New Canary Series: Nikki Lance

[Febuary 2003]

Fandom: Birds of Prey (TV)
Title: Nikki Lance
PenName: EV
Paring(s): Dinah/Helena
Rating: PG
Summary: Dinah and Helena’s secure life changes when Kelly Williams returns for her child. Notes: How does one little fun Helena/Dinah fall in love/adventure story become this? I don’t know. Anyway, there’s a running question in my head, how far do I mature Dinah. It’s hard because she’s 26 here. This story really evolved away from anything I planned? I hadn’t planned on killing off Mike in the previous story. In fact, I hadn’t planned on Mike and his young daughter being important at all, but I started a B-story with Mike and Nikki that evolved into something that needed completion.
Warning(s): If you didn’t catch on earlier in the series, it’s FemSlash.
Disclaimer: The Birds of Prey TV series belongs to the WB and some other people that aren’t me.

Canary fumbled to lift the thumb print. The light was horrible in the cellar, but it was the closest they’d come to finding evidence of this serial killer and she wasn’t leaving it up to the Gotham PD to actually do there job.

“Canary, the cops are on there way,” a young voice said in her earpiece.  “Get out of there.”

“Thanks sweetheart,” Canary replied.

“Not sweetheart mom, don’t call me that,” the young voice replied.

“What should I call you?” Canary said slipping from the basement.

“I don’t know, something cool. Like Princess Knight.”

“Princess Knight?” Canary questioned.

“Who are you to talk? You’re named after a bird.”

Dinah smiled as she escaped through the basement exit. She didn’t know when she became the 26 year old mother of an 8 year old, but it was hard to remember the time before that. Her adopted daughter, Nikki Lance, was the greatest joy in her life and despite the fact she’d taken on the responsibility as a nineteen year old freshman in college, she didn’t regret a day of it. It had been a hard adjustment. She had to quit her job just so she could juggle school, crime fighting, and taking care of Nikki. It was exhausting until Nikki started school and she could finally breath a bit. She started working again when Nikki went to school, bartending. Barbara thought work was an excuse to goof off with her girlfriend and maybe it had been. But being a superhero, a parent, and in graduate school didn’t lend itself to much granting you much free time. Since Helena now owned the bar, she gave her a job and taught her the ropes, but it also gave her some flexibility with hours. She was amazed at how willingly Helena had stepped in to help with Nikki. Dinah didn’t feel comfortable demanding anything of Helena. She made the decision to be Nikki’s mother and she accepted that. Helena had seemed uncomfortable with Nikki as a toddler. Barbara had been more helpful in the early years, especially since Nikki started to see her powers mature at such a young age. Barbara was at first intrigued by Nikki, but then she fell in love with her. Helena seemed more comfortable with Nikki as she got older and became more of a little person with her own mind.

Dinah’s psychic connection to Nikki had developed as the child developed. Nikki now knew how to shut her thoughts out and she seemed to prefer real talking to telepathic talking, but in moment of great distress Dinah could feel what Nikki was feeling. Soon they were out of practice and things seem to come across as feelings more than words. She wished Mike were here to see all that the little girl had become, but who knows how he would feel. He didn’t like the idea of his daughter being impressed by the superhero life. When Dinah adopted her she decided hiding it was pointless. She had thought about making a secret, but neither herself or Helena had benefitted from not knowing who there mother’s were. If anything the secret had hurt in the long run. From a young age, Nikki understood the importance of secrets and she’d never told anyone about the clocktower or her mother’s secret life.
“I’m on my way back,” Canary replied. “Bath and Bed after this.”

“But Oracle and Huntress are away? Shouldn’t I be watching your back till you get home.”

“I’m not going to have you falling asleep in class. You’ve been a help, now go brush your teeth and get ready for bed.”

“Alright bird lady I’ll brush my teeth, but I’m not going to bed till you’re back. Okay?”


Nikki reluctantly slid from the chair and landed on the floor. She didn’t like leaving her mother alone out there. The Clocktower was too empty. Barbara had been gone for a month to help out some people in Metropolis. Then Helena had to leave town to follow up a case. The Clocktower was too quiet and her mother had never held down the city alone, so she wanted to help. She opened the locket around her neck. Her mother had given it to her on her fifth birthday. There< was a picture of her father inside.

“Dad, I worry about my mom sometimes,” Nikki said softly.

“Don’t worry Nikki. Your mom’s pretty tough,” a familiar voice said.

Nikki looked up with a big grin on her face. “Helena,” Nikki exclaimed running into her arms.

Helena gave her a big hug and lifted her in the air.

“You’re getting heavy kid.”

Nikki laughed. “Mom said you use to call her kid.”

“I still do sometimes.”

“But you two are like the same age. You’re old ladies.”

“I’ll show you an old lady if you say that again,” Helena told her.

Nikki grinned. “I’m kidding, but I just can’t imagine you calling mom kid.”

“Well Dinah was our baby bird for awhile.”

“Now I’m the baby bird,” Nikki said with a grin.

“Nah, you’re the little monster,” Helena said tickling her.

Nikki broke into giggles. Dinah walked in on the giggling child and her girlfriend. She smiled at

“Mommy,” Nikki said when she saw her watching them. “Helena’s back.”

“I see,” Dinah said slipping off her jacket and putting the fingerprint kit to the side. “I also see you’re not ready for bed.”

Nikki groaned and she ran off to get ready for bed.

“So when did Nikki become honey I shrunk the Oracle?” Helena asked.

“She wanted to do something. Barbara’s in Metropolis, you were in Edge City. Better to have her watching me from up here then worrying about her getting into trouble in the penthouse.” Dinah said. “So did you find your guy?”

“Yeah, looks like the bad guys after him got to him first. He’s dead.”

“Too bad,” Dinah sighed.         

“Enough work talk,” Helena said walking up to her. “I missed my baby bird.”

“She missed you too,” Dinah replied.

There lips met sharing there soft, familiar caress. Helena could hardly believe there was a time she’d tried to convince herself she hated this lovely woman. One day she’s a troublesome teen trying to run with the big girls, the next day she’s raising a kid and keeping New Gotham criminals in check alone. All the things she conquered and accomplished on the road of becoming a crime fighter and motherhood made her stronger, more passionate, more beautiful. And Helena couldn’t believe she was in love, not like this anyway. It had never been like this.

“Ooops,” Nikki’s little voice said with a giggle as she walked in on there kiss. The kiss broke with the little girls giggles.

“What are you doing back up here?” Dinah asked. “You aren’t going to get up in the morning.”

“I just wanted to give you this?” Nikki said handing her a peice of paper.

“Not another list,” Dinah replied.

“I just want you to think about it.”

“Think about what?” Helena questioned.

“I want a little brother,” Nikki said.

“A what?” Helena questioned.

“Nikki,” Dinah told her. “I told you’re all the kid I need. Now go to bed.”

Nikki frowned and headed to bed. Helena and Dinah watched her leave.

“So she wants a baby brother?” Helena asked.

“Yeah,” Dinah said sadly. “That will be great, a pregnant Black Canary.”

“It’s happened before. I mean don’t you want a kid, your kid I mean?”

“I’m still in school, We’re talking diapers and formula again. Besides, Nikki is my kid in the only way it matters.”

“I know, but you know what I mean. Your eyes, your ears, your grandmother’s nose.”

Dinah laughed. “My grandmother’s nose. How would I even know?” She paused a moment. “Do you want that? A baby I mean.”

“I don’t know.” Helena said. “I guess I’ve thought about it. But then I think I have to take care of a baby and the thought leaves. Still I’d hate to be the last of the Kyle line.”

“Or the Wayne line,” Dinah added.

“Anyway, the clock is ticking.”

