DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
SEQUEL/SERIES: This story is a sequel to Here's the Rub, Surely, Tomorrow Will Be Better, Slowly, But Surely, As Sure As Sure Can Be, Surely a Fail-Safe Plan, Tomorrow Surely Comes And So Does Helena, Surety of a Mother's Love, And Then... The Sureness of a Father's Love, Are You Sure It Happened That Way?, I'm Sure She's Remembered, Are You Sure? and Sure I Was Helping.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: So, I come to the end of my table and to the end of the 'The Sureness of Love' series, and that's the first time I've given it a name, but <shrug>
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Be Sure To Be Home
Barbara glanced towards her father, seeing him twitch nervously as he twirled the end of his too long moustache. She averted her glance from his face to the mantelpiece clock, reading 11.30pm, and let out a long, heavy sigh.
"You miss her?"
Her father's words startled her, but she smiled and nodded in agreement.
"More than I thought possible. It seemed such a good idea to let her go with Dinah and Gabby to the school New Year's party, but "
"You could have gone too, Babs," Jim Gordon interrupted her words.
"I know I could, Dad, but my place is here with you; my family."
"Helena's family, too; she was always my family, even before you two made a go of things."
Barbara watched mesmerized as her father began to talk of the past years; telling her things she'd never really realized.
"I can still remember the hospital that night, the horror and the worry; how much I thought I was going to lose you, and yet, knowing that if I lost you, it would be nothing compared to the pain Helena would feel if she lost you as well as her mom. Even then, I think she was hopelessly in love with you."
"Dad! I never entertained a relationship like that with Helena back then, you know that right?" Somehow, the thought her father might think she, as a young woman, had been having a love affair with a teenager, scared the hell out of her.
"Oh, I know that, love. There's no way my daughter would do anything like that, but teenagers do fall in love, and Helena loved you."
Barbara smiled and even allowed a full blown grin to spread across her face at his next words. "She loves you."
"Yes, she does, and I love her, Dad, very much."
Her father jumped from his seat and indicated the liquor cabinet. "Come on, Babs, let's have another Scotch on the rocks; it's almost time."
She and her father had had the same routine for the last few New Year's Eves; as the bells of the old year transformed into the bells of the new one, they always raised their full glasses to toast their lost friends, relations, and loved ones no longer with them, and then to welcome something they both hoped for in the coming year. It was their tradition, and it was something Barbara could not miss, no matter how much she loved Helena.
Seeing as they still had fifteen minutes until the bells struck, Barbara held her hand out to her father, pulling him across to sit beside her on the sofa. Holding hands and sipping slowly at their scotch, she leant her head on his shoulder and smiled.
"Dad, may I ask you a question?"
Feeling his nod rather than hearing any words, she continued.
"Do you think Helena knows I love her too?"
"I'm sure she does; why do you ask?" Jim Gordon felt a ghost of a breeze pass over the nape of his neck, and he glanced towards the French windows before training his gaze on his daughter's face. He stroked her hair and listened.
"Oh, it's one of those things that I just assume she knows. I never tell her just how much I love her, and maybe I should. Maybe I should tell her how much would be missing if she were ever to go, that there'd be no way I could continue without her, that life would have little meaning without sharing it with her. There'd still be crime and who knows what else, but what would be the point, Dad, what would be the point?"
Her father smiled at her words and winked towards a stealthily approaching shadow. "You've got it bad, huh?"
Just as the first bells of midnight struck, Jim deftly swapped positions with Helena, allowing her to hear first hand the words Barbara spoke strong and true. "I love her."
Turning to touch her glass to her father's, Barbara was stunned to be swept into a kiss full of the promise of what was to come. As the kiss ended, all she could do was gaze backwards and forwards between her lover's toothy grin and her father's laughing face.
"What? How? When?"
"And I love you too, Barbara."
Jim Gordon walked out of the room, laughing out loud and yet with a tear in his eye at the love his daughter had found, and left the two women to share a minute or two of private time.
"When did you get here? How did you get here? Why aren't you with the girls? Why "
Helena put her fingers to Barbara's lips and stopped the tirade of questions.
"Did you really think I'd spend the first New Year's Eve we've been together away from you?"
"Um, yeah, I guess I did."
Helena let out a full-bodied laugh at that admission.
"Oh, ye of little faith, Babs; I waited seven long years to be with you, seven years for you to realize that what we shared was everything. I'm not going to miss any of the firsts possible to us, I love you; surely you know that."
This time Barbara nodded; she did know that. She'd always known that.
She leaned forward and shared another kiss; it was a kiss that said all that was needed to be said.
Pulling away from each other the two women looked towards the kitchen to see the returning Jim Gordon, carrying three new glasses of Scotch.
He handed each a glass and then put his arm around Helena's waist pulling her close into his body.
"Welcome to our family tradition, Helena; it wouldn't be the same without you from here on in. Let me show you how we bring in the future while remembering the past. I'll go first."
Helena watched fascinated as he took a healthy swig of his drink, clinked his glass to the other two, and then spoke. "The past: as always to the love of my life, I miss you, the future: to my new daughter."
He then raised his glass high and nodded to Barbara. She, too, took a healthy swig, clinked her glass to her father's and then Helena's, and then repeated her father's method. "The past: to the mother I found again this year, the future: to the love I treasure with all I have."
She smiled at Helena and then raised her glass high. Seeing Jim nod his encouragement, Helena took a swig, clinked glasses, and then spoke from her heart. "The past: to Selina Kyle the greatest mom ever, the future: to as many firsts as this family will allow me."
She then raised her glass high and grinned at Jim's hearty chuckle.
Jim and Barbara then quickly threw their glasses in the nearby hearth, laughing as the glasses shattered into tiny pieces. Helena hadn't known of this tradition, but quickly realized she was expected to do the same. She smashed her glass and watched as the pieces shattered; surprised at the feeling of yesterday passing into tomorrow that coursed through her.
Jim Gordon kissed his daughter's cheek and then Helena's, and then finished his family tradition with their usual greeting.
"Here's to 2008 and all that we wish for."
Barbara looked into Helena's happy face and just knew they both had all they'd ever wished.
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