’m not like you mom, I’m not graceful.”

“You don’t have to be me. I wasn’t always as I am today. I was a kid. And anything worth doing–”

“Takes work, I know.”

“You’ll appreciate those things you earn far more than the things that come easy. Okay.”

“Do I really have to do this though?” Helena said.

“Yes, now pick an activity,” Selina demanded.

“Okay,” Helena said slouching in the chair.

“Don’t slouch,” her mother said.

Helena sat up and began picking at her food.

“Hey Helena,” her mother said.


“I love you,” she said with a smile.

She often did that to lighten the mood when they had a disagreements.

“Love you too mom,” Helena replied.

Helena sat down with the pamphlet after dinner and still couldn’t find anything she wanted to do. It was bad enough at school, she didn’t want to look like an idiot around another bunch of kids.

Her mother sent her to bed promptly at 10:00. She should have been elated to be back home in her own bed instead of the school dorm, but she was always restless her first night back in her old room, even if her mother did her best to tire her out.

She tossed and turned for a few hours. Besides the adjustment of changing her sleeping area again, she was still having dreams of being a fire starter and burning her mother. They made her jump up every time she closed her eyes. She suppose she deserved it for being nosey.

She got up to get a glass of milk. She checked on her mother — asleep or at least she seemed to be. It wouldn’t hurt to sit on the porch for awhile. Her mother didn’t like her going out at night, but what could happen on the porch? Besides, she loved the night, loved the way the sky filled with endless stars and opened up the gateway of the universe. It was beautiful at night. It was like the world was open to all things great and mysterious.

As she stepped on the porch, she heard some tin cans rattle in the distance and turned to see what had made the noise. Trash cans had fallen a building down from hers. Helena could see the form of a child bending over the cans, as if to pick them up. She focused on the form trying to get a better view. Then something happened, some slight adjustment to her vision. For a moment, it seemed like she could make out clearly the older boy she had run into earlier. That was impossible though, not only was he to far away for that to be the case, it was dark. Then the clear vision was gone and she was back to seeing only the form of someone quite a distance away.

She decided to see if it was him. After all, it was just another kid. What harm could he do?

“Need some help?” she said from behind him.

She shocked him and he tripped over the can he’d been staring at. She offered a hand to help him up. He refused it and got on to his feet himself.

“We gotta stop meeting like this,” Helena said with a smile.

“We shouldn’t be meeting at all,” the boy said.

“Why not?”

“Just because.”

“Well in case we do meet again, I think we should know what to call each other,” Helena told him. “I’m Helena Kyle.”

The boy looked unsure. “Rick,” he finally said.

“Nice to meet you Rick,” Helena said offering her hand again.

He again stared at her hand but didn’t offer his in return.

“It’s clean, I don’t have any diseases.”

“It’s not that, it’s just that sometimes when I touch things…you wouldn’t believe me.”

“Try me,” Helena said.

“No, I better go,” Rick said. “Nice to meet you Helena.”

Rick started to walk away.

“Are you him?” Helena asked causing him to pause.


“The fire starting kid? Are you him?”

“Who are you? What do you want with me?”

“I have a friend who can help you.”

“No, no one can help me,” Rick replied and turned to flee at a quicker pace than before.

“Rick!” Helena called. “Rick! Don’t leave Rick.”

Helena sighed and began to chase after to him. When he realized this, he began to run. Common sense told Helena to turn back, after all she was running through the Gotham streets in PJs. But now that she had found the kid Barbara was looking for, even if it was by accident, she saw no good reason to let him get away. She lost him when he darted through a bunch of teenagers on skateboards and she tripped over a stray board. The teenagers helped her up. She thanked them, said she was okay, and began looking for Rick again. She caught a brief glimpse of him ducking into an alley. She followed him into the alley. It seemed deserted at first. Then a man in a ski mask jumped from a low window. She froze. A bag came down after the man, he caught it, and then came another man in a ski mask. The two men, who she assumed to be burglars, caught sight of the child in the bright PJs.

“What the hell,” the first man said. He pulled out a gun and turned it on her.

‘Run Helena,’ her mind said. Suddenly a small figure jumped out of a dumpster and grabbed the man’s gun hand and the gun. It was Rick. The gun went red hot in his hand and he dropped it.

“Stupid fuck,” the man said and his hand swung back and knocked the boy against a wall.

Helena was about to run to Rick when another figure appeared from the shadows. In fact, at first it seemed like a shadow coming to life. It formed a man in an all black costume with a black cape flowing out behind him. The criminals lost all confidence and decided upon fleeing, but the man of the shadows quickly canceled that plan with a few sharp blows and a kind of flying rope thing that hog tied them like cattle. Helena was fascinated by him.

He turned to her when this was done. His eyes were familiar in a way she couldn’t explain. He looked at her for suspended moment and she smiled at him. She’d heard stories of him, but she had been told they were all made up.

“Are you him? Are you … the Batman?”

She walked closer, wanting to touch him. He stepped back and she stopped.

“The cops will come and get them, you get your friend and go home. Okay?”

Helena nodded. Then he turned, his cape seemed to sweep him right back into the shadows from which he emerged.