“I just don’t see the point of pregnancy,” Dinah said. “I mean there’s little kids out there looking for families. If you have a choice in the whole planning of expanding your family. Get one of those kids. Why try to create a new life just so you can say ‘we share DNA’.”

“So you would you ever adopt another kid, a little boy maybe?”

“I don’t know,” Dinah said. “Nikki was special. She wasn’t planned, she just belonged Why are you even asking? You’re not a baby person.”

“You’re right, but I think she’s lonely,” Helena said. “I mean I know what it’s like to be an only child. She’s a bright kid, but she’s still a kid. She wants to feel close to someone her age.”

“We can’t exactly bring in some six year old and expect him to realize like Nikki, the importance
of the secret.”

“First of all, we’ve taken a risk being open with her. Nik’s eight Dinah. Most eight year olds I know would be dying to tell their friends about the secret life of her super cool mommy.”

“Maybe you’re right. Maybe Nikki needs someone. It’s just … I just know I’m not ready to be the whole ‘single mother of two’.”

Morning drifted into the penthouse as Nikki sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast. Helena walked into the dining room. Dinah had an early class, so for the past week Nikki went to school with the woman next door and her daughter Dee. Since Helena was back she didn’t have to worry about dealing with the girl downstairs who hated her.  She was relieved to see her in the kitchen this morning.

“Guess what? I dreamed about my little brother again,” Nikki told Helena. “He seems so real in the dream, like he’s already around and I just got to find him. You want to see what he looks like?”

“Sure,” Helena shrugged.

Nikki smiled and closed her eyes. She focused on the image in her head and then opened her eyes. A boy a head shorter than herself stood in front of her. If Helena was standing at a distance she would have sworn there were two chidren in the room.

“You’re getting good at that little illusion thing you do,” Helena said.

“Thanks, Princess Knight is going to be kick ass one day.”

“Hey,” Helena said. “Watch your language.”


“And please don’t call yourself Princess Knight.”

“How about Lady knight?” Nikki asked as she tossed her breakfast plate away.    

Helena threw Nikki’s bookbag at her and she caught it. The image Nikki had projected of a little boy disolved.

“Let’s go,” Helena said.

“I know Knight Rider.”

“That was an old TV show about a talking car,” Helena said as they walked out the door.

“It was, cool maybe I could get one of those, a talking car I mean. Didn’t Batman have one?”

“The Batmobile didn’t talk… at least I don’t think it did.”

“We could call it the KnightMobile.”

“Give it up kid.”

“I’m just kidding.”

Nikki passed Dee in the hall and they shared a polite wave. When Dee saw Helena she knew she wouldn’t be forced to share a ride to school. Dee hated her ever since first grade when she accidentally spilled paint on her new shirt. She was civil to her when her mother drove her to school, but ignored her in school. Going to school with Dee and her mother wasn’t fun. What was
worse was the forced invite every year to Dee’s party. Thank goodness Helena was back. The week she was gone felt like a lifetime. But it wasn’t just going to school, Nikki liked when Helena was around in general. Her mother seemed happier. Things could be great with just the two of them, but better with Helena and home seemed so empty with Aunt Barbara away. Aunt
Barbara seemed to know everything and she loved being around her and learning all she could about operations in the Clocktower. She seemed to be the least annoyed when she strung together a series of Why? questions.

Plus, Mom learned from Aunt Barbara, Helena learned from Aunt Barbara, and she wanted to be the next one in that line of superheros. She knew her mother always wanted her to have a normal life to avoid the hardships of the superhero life. These past couple days where her mother consented to let her try out the Oracle station she felt like she was where she belonged. There was only one thing she wanted more than to be a real member of the team, a friend.


“What Nik?”

“Do you think I’ll be able to get a little brother?”

“Well, it’s not exactly something you can order.”

“I know where babies come from.”

“You do?” Helena replied shocked.

“I asked and mom she told me,” Nikki said. “I know Mom doesn’t have a husband, but there’s lots of other ways to get kids, right?”

“Yeah, but you know people like to think about it. When your mom adopted you, we didn’t have much time to think.”

“If Mom doesn’t want to be pregnant, maybe you can have my baby brother. You can move in with us and the two of you can have a baby and you two can raise it and I can help. You practicaly live with Mom and Aunt Barbara anyway, why not make it official.”

“You know what we do Nikki. Do you really think we could do it pregnant?”

“I don’t know. It’s only nine months. Black Canary had mommy, Catwoman had you. I mean how much trouble could happen in nine months?”

“Nine months is how many days?”

Nikki paused a moment. “About 270,” Nikki said.

“That’s a lot of time isn’t it?”

“I guess,” Nikki said.

“We love you Nik and we don’t regret a day of it. But when you were a little baby it wasn’t too easy. A baby is a lot of work and a lot of time I’m not sure we have. Your mom isn’t even finish school yet.”

“That’s not a problem, I’m a big girl now, I could take care of the baby.”

“You’re only eight Nikki. There’s just some things you can’t do.”

“I’m not getting a baby brother am I?”

“I don’t know.”

Nikki smiled. Anything was better than a flat out no like the ones she got from mom. They had reached the school. Nikki frowned as Helena parked.

“Everything okay kid.”

“I suppose,” Nik said. “Did you have a lot of friends in School?”


“Never mind,” Nikki said. “Bye Helena.”

“Alright Nik,” Helena said. “See you later.”

They hugged.

“Are you coming to pick me up?”


“You think we could train some more when you get home.”

“You know your mom doesn’t like me training you to fight.”

“I know, but she and Barbara teach me all kinds of stuff.”

“None of that involves fighting.”

“I know, but I’m not gonna be a bully. Besides I want to be just like you, Aunt Barbara, and mom
when I grow up.”

“You know you don’t have to be right?”

“Yeah, I know, mom says I could do anything, but it’s like she means anything but what she is.”

“It’s not a pretty life Nikki, it just looks like it from the outside.”

“But you think I could do it, right? When I’m big if I wanted too.”

“Nik, you’re just like your mother. I’m pretty sure if you want it bad enough when you’re old
enough, no one will be able to stop you.”

Nikki smiled. “Thanks.”

“Love you kid,” Helena said.

“Love you too,” Nikki said.

They shared a quick hug. Nikki ran into the school.

Waiting, the woman had been waiting hoping she would be able to figure out which child was the one she was looking for. And then she appeared and there was no question. She saw the little girl climb out of the car. She didn’t have to ask herself which child it was because this little girl looked exactly like she did when she was a little girl. Her red hair, her nose, her eyes, her mouth were all an exact match for her own so many years ago. It was amazing how physically alike they were. She wondered if the child hated her, especially since after Mike died she wasn’t there. The child seemed so normal. She didn’t know what she expected, but as a scared teenager she’d been afraid Nikki would be anything but normal. Afraid of a harmless baby girl. Now looking at her she wanted to say I’m sorry a thousand times.

“She doesn’t know you Kelly,” Daria had said as she wrote down the name of the school. How could the child not know her, she knew the child as soon as she saw her.

She saw a woman with dark hair approach the school. She was wearing shades so Kelly didn’t know if she had ever seen her before. Nikki looked happy to see her until a teacher approached the woman.


Helena hated when she was forced into a teacher conference. And when she arrived at the school the teacher was holding Nikki hostage in the classroom. When a teacher reported bad behavior she never knew if she should raise her voice, promise severe punishment when she got home, or look at her and say ‘we’re going to tell your mother’.

“Are you Miss Lance?” the teacher asked approaching Helena.

“I told you she’s not my mom,” Nikki snapped. “I’m not a liar.”

“Nik, don’t talk to a teacher like that,” Helena told the child.

