Actions

Work Header

nothing, nowhere, nobody

Work Text:

On a Tuesday in April, Dinah asks her what she remembers. About before. Dinah’s sitting on the couch, Helena on the floor in front of her, music playing softly around them. Helena feels her whole body pause, the brainless work of cleaning her crossbow momentarily forgotten. Nothing, she wants to say, but that would be a lie, and Dinah didn’t deserve to hear lies.

She doesn’t say anything for a while. She knew at least five different languages but none of them could explain the feeling of trying to remember the day before the world ended and coming up blank. None of them gave her the words to tell her that before is hazy, that when she thinks of her childhood she thinks of an open field and a tiny classroom, of bruises and bandaids and arrows, of crayons and church bells and the piano. The time before barely existed, not with any clarity, with the exception of one day, one instant. The rest was just...

“Moments,” She answers, her eyes still on the weapon in front of her. “I remember moments.”

“Then tell me about after. If you can.” Helena wonders where the curiosity is coming from, what prompted it, but more than that, she wonders what it would be like to give voice to the memories living inside her head, to give them to someone else. To give them to her.

She leans back and tells her what she remembers.

She remembers the drive. He carried her to his car, threw her into the trunk and waited until they were out of the city to move her into the back seat. She hadn’t had it in her to care where they were going. He told her anyway, said his family was in Sicily, that the men had been told to scatter so he had the perfect excuse to not come back. He told her that he knew a guy with a plane, that he could hide her in a bag and no one would ever know. He apologized at one point, and she didn’t know why, but it didn’t matter, none of it mattered. She never spoke, not once.

She fell asleep during the flight. It was the last night she slept peacefully.

She remembers the first time she walked into Imelda’s house. It was a Sunday, her first Sunday. Day six. They walked a mile and a half, snuck past houses and parked cars, and she couldn’t hear the bells but she knew the service must have started because the streets she could see were completely empty. It was the only reason she was allowed out in the open, even though they were taking the long way, the path that was hidden behind trees and bushes. Everybody went to church; there was nobody left, except her.

When they first knocked on the door, she’d taken one look at them and muttered a prayer of her own. She’d sent Helena into her makeshift classroom, equipped with one desk in the middle of the floor and an old piano against the wall. Imelda, she would soon learn, taught all the children who lived too far away for real school. She lived alone, her body weakened by age, her legs no longer strong enough to take her outside her own four walls. She held the respect of the whole community in the palm of her hands, the community that Helena would never get to be a part of. She was a secret keeper, Sal had said, could be trusted with something as dangerous as her. She held everyone’s secrets in her body, including her own. If she revealed anything at all, it was in fragments, never enough pieces to put together a whole picture. She’d fled some sort of persecution. She’d left a man at the altar at least three times. She’d been a grandmother, once; she wasn’t one anymore.

Helena didn’t know any of it that first Sunday, just knew she was handed crayons and paper, left behind while the adults fought in Sicilian. She ignored them. Staring at the paper in front of her, she reached for her imagination but couldn’t find it. When she closed her eyes she only saw one thing, so she drew it.

She’d never taken art lessons. Mama had been obsessed with lessons, made sure she never had a free moment. Horseback riding, archery, piano, fencing, ice skating, anything and everything so long as it taught her how to be proper and showed their wealth. Most importantly, she did everything alone; the Bertinelli’s didn’t join teams.

She was almost done when she heard it. You’ll ruin her, more than she already is. The words cut right through the wall between them, through her mind’s blockades. She stared at the door behind her. Was she ruined? Would she know it if she was? What happened to the people who were ruined?

She turned back, tried to ignore them. She stared at the piano. She’d been taking those lessons since before she could remember. It was distinguished, the piano, and her mother had insisted that the Bertinelli women be distinguished.

She wandered over to it without meaning to, let her hands brush gently across the keys. Her piano had been grand, took up an entire room. It’s music echoed across the house when she played. It was nothing like this: small, brown, and breaking. She knew if she pressed any of the keys, they would ring out of tune, but she sat down anyway. When she closed her eyes, she didn’t hear the yelling anymore, didn’t see the four men with guns and cigars. She saw sheet music. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. A simplified version, of course, but still an impressive piece for someone her age, according to her teacher. That had been her favorite word, all she’d strived to be: impressive.

She started to play without meaning to. She’d committed the piece to memory, had planned on playing it at her recital. It was two weeks away. She almost hesitated when she realized she’d no longer be in attendance, but a true pianist never faltered, never stopped until the piece was over. So she played on, through the repeats and the second endings, the Dal Segno and the Coda.