“Wow,” Helena said to herself. Then she ran to Rick and tried to shake him awake. He regained a sense of himself and she helped him up. Then he jumped away realizing he’d touched her.

“It’s okay, you didn’t burn me.”

They started walking out of the alley.

“What’s wrong with you?” Rick asked. “I thought for sure you’d turn back once I went into that dark alley.”

“I told you, my friend’s looking for you. She wants to help. And I knew if I didn’t chase you down and convince you of that, we might not see you again.”

“What is that any concern of yours?”

“I don’t know.”

“You know you can get yourself trying to be the hero.”

“Speaking of heroes, I saw him.”


“The Batman.”

“No way,” Rick said.

They reached Helena’s building. “You could come up and I could tell my mom what’s going on and we could see Barbara in the morning.”

“I don’t think so. I can’t risk it Helena. You don’t know what it’s like to have a power like this. It’s a curse. There is no help.” Rick turned away.

“But you helped me,” Helena said. She ran off the steps and ran up to Rick. “I know this thing is creepy. Ever since I found out about it, I’ve been having nightmares about it being me. But you did something good with it. And you seem to have some limited control over it. Maybe with help, you can still have a little bit of a normal life. Besides, by what I hear, you’re not the only metahuman in the world.”


“Barbara can explain these things to you. In fact she doesn’t even live far, I could get you there right now.”

“Right now?” Rick questioned.

“All the running would be over.”

“I guess if you almost got yourself killed for me, the least I can do is meet this woman. Can’t get any worse can it?”

Helena smiled and took his hand. He jumped.

“See, you didn’t burn me,” Helena said.

Again they began walking through the Gotham streets, this time to a bus stop. Helena knew it wasn’t very smart, catching the last bus of the night with a boy she hardly knew — an older boy she hardly knew, but something in her needed to finish it. And she was afraid if she told her mother about it, Selina would get angry and Rick would run again. Besides, what really was the difference between catching the bus in the morning or at night?

Barbara wasn’t home when they got there, so Helena dug up the spare key and let herself in. She and Rick sat down to watch some TV and fell asleep.

Sunlight assaulted Helena as she awoke. It didn’t help that Barbara was shaking her like a mad woman.

“Stop, Stop,” Helena said yawning.

“Do you know what time it is? You’re mother was worried sick.”

Helena focused on a clock nearby. It was 5 in the morning. She hadn’t dreamed about burning her mother. Meeting Rick and touching him had killed the bad dreams.

“Sorry,” Helena said. Then the night before came rushing back. “Bar–Rick he–Where is he?” she asked thinking he ran.

“He’s using the bathroom,” Barbara said.

“After I found him, after I realized who he was, I couldn’t let him get away. I just couldn’t.”

“I’m grateful he’s found and okay, but don’t ever do it again.”

“Barbara, I saw Batman. He saved me and Rick,” Helena said excitedly remembering that part of the story.

“You did,” Barbara said a little too pleased.

“He was amazing. Is he a meta whatamacalit”

Barbara laughed. “As far as I know he’s just a man. A man who’s trained hard to do what he does.”

“So you believe me?”

“Why wouldn’t I?”

“I know how grown ups are. ‘No sane man would run around the city dressed like a bat just to beat up criminals’ – that’s what Jerry’s dad said.”

Rick came back in the room.

“How are you?” Helena asked.

“Better,” Rick replied. “You were right about Barbara. She’s going to help. She’s already talked to my parents, after she talked to your–”

Suddenly there was a loud banging on the door. Barbara was going to open it when it flung open. Selina Kyle went right up to her daughter, ignoring the fact anyone else was in the room. She grabbed up her daughter, placing a vice grip on her arms.

“Don’t you EVER EVER EVER do that again!”

“I’m sorry,” Helena said suddenly crying, more out of fear than anything. “I was — I was — I wanted to help.”

“Oh Helena,” Selina said loosening her grip. “I don’t know what gets into your head sometimes. You could have been killed. And I don’t know how you feel about that, but it would tear me apart. Do you hear me? It would tear me apart.”

“I know, I’m sorry, but I’m okay.”

“This time, but what about next time.”

“There won’t be a next time.”

“You be sure there isn’t,” Selina told her.

She took her in her arms and hugged her so tight, she thought she would stop breathing. She decided that her mother wouldn’t find her Batman story entertaining right then. Selina stayed at Barbara’s long enough to calm down. She thanked Barbara for calling her right away and then they left.


“Mom,” Helena said as they arrived at home.

“What Helena?”

“I’m really sorry. If it hadn’t been for the Batman I would have been dead.”

“Batman?” she said with a little more interest than Helena expected. “What does he have to do with this?”

“I saw him.”

“Don’t be silly.”

That was the response Helena expected.

“And something else happened,” Helena said. “When I was outside, for a moment, it was like, like my vision changed. Not adjusted to the dark, changed. It was like … I don’t know, it was different.”

Selina paused for a moment — as if she were thinking up a good response.

“That doesn’t happen Helena. That’s as crazy as a man running around the streets dressed like a bat.”

“And a kid who can burn things by touch,” Helena mumbled.

“What?” Selina said.

“Nothing,” Helena replied.

And that was the end of that conversation for awhile.

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