“Sorry Helena,” Nikki said. Nikki turned to the teacher “She’s my mom’s girlfriend, okay.”

“Well…ummm,” the teacher said. “She gave a young boy a bloody nose today.”

“He was picking on me,” Nikki said. “Shan’s always picking on me.”

Helena tried to supress a smile at the thought of sweet little Nikki beating up some boy bully.

“I told you Nikki,” the teacher said. “Words don’t send people to the hospital.”

“Sent him there,” she mumbled.

The teacher looked annoyed. “Please give this note to her mother and ask her to come in tommorow morning.”

The teacher left.

“Who’s that?” Helena asked.

“A substitute, Mrs. Crawford, she’s new. She doesn’t know what a big jerk Shan is.”

“Even if he is, you know better,” Helena said. “You’re going to have to tell your mother about it.”

“I didn’t mean to bloody his nose. I only hit him once. He threw garbage at me yesterday and because he got all his friends to say he didn’t, no one believed me. I’m not a liar.”

“I know,” Helena said.

“When he started again today, I just snapped. I’m sorry.”

“If you popped the boy he proably deserved it.”

“So what exactly are we going to tell mom?” Nikki asked.

“The truth,” Helena told her. “But leave out the part where I said the boy deserved it? And remeber to pout a lot and say I’m sorry and –”

“I’ll never do it again.”

“You’re a smart kid.”

Nikki laughed.


“This is your fault,” Canary said as they patroled the streets that night.  

“The boy threw trash at her,” Huntress replied. “I think he deserved it.”

“I do too, but that’s what the teachers and administrators are there for.”

“If we lived by that logic we’d let the cops handle the criminals. But we don’t, do we? Sometimes you have to step up and defend yourself. Besides, Nikki telling the teacher and it didn’t work.”

Dinah sighed. “I just don’t want Mike to be right.”


“About Nikki thinking she has to be like us… to be one of us. Sometimes I think just like he said, she sees what we’re doing and it’s fun in her eyes. She doesn’t see the rest of it.”

“So she’s a lot like you,” Helena told her.


“When you first got here, you wanted in, but you didn’t know what you were asking for. You were this giddly teenager who thought the life was so glamorous. You learned fast that it wasn’t, but you didn’t quit. Neither one of us is planning on taking baby girl out for sweeps tommorow or in two or three years, so don’t worry about it. Maybe by fifteen or sixteen spending her nights dealing with sleaze and getting dirty with Gotham scum won’t be so appealing. And if it is still appealing, would it be so bad. You turned out okay. She’s a good kid. She isn’t going to turn into some elementary school vigilante.”

“I hope you’re right,” Canary replied. “It’s just sometimes I think she would be better off with a normal family. Maybe I ruined her by taking her in. Maybe I shouldn’t have adopted her”

“Canary don’t–”

Suddenly the two women heard a scream and whatever Huntress was going to say was cut short.

“Duty calls,” Canary said.

What they didn’t know was Nikki had been listening. She was suppose to be in bed, but she thought a trip to the Clocktower to listen in on her mother and Helena would be harmless. It hurt her to know her mother regreted adopting her.

“I better go to bed before I get in more trouble,” Nikki said to herself.


Dinah awoke to a knock on her door. She felt the weight on the bed beside her and smiled to herself. She had forgotten how wonderful it was to wake up in Helena’s arms, her head resting on the other woman’s chest.

“Come on in,” Dinah said sitting up in bed.

Nikki came in and crawled on the bed between Dinah and Helena.

“Know what?” Nikki said.


“I decided I don’t need a baby brother, but maybe I could get a pet.”

“That might work” Dinah said. “Maybe something low maintence. A goldfish.”

“A fish. You can’t play with fish,” Nikki said.

“You know the kid wants like a dog or something,” Helena added.

“Dogs are a lot of responsibility,” Dinah said. “How about a Hamster?”

“How about a guinea pig,” Nikki said. “They’re big enough to hold and nice and fuzzy, but they live in cages so they don’t always have to be underfoot.”

“Okay a guinea pig, but only if you promise no more fights.”

“Okay,” Nikki replied. “But it wasn’t really a fight. I hit him and he hit the ground.”

Nikki smiled and Dinah tried not to laugh at her. Helena laughed. Nikki sat up and hugged her.

“I’m sorry, no more fighting, I love you mom.”

“Love you too,” Dinah said.

“You too Helena,” Nikki said giving Helena a hug.

She slid off the bed and ran out the room.

“You know she still wants a little brother, don’t you?” Helena said.

“Yeah, but maybe a pet will help.”

That day Dinah drove Nikki to school. She had to talk to the teacher, which meant rearranging her day. Nikki saw Shan and his friends watching her as she approached the school. The morning bell still hadn’t rung and most kids were still running around the playground area, but Dinah marched her right in the school. It wasn’t as bad as Nikki expected. Her mom had a way of
bringing warmth into the room with her. Her mother said it wasn’t always that way, Helena said Dinah was always Miss Sunshine until she got pissed off and then watch out. Barbara said Dinah never realized that little gift she had for making people smile. Nikki appologized to the teacher for causing a disruption and explained her position. With her mother there supporting her the teacher seemed to understand Nikki wasn’t lying before. The teacher found Shan, bought him in, and the three of them had a talk in private. In the end each child appologized and Nikki and Shan shook hands, but Nikki doubted Shan would stop picking on her.

The day actually wasn’t too bad after that. Shan ignored her and she was allowed to dwell in her usual school day solitude. After school she sat and waited on the steps. Shan happen to be there even after his friends went home. He slid closer to her. His nose was still bandaged from yesterday.

“Why are you over here?” Nikki asked.

“Cause I want to be.” Shan said.

They sat in silence for a few more seconds.

“I’m really sorry ’bout that,” Nikki finally said.

“It’s nothin’,” Shan replied. “You got a pretty good punch for a girl.”

“Helena taught me,” Nikki said.

“That’s your other mom right? The one with the dark hair.”

“Well, sorta, I have one mom. Helena’s just my mom’s girlfriend.”

“So what do you call her?”

“Helena,” Nikki replied.

“I guess calling two people mom would be confusing.”

“It’s not that. It’s just.. okay like if your mom was dating or your dad was dating, it wouldn’t make that other person your mom or dad. Even though I guess Helena kinda is.”

“Maybe it’s better that you call her Helena. My mom always has me calling her new boyfriends daddy,” Shan said. “I know who my real daddy is and it’s not any of her boyfriends. But she hates my dad, so I pretend to hate him too.”


“Why what?”

“Why would you pretend to hate someone if you don’t hate them?”

“Cause it’s makes mom happy.”

They sat in silence awhile longer. A car horn honked.

“That’s my mom,” Shan said. “Hey Nik, I just threw trash at you so the other boys would think I was cool. I thought you’d be an easy target. Thanks for making me wrong.”

He waved good-bye and Nikki sat on the steps alone. She thought about going in to use the phone, but it wasn’t the first time she had been picked up late so she sat and waited.

“Excuse me,” an adult voice said. Nikki turned toward it. The woman looked about her mother’s age. She was a red-head, well dressed, but she looked a bit worn around the eyes. “You’re Nikki right?”

“Do I know you?”

“You use to,” the woman replied.

Nikki didn’t like the way the woman was looking at her.

“I don’t talk to strangers and if you try to grab me I’ll scream.”

“Nikki I knew Mike.”

“Ho-How did you know my dad?” Nikki asked nervously.

“Look at me, I’m you,” the woman said.

Nikki thought that was a weird thing to say, but she looked at her. Everyone always said she was the spitting image of Kelly, maybe …

“Kelly?” Nikki questioned. It was just a guess, but a guess made in fear of it being true.