She let the last chord echo, gave it more length than it deserved. Something told her to turn around and she did, saw Sal and Luca and Imelda standing behind the desk. Watching her. Imelda put something down, and Helena realized it was her drawing. She suddenly knew that she didn’t want anyone else to see it, but before she could lunge for it, Imelda walked over, put her hand on her shoulder. The pressure felt so familiar that she didn’t move, not even to breathe, as Imelda brought her other hand to her chin, pushed it up just enough for Helena to meet her eyes. There was something both strong and soft in them. She didn’t want to look away.

Imelda knew English, knew more languages than she’d ever let on, but she said the words in Sicilian: How would you like to learn something new?

She remembers that she used to scream at night. When it happened, after it happened, she’d been forced into silence — by circumstance, but also by her body. The shots had swallowed the noise in her home and her voice had gone with it, but in dreams she could scream. In dreams she could beg and cry and none of it mattered, because in dreams she was given a voice and cursed with the knowledge that no one would ever hear her.

Except Sal heard her. Luca heard her. And they made sure nobody else ever would. An assassin who couldn’t dream quietly would never go undetected. So she learned her first lesson in the form of scars that still decorated her body. She was told it would not be her last.

She remembers her father’s hands. They were bigger than hers, scarred and wrinkled and dripping in blood she couldn’t see. But she knew it was there. He had his own lessons to give her, and even then she knew her classmates wouldn’t be learning what she was. It had made her proud. She walked into class every day with her head held high. She knew more than they did, a fact that made it easier when nobody talked to her. At recess she’d sit alone and tell herself she didn’t need friends, not when she knew which body parts could be amputated without the risk of immediate death. Or the names of every crime family in Gotham, including each branch on every family tree. Or the best way to wash money without drawing attention from the GCPD, however pathetic they might be. She clung to them, her lessons, because they were hers and no one else’s. And they would make her stronger than everyone one day.

She remembers the first time she felt the rage.

The fucking bow and arrow. They’d mocked her relentlessly. It had taken a year for them to trust her with weapons sharper than blunt swords and boxing gloves. They’d brought her outside one day, laid them all out on a table and told her to choose. She’d learn how to use all of them, but she would have a primary, one to rely on more than the others. They wouldn’t have her become a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Instinct and ego had led her to the bow and arrow. It was familiar. She could impress them with it, show she wasn’t a child anymore, despite what her age might say. Put Mama’s lessons to good use.

They’d laughed in her face. Called the weapon a play thing for beginners, for children. She thought that her little archery and fencing lessons made her a fighter? A true assassin used a weapon that could be reloaded without needing both hands, without wasting so much time. A true assassin didn’t follow rules or honor codes or fight without the intention to kill. She tried to put it back but they wouldn’t let her, told her she’d have to live with her choice until she could be trusted with a weapon for adults.

It was something about the way they laughed. More than their words, she heard their laughter, and it was familiar but she couldn’t place it, just knew that as the sound grew the world turned red around her. She didn’t remember turning her hands into fists, didn’t remember charging, until suddenly she was on the ground. Luca had her pinned in an instant, held her there, her face against the dirt, until she stopped thrashing. When the red faded, when she could exhale without her breath catching, he moved, let her pull herself off the ground. She knew he lectured her, but all she remembered was staring at her palms. Four bloody crescents covered each hand, a physical reminder of her rage, of her strength. She never wanted them to fade.

She remembers learning about silence.

It only took ten more outbursts before they decided they needed to do something about it. She didn’t know how to describe the anger — it came out of nowhere, and it never let her go.

The scariest part was that she liked it. The rage. The fire in her gut, burning brighter than the sun above her. It was the only time she felt anything anymore. And it was so much easier than whatever else she used to feel before her life had ended, when she’d been forced to be composed and feel the right things at the right time and never show it too much. She didn’t know the rules but everyone had expected her to, so every day as a Bertinelli heiress had been a test that she couldn’t study for, a test she was bound to fail. It had been exhausting, but this? This anger? This was simple. Clear. Exhilarating in a way that nothing else was.

If it hadn’t impacted her ability to fight, Sal and Luca probably would have left it alone, but after she’d snapped her third bow in half, they’d been forced to confront it. They brought her into a dark room one day, in the basement that she would never admit freaked her out. They made her sit on the floor, told her to close her eyes, asked her what she saw. Nothing, she told them. They told her to embrace that nothingness, to let it surround her, to let it become her. She was nothing. She wasn’t angry because she wasn’t anything. She couldn’t yell because she didn’t have a voice. She couldn’t fight because she didn’t have fists. She was nothing.