Kelly couldn’t belive the child she’d given birth to was looking at her like a stranger. She wanted to grab her and hug her and appologize for being so stupid, but she saw the child was still afraid. Afraid of her own mother? It wasn’t right.

“Nikki,” someone called from across the playground.

It was her real mother’s voice. Nikki turned and ran to the voice she knew so well.

“Sorry, I was suppose to pick you up, but–” She paused feeling the fear in Nikki.

“Mom,” Nikki said. “Kelly’s over there.”

“Kelly? Your mother Kelly?”

Dinah looked up and saw the woman standing on the playground. Now Nikki could feel the anger surging through her mother. Kelly approached them slowly.

“Dinah? I can hardly believe it’s you,” Kelly said. “Then again we didn’t really get to know each other. I mean last I saw you were running out of the school caferteria. I didn’t go to school much, but that was an interesting day.”

Nikki hid behind Dinah. She didn’t know this woman and it bothered her that she was here.

“Nikki, go wait in the car,” Dinah said.

Nikki ran into the vehicle. Dinah waited until she heard the door close.

“How dare you,” Dinah said. “How dare you just show up?”

“I’m sorry I never meant to speak to her at all, but I just wanted to explain.”

Dinah calmed herself. She was beyond going on a temper tantrum. Not to many years ago she might have let anger get the better of her.

“Why are you here?”

“I just wanted to see her, know that she was okay. When I found out Mike was dead, I just needed–. So I tracked down one of my old friends and I found out about the adoption. I thought then I’ll never see her. But she knew where she was. Daria was angry at me because I left Nicole, but she didn’t understand. After I found out what Mike was all I could see was a baby that might be some kind of monster. I couldn’t handle that.”

“And you thought Mike could?”

“He was one of those… things.”

“Things? Your daughter. No, my daughter is one of those things. So am I and so is the woman I’ve been with for most of Nikki’s life. Nikki’s not a thing Kelly. Mike wasn’t a thing. None of us are things. And just so you know, Nikki’s gift is harmless.”

“It’s not like Mike’s?”

“No. She’s Nikki Lance now, not Nikki Williams. Let it be.”

Dinah turned to walk away.

“Wait,” Kelly said. Dinah paused. “I know what I did was unforgivable and perhaps Nikki will never forgive me, but at least let me open the door for her and she can walk through if she wants. You’re right, she’s Nikki Lance and as far back as she can remember that’s what she’s been, but if she ever wants to ask the question, I want her to come to the source. Give me a dinner, one dinner, or maybe a lunch, a brunch, I don’t care.”

Dinah walked to woman and pulled a card from her pocket. “My number and e-mail is on there. Now, I have to get Nikki home.”

Dinah walked to the car and climbed in. She sported a fake smile for Nikki’s sake.

“I know she upset you too,” Nikki said.

“I’m okay,” Dinah said.

“Mom, this is me,” Nikki said. They sat in silence a moment. “Kelly’s not going to take me, is

“No,” Dinah said. “You’re Nikki Lance.”

“Your daughter,” Nikki added with a smile.


“What do you mean she deserves a chance?” Helena yelled at her in the bedroom that night. “Dinah she abandoned the kid! She called us ‘things’!”

“The fact is Nikki isn’t mine, she’s hers.”

“You think she’d point to that woman if you and Kelly were standing side by side and someone asked Nik who her mother was?”

“I don’t know,” Dinah said.

“I know who Nikki’s mother is and it’s not Kelly. Kelly Williams wasn’t sitting with her on sleepless nights and craming for classes inbetween feedings. She didn’t change diapers, she didn’t potty train, she didn’t have to give up things she wanted just so Nikki could have a winter coat or new shoes. She’s done nothing for Nikki.”

“You think I want this!” Dinah said with tears breaking through to her cheeks. “I don’t want it, but it’s not about what I want. And it’s what Barbara would do. It’s what Barbara did when my mother came back.”

“Well that was different. You knew your mom. Even if she quit at it, she was mom somewhere in your head. This woman is a stranger to Nikki. She doesn’t deserve anything.”

“I want to give Nikki what I didn’t have.” Dinah couldn’t fight the tears breaking now. “And that includes a chance with her real mother. I have to, even if I hate it, because Mike would want me too.”                    


“Please let this happen the way it has to happen.”

Helena saw no point in arguing with her now. Dinah was fighting her own emotional turmoil right now, proably saying to herself all the things she was saying out loud.

“Come here,” she said taking Dinah into her arms. Nothing made Dinah feel better than having Helena hold her.

That Friday morning school was closed, so Helena and Dinah took Nikki to get her guinea pig. They also had arranged to meet with Kelly that day. Kelly was staying at a friend’s house. Daria was also a friend of Mikes who knew Kelly. Apparently she’d run into this old friend by accident and learned about Mike’s fate seven years ago. It had been a couple days since Nikki saw Kelly and the fear was gone. She just wondered, why was Kelly here now?

Some fear came back as they rang the bell. Her only comfort was the new pet she held in her arms. Nikki hoped this woman didn’t expect her to call her mom. They were all surprised when a little boy answered the door. Nikki froze for a momment. It was the little boy from her dream. Her little brother.

“Hi, I’m Nick,” the boy said.

“Nicholas,” Kelly’s voice yelled from inside. “I told you about that door.”

Kelly reached the door.

“Cool hamster,” the four year old boy said.

“It’s a guinea pig, his name is Mike,” Nikki told him “Hamsters are smaller.”

“Nicholas,” Kelly said to the little boy. “This is Nicole. Your sister.”

Dinah and Helena shared an uncertain glance, but Nikki smiled even widder.

“A baby brother. I have a baby brother.”

“I’m not a baby,” Nick said.

“Sorry, I mean little brother.”

“Well, come on in,” Kelly said.

Daria was inside. She greeted Dinah with a handshake and appologized for the incident at the school. Nikki and Nick were soom chatting about favorite TV shows and the latest video games. He was facinated with Dinah’s new pet and told her about his dog at home. The adults sat in the kitchen allowing the kids to bond.

“So that’s your son?” Dinah asked.

“Yeah, my son and my husband’s son.”

“So you’re married?”

“Yes,” Kelly replied.

“I guess he’s not a ‘thing’,” Helena mumbled

“I’m sorry for using that word,” Kelly said. “I can see Nikki’s not a thing.”

“Why couldn’t you see that when she was born?” Helena questioned.

“I’ll handle this Helena,” Dinah said. She turned to Kelly. “Why are you here now?”

“I thought having another kid and doing the right thing would make up for what I did. I never forgot Nicole, but I thought she was living happily with Mike all this time. I just need to know she was okay”

“What do you care if they were happy or not?” Helena interrupted again. “They were monsters.”

“I don’t understand what you are, what she is, but she still came from me. I care.”

“You cared so much you had to accidentally find out Mike was dead and your daughter was
someone else’s child.”

“I don’t want to take her.”

“Your’s not going to,” Helena mumbled.

“I’m sorry, I just want to talk to Nikki and give the choice to her. I won’t interrupt your lives again unless I’m invited.”

Nick and Nikki sat on the living room floor racing each other in a video game. Nikki felt like she had always known him as they laughed and talked trash about how badly they would beat the other in the game. Nikki was so elated to be with him she didn’t care if she won or lost. But she won the video game race sending her little brother’s car spinning off the track.

“Do you have this game at home?” Nick asked.

“Nope, first time playing.”

They sat in silence for a few seconds.

“Mommy said you were different.”

“She did? Does your mom talk about me a lot?”

“No, just a lil while ago before we came to see you.”

“And she said I was different.”