Every time she got angry, they repeated the same thing, brought her to the same room, until eventually they could do it out in the open. She’d get frustrated, start to lash out, and Sal would yell.

What are you?

Nothing.

Where are you?

Nowhere.

Who are you?

Nobody.

Again and again and again, until her breathing calmed, until she didn’t need to respond, until she didn’t need them to ask. The rage never went away but she could fight it without saying a word, could find her way back to calm. She knew she’d learned her lesson when she spent most days calm rather than angry, but she still clung to the words. At night, when she woke up to screaming in her head and silence around her, she would lie still and remind herself: nothing, nowhere, nobody.

She remembers when she first picked her name.

She’d been distracted. She was sixteen and had finally graduated to a crossbow. It was mechanical and precise, fit her in a way the childish bow never had. Her movements weren’t fluid enough yet, but after her first training session Luca had nodded his approval, and it was all she needed to know that this was it for her. She remembered almost wanting to smile as she finished the course they’d set up, until he patted her on the back and said you train with this and you’ll kill men with ease one day.

She hadn’t reacted, not visibly, but the words sat with her all throughout the rest of the night, into the morning when she snuck over to Imelda’s for lessons. She’d been coming once a week for years, learning the less physical necessities: languages and history and math. She’d also, upon Imelda’s request, continued to practice piano, but only for her, only at the end of the day. Imelda told her it would teach discipline and focus, but Helena knew she just missed the music.

Today’s lessons were all in Manderin, which meant that her lack of focus was as obvious as the bruises on her body and the scars on her arms. She stared at the characters in front of her but all she heard was Luca: You’ll kill men with ease. You’ll kill men with ease. You’ll kill men with ease.

She’d always known that one day she would take lives. Even before, it was she who was set up to inherit the family business. Her father had hid some of the details from her but she knew what came with that title, what would be necessary to show her strength and keep their power. What he did behind closed doors.

But it had always been far off. A future so distant it wasn’t fully imaginable. It stayed that way as she trained, as she hung up her drawing and made a promise of vengeance to the ghosts she could feel lurking in her shadows. The bow and arrow, the strength training, the endurance, it had all felt separate from the mission that drove her. But now, with a new weapon in her hand and approval in his eye, it wasn’t just an idea anymore. It was a reality that hadn’t materialized yet, but one that was on its way, faster than she could control. And she wasn’t sure if she was ready for it.

The smack of a ruler on her knuckles knocked her back into the moment, and she looked up to see Imelda’s eyes on her, stern and unforgiving. “Where are you?”

Nowhere. “Here.”

Imelda shook her head, then moved the ruler to Helena’s temple. “No. You are lost in there.”

Helena didn’t say anything. She hoped Imelda would drop it, but she just sat down on the piano bench behind her, turned so her back was facing Helena. She watched as she gingerly traced her fingers over the keys, her delicate touch so unlike anything Helena had seen from her.

“You cannot play for me if you’re lost.” She turned toward her, and she’d been taught not to give voice to the thoughts in her head, but she’d also been taught to never refuse an order from her. The latter rule won.

“Do you think I can do it?” She asked, and as the words came out she felt the sting of the ruler on her knuckles again.

“Did I say you could speak English?”

Helena bit back the pain, and asked again in Manderin: “When the time comes, do you think I can kill them?”

She sighed, shook her head, and Helena had the overwhelming feeling that she’d done something wrong. She used to get it all the time before, but it had seemingly disappeared when she’d shown up in Sicily. Now the familiar restlessness was back, and she didn’t know what to make of it.

“Only you can answer that, Lena.” The Italian accent on her name felt unnatural when the rest of the sentence was in Manderin. Like it didn’t belong in the sentence. Like she didn’t belong.

She looked down. “Helena Bertinelli was always supposed to be a killer. But what if she isn’t?”

Imelda was silent for fifty-five seconds. Helena counted them one by one. Finally, she said, “Your father. He killed many people.”

She didn’t technically know if that was true, not really, but she nodded.

“Yes. But you didn’t know the killer. He’s not the man who came home every night. You knew the father, no?” She nodded. She forced any thought of before out of her mind. She didn’t want to remember. Remembering made her angry. Imelda had witnessed her rage once and made it very clear that it had no place in her home. “So your father, and the head of your family, they were two different people.”

“But they weren’t. Both were my father.”