“Yeah, she said you was different from me. ‘Cept you seem like a regular old kid just like me.”

“Well I’m not a regular old kid,” Nikki replied.

“Your not?”

“Nope, I have powers,” Nikki said seriously, waiting to see how he would react. She had never told anyone this. Nick laughed.

“Stop lying,” the boy said.

“I do. That’s why mom didn’t want me. See, my dad had powers too.”

He stopped laughing. “Really? Can you like blow stuff up?” he said excited.

“No, nothing that cool,” Nikki said. “Alright, you know I only have one Mike right?”


She pulled over the box where she had placed her new pet. Nikki concentrated and told Nick to look in the box. He did and was surprised to see two Mike the guinea pigs in the box.

“Cool, you split him into two,” he reached for the second and his hand went through the illusion.

“It’s not two,” Nikki said making the illusion disappear. “It’s a trick. If I have a picture of something in my head, I can make it seem like it’s there when it’s not.”

“Wow, that’s cool. I can’t do anything cool like that.”

“You can’t tell anybody though. Your mom might be mad I told you.”

“Why you keep saying that?”

“Saying what?”

“Saying like we have two different moms. She’s your mommy too.”

“I don’t really know your mommy like a mommy.”

“That’s weird. We come from the same lady, but have different mommies.”

“I’m weird,” Nikki said with a smile.

“No, you’re cool,” Nick replied.

“So you don’t think me and my dad are monsters.”

“No way.”

“Thanks,” Nikki said.

“I wish my dad had powers and I got some.”

“No you don’t, because then Mom wouldn’t want you.”

“Maybe mommy’s different now Nikki,” Nick said.

“I hope so,” Nikki replied. “Cause I like having a brother.”

“Proably almost time to eat, lets go,” Nick said taking Nikki’s hand. Nikki wished she could take him home with her.

The two of them entered the dinning room. The grown ups were still sitting around talking.

“Hey,” Nick whispered. “Could you make them think we were sitting there when we weren’t and then we could be somewhere else.”

“Not really good at keeping the illusion going if I’m not in the same room.”

“Too bad,” Nick said as they apprached the adults who promptly ended whatever conversation they had going.

“Hey Nikki,” Dinah said. “Did you have fun with your brother?”

“Yeah, he’s cool.”

“Mom, she’s tottally cool,” Nick said to Kelly. “Can she come to my party this weekend?”

“Party?” Nikki questioned

“I’m gonna be five years old,” Nick said displaying five fingers.

“I’m gonna be nine in two months.”

“Nine? Wow, you’re a big girl,” Kelly said.

Nikki looked disappointed Kelly didn’t remember how old she was.

“Did you ever hold me Kelly?” Nikki asked suddenly.

“What?” Kelly replied.

“Did you hold me when I was born? Did you look at me? I always wondered if you looked at me and still saw a monster or didn’t look at me at all because you were afraid of what you’d see.”

Kelly never expected that question and everyone was waiting on her answer.

“They laid you on my chest, they said ‘here’s your baby’. I shut my eyes, I turned away, but I could still hear you crying. I didn’t want to see you. They took you off of me and put you in the Nursery.”

“You didn’t want to love me?” Nikki questioned. “I don’t understand.”

“I can’t explain it. All I can say is I was wrong and if I had the chance to do it again, I wouldn’t be
so cruel.”

“Does this mean she can’t come to my party?” Nick asked.

“That’s up to her,” Kelly replied.

“And she could stay over night?” Nick question. “Maybe the whole weekend

Dinah and Nikki looked at each other and then at Helena who didn’t hide the look of displeasure on her face. Kelly’s abandonment of baby Nikki disgusted her and she wasn’t pretending to feel anything else.

“Mom? Helena?” Nikki questioned. “Would that be okay?”

“It’s up to you,” Dinah said.

“We could have a sleepover Nikki. I got a bunkbed all to myself. You can have whichever you want.”

Nikki smiled at her little brother. “That would be fun.”

“And we’ll be glad to have you,” Kelly said.


A few hours later they were back at the Clocktower and things were almost quiet. Nikki heard her mother and Helena training in the other room. She knew today’s practice was less about staying on top of there game physically and more about working out there issues with Kelly. She could see it on Helena’s face and feel it from her mother. But she couldn’t say no to a weekend
with her little brother.

The phone rang and Nikki answered it. She was pleased to hear Barbara on the other end.

“Hey Aunt Barbara.”

“Nikki,” Barbara responded. “Where’s your mother?”

“She and Helena are training. They’re kinda upset.”


“We had lunch with my biological mother today.”

“Kelly? She’s back?”


“How do you feel about that?”

“I don’t know,” Nikki replied.

“Who you talking to Nik?” Helena questioned as she appeared toweling herself off.

“Aunt Barbara,” Nikki replied handing her the phone.

Nikki got her pet Mike and headed to her room. She had a suitcase out for packing. She was going to Kelly’s house tomorrow, overnight.

“Mommy says it’s best if you stay here with her Mike. Sorry to be leaving you so soon, but I get a chance to be with my real life brother. I wish he could be here with Mommy and Helena and me instead of the other way around.”

“You haven’t packed anything yet,” Dinah said as she appeared in the doorway.

“I’m scared to be alone with her. Kelly’s just some strange woman. Sometimes I don’t know, it’s creepy. Like she expects me to love her like I love you and Helena and Aunt Barbara. But I don’t mom, because she’s not my mom.”

“I know,” Dinah said hugging her. “She knows. She won’t make you call her mom or hug her tommorow. Just go and be with your brother and if you feel uncomfortable, call.”

“You’re scared too, I can feel it.”

“Maybe I’m afraid you’ll get to know her and love her more than you love me.”

“Never happen.”

“Alright Princess Knight,” Dinah said giving her a kiss. “You figure out what you’re going to pack and remeber it’s just a weekend.”

Dinah and Nikki knew it wasn’t just a weekend. Nikki had never been to a sleepover of any sort or stayed over a friend or relatives house. This was the first time since Mike’s death, almost seven years ago, that Nikki would be away from home overnight. It was scary for both of them. Nikki opened her drawers and began looking for clothes.

Helena entered her room as Nikki was trying to close the suitcase.

“You alright Knight Rider?” Helena questioned.

Nikki laughed at one of the many names she invented, or borrowed, for herself. “Yeah, I’m alrightjust can’t get this thing closed.”

“Come here Nik,” Helena said sitting in a chair in the room. Nikki came and sat in her lap.”You’re really gettin’ big.”

Nikki smiled.

“Anyway, you remember I told you about my dad and my mom right.”

“Your dad didn’t know about you until you were all grown up and you didn’t know he was Batman.”

“Forget Batman, I didn’t even know he was Bruce Wayne. I know a bit of what you’re feeling. People see this person who’s your parent and you see a stranger who you happen to share DNA with and everyone expects some magic love switch to turn on and it just doesn’t happen.”

“So you didn’t, I mean when you finally met your dad…”

“No, there was no magic switch. I mean we’re friends now, but he’s not my father, I didn’t have a father. He wasn’t there and you can’t get it back once it’s gone. The most you can hope is that you can be friends and respect each other at the end of it all.”

“But I’m still a little girl. What if she still thinks… what if I can still love her like a mom?”

“Do you think you could?”

“No, Dinah’s my mom.”

“That’s right.”

Nikki smiled. “Would you ever have minded if I called you mommy Helena?”

Helena was shocked by this question.

“I was just wondering,” Nikki said.

“Nah, I wouldn’t mine.”

They hugged. Helena got up and walked over to the bed. She arranged the clothes a bit and then closed the suitcase.

“All done,” Helena told her. “Now lets go watch some TV.”


Night seem to come out of nowhere. Nikki lay on the end of the bed knowing early the next day she wouldn’t be in her own room. She was restless when she should have been sleeping. Unable to sleep, she made her way to the Clocktower and heard Helena and Dinah’s voices.

“I don’t like Kelly anymore than you. I think I’m going to take her myself tommorow.”

“What?” Helena replied.

“Helena, she’s my daughter. I’ll handle it.”

“Your daughter? Well I’ve had more than a few sleepless night cause of that kid too. Why is it when shit happens, she’s just your daughter.”

“You and Barbara help, but I thought that’s was the way it was. I’m the parent”

“That’s the way you want it to be,” Helena replied.

“You seem to want it to. You still keep your own place Helena. If you want to ake a few days off from life with Nikki, you can. I can’t.”

“Seven years almost and you think I’m not in it for the long haul with that little girl?” Dinah didn’t answer. “Then I guess it doesn’t matter because you’re ready to give her to Kelly.”

“Helena, that’s not fair. Listen, I know we’ve been together a long time, but sometimes I think the only reason we have been is because the door was always open and you could walk out. I was always afraid if I made it permanent, something as permanent as being Nikki’s parent, you’d stop wanting it. It’s a shame after all this time I’m still afraid of losing people I love. I don’t want to
give her to Kelly, I want to say no, she’s mine… no I want to say she’s ours and you gave up every right you had the day you left her, but I don’t want Nikki to look back at me a few years from now and hate me for closing the door for her.”

“Nikki did close the door, you’re forcing it open.”

“I didn’t have to force anything after she saw her little brother.”

“She may be facinated with her little dream brother, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are her mother. I love that kid and I love you. And I’m going with you tommorow, because our little girl isn’t staying with no one I haven’t checked out.”

“Our little girl,” Dinah repeated with a smile on her face. “Ours, I really like the sound of that.”

“From the moment I found you crying on Mike’s floor, I knew she was ours. Maybe I haven’t acted like I want it, maybe I didn’t know I did, but I’d be hurting just like you if Kelly took her away.”

They smiled at each other.

“She asked to call me mommy Helena today. I told her it was okay.”

“Good, because it is.”

Nikki smiled to herself and walked back to her room. She could sleep now.


It had been a long car ride to the suburb where Kelly lived with her family. Nikki always imagined her biological mother as far far away, so far away it would be impossible to ever run into her on the street. It wasn’t next door, but it was still too close for comfort. It was hard to imagine she’d been so close raising another child for five years. Nikki held on to her mother’s hand as they approached the door. She didn’t want to go inside. Then she saw her little brother come running out the door and she relaxed a bit. A man ran out and grabbed his shoulder. Nikki guessed he was Nick’s father. He saw the women and smiled.

“Hi Nikki, this my dad,” Nick said.

“Hello sir,” Nikki said offering her hand to the man. He shook her hand and smiled.

“Dinah Lance, Nikki’s mother,” Dinah said presenting her hand.

 “I’m Harold Nelson.”

“Come see my room Nikki,” Nick said snatching his sister’s hand.

Kelly exited the home wearing an apron. For so long Helena, Dinah, Barbara, and everyone who knew about Kelly’s abandonment of Nikki saw her as the worst kind of human being. And here she was looking like your average, everyday, cookie baking, house wife.

“Hello again,” Kelly said with it smile.

Despite her outward appearence Dinah and Helena still found it difficult to look at her without a
certain amount of hate.

“You’re welcome to stay for the party,” Kelly said.

“We’ll be here to pick her up noon Sunday. Have her ready by then?” Helena said.

“We’re still in church at that–”

“We’ll be back for her noon Sunday,” Helena repeated.

Nikki came back outside with Nick nearby. He stuck by his parents while she walked up to Helena and Dinah.

“You sure you’ll be okay?” Dinah asked.

“Yeah,” Nikki replied. “I mean if I’m not I can always call you right?”

“Or you could come home now or after the party,” Helena said. “You don’t have to spend the night.”

“I really want to spend some time with Nick. There’s got to be a reason I dreamed about him right? Like Mommy dreamed about you and Aunt Barbara and New Gotham. And Mom, I want you to know. I like my family, even if it’s different. I like it because it’s different. I know Kelly’s not my mom even she has the little brother I dreamed about. She’s just… Kelly, but I kinda need to know who that is, cause that’s inside of me too.”

They hugged her good-bye and then walked away. Then Nikki was alone with them.

The clocktower almost seemed to quiet when Helena and Dinah returned. They heard Reese’s signal as they entered. It should have felt good to be free of parenting responsibilities for a few days.

“Who’s going?”

“He proably has information on your guy. You go. I want to check out this Harold Nelson guy.”

“There’s nothing to check out, he’s a dentist.”

“I still don’t like the feeling I got from him.”


Meanwhile, Nikki feeling alone at the Nelson house. She was standing by a window watching birds fly outside. Nick came and stood beside her.

“You’re not happy Nikki.”

“It’s just weird. I don’t go many places without my mom or Helena or Barbara. School maybe. I guess I’m just scared about staying overnight.”

“Didn’t think big kids got scared.”

The doorbell rang.

“That’s my friends. Wait till I tell them my sister’s got super powers.”

He started to run off, Nikki grabbed his arm.

“No, you can never tell!” Nikki said.

“Why?” Nick asked sadly.

“Cause, it’s a secret. People do weird things when they find out.”

“Like mommy leaving you?” Nick asked saddly.

“Yeah. Some of your friends might think it’s cool, but then they’d want to use me. And other kids, they’d just think it’s weird and not like me. And there’s even some people who’d want to experiment on me.”

“Like in the cartoons?” he questioned.

“You got to be careful who you tell.”

“But you told me.”

“You’re my brother.”

“Okay,” Nick said.

She let him go and he ran off. Kelly was ushering kids into the backyard by then. Harold appeared in the doorway.

“Hey beautiful girl,” Harold said.

He made her uncomfortable. He kept giving her this friendly smile that didn’t feel friendly.

“Hello sir.”

“I’m your step father, you don’t have to call me sir.”

“You don’t want me to call you dad, do you?”

“No… of course not. How about Harold?”

“I’m comfortable with sir,” Nikki said.

“Okay… okay,” Harold replied. “I know you’re not use to having a dad.”

“That’s not true, for awhile that was all I had.”

“But you can’t remember him.”

“I can, I can see my dad in my head real clear sometimes.”

Suddenly Nikki was looking at an image of Mike standing beside Harold. She smiled at it.

“He looks just like that.”

Harold turned. Shocked by the appearence of Mike, the illusion made him jump.

“What–?” Harold began

“It’s my gift. You knew I was meta… right?”

“Yeah, I knew, I just didn’t know about this.”

The image of Mike faded.

“Did I freak you out?”

“No, you surprised me, but no. I’m curious. How long have you been able to do this?”

“Since before I could remember. Aunt Barbara says it’s unusual for most metas to demonstrate abilities the way that I did at such a young age. See my mom, Dinah, she has mental abilities too and when I was a little baby I was able to get inside her head. I didn’t do it on purpose, but we started to be able to hear each other.”

“You mean, she could hear what you were thinking?” Harold asked with intense interest. “Can you do that with other people?”

“No… how did Aunt Barbara put it. It was like a byproduct of my abilities and my mom’s abilities and our connection. The first time I projected an illussion, it was a picture in my mom’s head. It was her mom.”

“Can you see inside your real mom’s head?”

“Nobody else. Mom says that may change as I get older. Mom and me can feel each other still, when we’re in distress and stuff.”

“How close do you have to be to physically… to you know… feel it or comunicate with each other?”

“Usually kind of close.” Nikki smiled. “You really aren’t freaked out?”