“What did you call him?”

She didn’t want to remember she didn’t want to remember she didn’t want—

“It wasn’t what his enemies called him, was it?”

Helena shook her head.

“So there you go.” She looked at her, confused, and Imelda had only just begun teaching her how to read emotions but her exasperation was obvious. “Child, you think I was born with this name? You become the person you need to be. Whether they live, they die, that’s your choice. But if Helena Bertinelli isn’t a killer, and you need someone dead,” she shrugged. “Then become someone who is.”

She said it like it was simple. Helena wondered if maybe it was.

Two weeks later, Imelda taught her about the gods and goddesses. Roman and Greek. She’d thought the lesson would be useless, until she got to Diana. Otherwise known as Artemis. Otherwise known as the Goddess of the Hunt, of the moon. She hunted with a bow and arrow, protected women and children. Diana was Artemis and yet she was not. She had become what history made her. She contained multitudes of power and personalities, and as Imelda spoke, Helena knew that she wouldn't be the one training, wouldn’t be the one pulling the trigger when the time came.

She had stopped believing in God while she laid underneath the dead weight of her mother, but that night she closed her eyes and prayed, not to a man in the sky but to the woman she would become: the Huntress.

She remembers turning eighteen. It was supposed to be the day she inherited everything; instead, it was entirely uneventful.

She remembers being alone. They trained her, fed her, but once she got older, she didn’t need them babysitting her anymore. So they didn’t. She’d spar with them, and they’d watch her train, give her pointers and lessons that never ended, but they disappeared during the time in between. When she was a kid, they only did that at night, but now she had hours during the day unscheduled, and she didn’t know what to do with herself.

Mostly, she did push-ups. She practiced meditation, found ways to truly live in silence. To thrive in it. Voices that used to fill her head had been buried so deep they rarely stuck their necks out for air anymore. She could sit in her room, outside, for hours. She knew this was another form of training, that it was preparation for the time she’d spend waiting once she returned to Gotham, but she also knew that they only taught her this lesson because they knew they could. They only left her because they trusted her. She used the phrase sometimes as a reminder, as protection from any feelings that might try and latch on to the empty space. She was fine with being alone. She liked being alone. She could handle being alone. Nothing, nowhere, nobody.

At night the mantras didn’t work. The faces she tried to hide from followed her everywhere, but at least she could survive in the daylight, when her shadows were on the ground behind her and not hidden in the darkness of her mind. They blended in too well in there, snuck up on her in a way they rarely did when she was awake. And if she never screamed, if she never gave them a voice, they couldn’t follow her after she opened her eyes.

She wondered if this was peace.

She couldn’t remember his voice anymore. Pino. In all her dreams he never spoke, and the silence was worse than anything he might have said.

She remembers the day before she returned to Gotham.

She went through the course again, but it was more of a formality than anything — she could hit anything they threw at her, take them down with or without her bow. She knew how long she’d been waiting, but until the last day, she hadn’t truly felt it. For fifteen years every week had been exactly like the week before. Any changes were so small they quickly became normal. The difference between childhood and adulthood hardly existed, the passage of time rarely worth recognizing. Except now she had to, because she was getting on a plane at nine in the morning and she wasn’t coming back.

She sat with Sal and Luca at dinner, anticipation gnawing away at her appetite. They’d told her what they could: which motel would be the best place to go, the intel they’d received over the years on the four men. But they could only do so much. Once she landed, she knew she’d be on her own.

She waited until midnight to go visit her. She knew how to get there undetected, but as she left their house she realized she wasn’t afraid of being spotted. For the first time she walked the long way, passed houses and shops, and the streets were still empty but at least she didn’t feel like she was hiding anymore.

She knew she’d be awake, but she knocked anyway. She heard muffled yelling, took it as an invitation. Helena found her on her couch, radio on and crackling softly from the table. She watched TV sometimes, old reruns of movies from before Helena was born, movies Imelda told her were bad but in a good way, but not tonight. Tonight was for music.

“What language?” She asked, the way she’d begun almost every lesson since she’d first started coming to her.

“Sicilian. My favorite tongue for your last night,” she paused, before adding, “I assume that’s why you’re here.”

Helena just nodded. Imelda didn’t say anything, just patted the couch next to her. She’d never been an affectionate woman, but neither had Helena, and she found that moments like this, sitting in almost silence, were enough for both of them.

“You have a plan?” Helena looked at her, and she tried to hide her offense but she must not have succeeded, because Imelda laughed. “Relax, child. I meant for after. For when you’re done.”