“I love your mother–”

“She’s not my mother, she’s Kelly.”

“I’m sorry. I love Kelly. You are a part of her and my son, how could I not like you?”

“Kelly didn’t like me. She left me.”

“She made a mistake. But now we want you to be a part of our family. Haven’t you ever wanted this? A mom, a dad, a brother.”

“I wanted a brother, the rest of it I already have.”

Nick ran into the room. “Hey, Nikki, come on. You’re missing the fun.”

Nick grabbed her and ran out the room. Kelly came in as they left.

“I’m glad I listened to you,” Kelly said. “I wasn’t sure at first, but when I saw her…”

“You’re falling in love with her,” he said with a satisfied grin.

“She’s me, she’s a picture of me at that age. Then I talk to her and I realize she’s not me, she’s Dinah. And I want to hate Dinah, but then I remember she did what I couldn’t, what I wouldn’t.”

“We’ll have her in love with us before the weekend’s out. She won’t want to leave.”

“Harold Dinah’s her mother.”

“You’re her mother Kelly.”

“Why do you care so much?”

“I was abandoned by mother forced to grow up with those poor excuses for parents.”

“She doesn’t have poor excuses…”

“How can you give her up. She’s your blood, you love her, she belongs with you.”

“I can’t make her love me Harold.”

“You can, you will.”

Harold left the room and Kelly stood there alone. When she discovered Mike’s death and Nikki’s adoption she has no intention of tracking down the child. But the chance meeting had sparked a conversation with her husband that led to her telling him about her first born. He suddenly became adamant that she had to see the child. She didn’t want to, but she did it to satisfy him.
She was glad she had now because never too have seen Nikki would have been a tragedy. But now she wondered about her husbands motives in the reunion.


In the Clocktower. Helena sat in front of the computer as Dinah returned from her meeting with Detective Reese. She been gone for a couple hours and was filled with dirt and grime.

“Dinah, what the fuck happened?” Helena asked.

“I met Reese, he had the guys name and an address. There was a chase. Reese looks worse and the guy’s in custody,” Dinah explained.

“Why didn’t you contact me?”

“It was one guy, Resse was there. As sick as this guy was, he liked to have power over helpless victims, I wasn’t helpless,” Dinah said. “Now, have we discovered Harold Nelson’s deep dark secret.”

“No deep dark secrets.”

“See, just a normal guy.”

“Give me an ass to kick, I’m fine. But this machine… background checks, research, it’s just not my deal. Leave it to Barbara… or Nikki. You know once, I was suppose to be helping her with a report and she found all the stuff she needed on her own. She had dates, names, places. I was useless. She’s such a smart kid, not too smart but smart enough. She really has a head for
numbers too. I fought with the multiplication tables in school. She learned them in a week.”

“I miss her too, but right now I’m glad for the peace. I can go take a shower without having to worry about if Nikki’s homework is done or she’s in bed on time.”

“This Harold guy just bothers me. You ever had that gut feeling about someone?”

“I think in this case our personal feelings are getting in the way.”

Dinah slipped into the shower and stood against the shower wall letting the hot water fall over her back. She tried to pretend her mind wasn’t going crazy knowing she couldn’t just go check on Nikki tonight. Even though Nikki was often in bed while she was out patroling the streets, she made it her bussiness to perform night checks. Usually Barbara was here or Alfred. They’d finally
convinced Alfred to take a vacation. She always wondered how old Alfred was. He was always old, but always the same age of old. She wondered if he had some special ability he had yet to reveal that alowed him to exsist as some sort of eternal aged guardian of heros. He had been around the Clocktower less and less since Bruce Wayne’s return.

Her thoughts were interrupted by soft hands on her shoulders. She knew that touch. She turned toward Helena and there lips met. It had been a long time since they had anywhere to themselves and there were advantages. It was nice to get loss for a moment, to just forget there was anything but this moment, this feeling, and this beautiful woman to love.


At the Nelson house, Nikki tossed and turned in bed. She couldn’t sleep. She was on the top bunk, so it would be hard to get out of bed without waking her brother. Nikki wasn’t comfotable. She enjoyed the party, but it didn’t feel right to be here now. She wanted her own bed. She wanted to get up in the morning and see Helena and her mother. She wanted to go home.

“Sorry Nick,” Nikki said softly.

She slipped out of bed and kissed her brother on the head. Then she tip toed down the hall to find a phone. She dialed home, but no one answered the phone.

“Well, if one way doesn’t work. Okay focus,” she said to herself.

“Mom, I need you,” she said to herself and concentrated hard on reaching out to her mother.

“Nikki?” a voice said interrupting the process.

“Sir?” Nikki said turning to her brother’s father. “What are you doing here?”

“Looking for you. I heard you come downstairs.”

“I couldn’t sleep.”

“Strange house?” he questioned.


“You know, I was a foster kid. I experienced that a lot growing up. The displacement of being in
a new place.”

“My mommy was in foster care too. I was lucky to get adopted by someone who loves me.”

“But does she really love you?”

“Of course. My mommy loves me.”

“Wouldn’t you love to be with your brother forever.”

“No! I mean… not if it means giving up my family.”

“You’re with your family.”


“Nikki,” Canary said suddenly.

“What about her?” she questioned.

“I just got this feeling. We need to get to her, now.”


“Daddy, I’m sleepy,” Nick said rubbing his eyes as he was carried into the car. He came awake in the seat and realized Nikki was tied up beside him.

“This is kidnapping,” Kelly said.

“Do you want your daughter back or not?” Harold said.

“If she was mine I wouldn’t have to kidnap her.”

“I’m Nikki Lance,” Nikki yelled. “I’m not her daughter.”

“You are,” Harold yelled. “You’ll learn to accept it.”

“Why do you care?”

“Daddy, you’re upsetting Nikki.”

“Your sister will get over it, sometimes parents…”

“You’re not my parents!!!” Nikki yelled.

“Don’t say that sweetheart,” Harold said. “I gave you your mother. She didn’t want to ever see you again, but I made it happen.”

“Why are you doing this?” Nikki cried.


Huntress and Canary arrived at the empty Nelson house an hour later. They exammined the house and found things tossed around like someone had left in a hurry.

“Guess you were right,” Canary said.

“I didn’t want to be,” Huntress replied.

“I’m calling Reese,” Canary said.


“He’s a cop, our child’s been kidnapped. He can at least put out and APB on the guys car. Harold was probably was counting on the weekend to cover his tracks.”

“Fine, you call Reese, I’m going to get Nikki,” Huntress said.

“Nikki, where are you,” Dinah whispered.

‘Mom,’ she heard in her head.

“Nikki,” she replied. ‘Where are you?’

Huntress turned toward her.

‘In a car on the road, I don’t know.’

‘Helena and I will find you.’

“I can hear her,” Canary told Huntress. “She’s okay right now. I’ll help her try to find a landmark.”

“I’ll call Reese.”

‘Nikki, are there any landmarks you can see?’

‘Nothing yet mom.’

‘Can you tell me about leaving?’

‘I was kind of upset, I wasn’t paying attention. This is so cool mom, I didn’t know we could still do this.’

‘Nik, concentrate. Think.’

‘Wait, he’s stopping. V and R motel. What kind of motel is that?’

‘I don’t know, but we’ll find it.’

“We have to find the V and R motel,” Canary told Huntress.


Nikki sat on the floor of an office at the V&R motel. She was sitting beside Nick who told her his uncle owned the place. Harold must have had a key. Everything she found out, she told her mother. Her hands were free now, because he thought she was harmless. Kelly was sitting nearby, not looking to pleased at the moment. Harold was on the phone in the ajoining room. He
was turned away from them.  

“Happy now Kelly?” Nikki questioned.

“Of course not Nikki.”

“Then stop him. He’s your husband.”

“I was on the streets with nowhere to go when he took me in. He’s all I have and he wants you with me.”

“Mom is what I have and I just want to get back to her and Helena and Aunt Barbara and everything. I wish I had never met you.”

“I guess I deserve that,” Kelly said. “A few months ago I would have said the same thing about

“What?” Nick replied surprised.

“There’s a reason I didn’t tell you about her Nick,” Kelly said looking at her son. “I was ashamed
of her.”

“But she’s your daughter.”

“I didn’t see her that way baby, I saw–”

“A monster,” Nikki finished.

“Yeah, but that was until I saw you and then I saw who the real monster was, me.”

“So why did you look for me in the first place?”

“Harold, He told me I had to find you. I didn’t want to, but I did it for him and when I saw you I nearly fell apart. I missed out on raising an amazing little girl because I was stupid. And you have every right to hate me for the rest of your life.”

“I don’t hate you,” Nikki replied. She reached out and Kelly took her hand.

“Kelly, I have to go back to my mom,” she said.

“I know,” Kelly replied.

“Will you let me go?” Nikki questioned. “My mom’s outside.”

“What how can you?”

“I’m talking to her, in my head. I told her it wasn’t you, that you want me to go home. Harold’s still looking the other way. I can hold an illussion in the room I think. Thing is, if I’m not outside in 30 minutes, they’re coming in.”

Kelly didn’t question how it was possible that the child could know this.

“What about me Nikki?” Nick asked.

“You’ll always be my brother, but you have your mom, now I need mine.”

A saddened Nick hugged her. She embraced her brother tight before she began plotting her

Canary, and Huntress were outside the motel waiting for Nikki to appear.

“She’s sneaking out the back way,” Dinah said.

“I wish I could be as sure as you are.”

“It’s luck,” Dinah said. “We haven’t really done it in awhile.”

“It’s a good thing you can do it now or Harold might be missing a few limbs.”

Dinah appeared in his calm, but she nearly broke into tears when she saw Nikki smiling at her. The child ran to her and Dinah caught her in her arms. She composed herself and ushered the child toward the car.

Inside Harold had just watch the image of Nikki disolve as he approached it.

“Where is she?” he screamed.

“She’s gone daddy,” Nick said.

“What do you mean she’s gone.”

“Nikki doesn’t belong with us.”

“What kind of mother are you?” Harold said grabbing Nick.

“What are you doing with my son?” Kelly questioned.

“Mommy,” Nick called reaching for her.

“I’m getting your daughter back.”

Harold exited the motel holding Nick and a knife. He knew Nikki had a weak spot for her baby brother. Nick remained perfectly still with the knife to his throat. He didn’t plan on hurting him, but he had to get Nikki’s attention, for her own good.

“Bring the little girl back,” he said causing the two women to pause. Nikki saw her brother in danger and jumped out the car. Helena and Dinah went after her.

“Nick,” Nikki yelled and started to move toward them. Helena grabbed her arm.

“He wouldn’t hurt his son,” Helena told her.

“What if he would?”

“Why do you want our daughter?” Dinah asked.

“Kelly’s daughter,  they belong together.”

“She doesn’t daddy,” Nick said. “That’s her mommy. She told me so. Nikki’s not a liar.”

“Shut up boy.”

“Sir,” Dinah said. “The cops are on there way. You already have a charge of kidnapping on your plate, you wouldn’t want to add the murder of your son to it.”

“Get your hands off of my son,” a voice almost growled behind Harold.

He turned. Kelly was standing there with a pan in her hand. When he turned, she hit him. Nikki broke free of Helena and ran and grabbed Nick. She pulled him away as he called for his mother. Huntress and Canary got in the fight to restrain Harold a second too late, the knife Harold held cut though Kelly’s stomach. Seconds later, Helena freed his hand of the weapon while Dinah ran to Kelly’s side as she fell to the ground. Nick screamed for his mother and ran to her. Helena bound the man’s hands as he yelled that he would never hurt his son.

Laying on the ground, Kelly looked up at her son and then at Dinah. “Take care of him,” Kelly said.

“I won’t have to,” Dinah told her. “

“Thank you for doing what I couldn’t,” Kelly said gripping Dinah’s hand. “You have a wonderful little girl. You should be proud.”


Days later…

The elevator door opened in the Clocktower and Nick’s eye widened in surprise. They stepped inside. Nikki loved seeing the awe in Nick’s eyes. Then Nikki met the disapproving gaze of her mother. Nick completely missed it.

“Wow,” he said. “This is all yours?”

“Well, it’s the secret lair,” Nikki said.

“Nikki, why did you bring him up here?” Dinah asked.

“We can trust him. I wanted to show him, he’s my brother.”

“He’s only here until Kelly gets out the hospital.”

“But I’m really good at keeping secrets,” Nick said.

“Besides, when Kelly gets out she’s staying in New Gotham so Nick and I can be close, I don’t want to have to hide stuff from him.”

The elevator doors opened and Helena stepped out.

“There you two are.”

“Sorry Helena, I wanted him to see the clocktower.”

“Go downstairs,” Helena said.

“We’ll talk about this later,” Dinah told Nikki.

“Okay, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Nikki said walking off with Nick.

The two kids ran past Helena and left the clocktower.

“Why don’t we just give up on the whole ‘secret liar’ deal?” Dinah asked.

Helena laughed. The doors openned again and Helena and Dinah turned expecting the children. It was Barbara instead.

“Barbara you’re back?” Dinah said

“I am and when did we get a little boy?” Barbara asked.

“It’s a long story,” Dinah said. “And it begins with a guy named Harold.”

“A psycho named Harold.”

“It isn’t really his fault.”

“Dinah he kidnapped Nikki.”

“Harold had problems.”

“Wait, who’s Harold?” Barbara askded.

“Nick’s father, Kelly’s husband,” Dinah said. “Apparently he had his own issues when he was a little boy. He was abandoned by his mother. His father raised him and when he died, his mother didn’t want him.”

“Sounds a lot like Nikki’s story.”

“Except he was eight when his father died. He was bounced around from foster home to foster home, abused. When he was sixteen he ran away from home and kidnapped his mother. He tried to force feed her his love.He killed her and got away with it. He actually thought he was doing something good for Nikk, starting overi. After Kelly told him what happened it was like hearing his own story, a second chance to make it right. And he got halfway there. Kelly saw Nikki and loved her, but she wouldn’t claim her and that’s what he needed to feel validated.”

“I missed a lot. And why is Nikki’s brother here?”

“She got stabbed by her husband while she was trying to save her son. She’s okay, but she’s in the hospital. Of course Harold’s in Jail. So, we have a five year old while she’s recovering.”

“Two kids?”

“There’s three of us, I’m sure we can manage,” Helena said.

“I’d never thought we’d be running a day care in the Clocktower.”

“It temporary,” Dinah said. “Well at least Nick’s time in the clocktower is, but I think Nick in Nikki’s life together is permanent.”

“I guess that means Kelly in Nikki’s life is permanent,” Barbara said.

“I guess it does. And in the end it’s what Mike would have wanted.”

Meanwhile, Nick and Nikki sat side-by-side eating sandwhiches in the penthouse. Nikki had a photo album in the middle of the table showing him pictures of herself growing up.

“You have the coolest family,” Nick said.

“Yeah, I do,” Nikki said.

“What’s it like having two moms?”

“It’s awesome.”


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Welcome to Dawn is a writer, theatre artist, and film maker. She loves to create and be a part of the creative. This is my webspace playground, for blogging, displaying my work, and general all-around fan fun.
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