She shook her head. She didn’t want to lie to her, but technically she didn’t have one yet, not really. Nothing concrete. Just an idea. But it didn’t matter; she couldn’t afford to be distracted, to think about anything other than four men getting arrows through their throats. “I’ll figure it out when I get there, I suppose.”

Imelda just made a noise. Helena couldn’t figure out if it was in approval or disapproval, but before she could ponder over it, she felt a hand on her arm. “Go play for me before you go.”

Helena got up, wordlessly made her way around the corner to the classroom, to the piano. She sat down, started playing without thinking. Sheet music was sparse, so her repertoire wasn’t expansive, hadn’t been updated in the past couple years, but she knew Imelda didn’t mind.

As she reached the end, she wondered whether she’d ever play again. The thought made her hesitate, but she pushed through to the last chord. She sat on the old bench, could feel it shaking underneath her, but years of coming here meant she knew where to sit to stay balanced. She knew which keys stuck, knew that nothing ever sounded the way it was supposed to but she’d grown to appreciate the sound this piano made, the familiar way each chord rang out of tune.

She felt eyes on her, and she turned to find Imelda standing behind the desk. She was well into her eighties now, legs still shaky, but she was strong in all the ways that mattered, in all the ways Helena wasn’t.

“I won’t tell you not to do it,” she said. “But when it’s all over, remember that your hands can create as easily as they can destroy. Huntress doesn’t need to kill Helena to get the job done.”

Helena didn’t say anything. She wondered how she knew the inklings of the plan she’d been formulating. She wondered if this was what she’d meant all those years ago when she’d spoken or ruin, if Helena was well on her way to fulfilling a prophecy she was never meant to hear.

She didn’t stay much longer than that. Part of her wanted to say goodbye, knew that she wouldn’t come back, but neither of them were sentimental. She hoped the music spoke enough for her, hoped it was another language Imelda could understand.

When she finishes talking, Dinah doesn’t say anything. Minutes pass, the only noise coming from the radio playing faintly in the background. She thought she’d feel more uncomfortable, but she was surprised by the calm that had come over her in the beginning, the calm that never left.

“Can you tell me about that day?” Dinah asks, and Helena must react because she quickly adds, “You don’t have to. I just...I worry about you holding it all inside. Memories like that will eat you alive if you let them.”

Helena nods. Dinah’s sitting on the floor with her now, so close their knees brush against one another. She’s told her about before and after, so she doesn’t know what she’s afraid of, but she knows her chest feels tight and her palms are starting to sweat.

“I remember the car ride home. He was teaching me Sicilian. He’d give me a group of words to learn on the way to wherever I was going and quiz me on the way home. That day I got every one of them right. I walked into the house feeling proud.”

“Did he know?” Her voice is hesitant, like she’s scared to say anything at all, and Helena wonders what it means that they’re both afraid of her, of her past. Of saying the quiet parts out loud.

She gives her the truth. “I’m not sure. He never told me, and I never asked.”

She nods, and Helena swears Dinah has more she’s going to say but she doesn’t, just looks back at her. It takes her a minute to realize she’s waiting. It takes her another minute to realize that she doesn’t want to stop talking.

“I didn’t know that they’d been waiting for me until after. I don’t know when the men came, how long my family stared into the barrels of the guns before I got there. How long they had to wait to die. All I know is they didn’t waste any time once I got home.”

She feels Dinah’s eyes on her, but she doesn’t see their apartment anymore. She’s only vaguely aware that words are still coming out of her mouth.

“I stopped feeling when the silence came. I’d never...before that, I knew I wasn’t...I was always like this. The way I am. But I used to try and pretend, and after that, it was like a switch went off. Even if I wanted to, I couldn’t anymore.”

“How long did it take? To get you out of there?”

Long enough to feel Mama get cold above her.
Long enough for the blood that wasn’t hers to dry on her face.
Long enough to realize Pino wasn’t going to get his car back.

“Too long.”

She could feel a hand on hers, and it was as if the words were drawn to it, as if Dinah physically pulled them out of her. Her touch gave her bravery she didn’t feel, strength she didn’t have.

“I remember praying to God to kill me. I didn’t want to be left alone. I remember trying to move, to let them know I was alive so they could shoot me and be done with it, but I couldn’t. I was pinned down. If my mother hadn’t fallen on top of me, if I’d been a little stronger…”

Dinah’s body shifts and suddenly there’s hands around her waist, a head resting on her shoulder, and she thinks that she never wants her to let go.

“She saved you,” Dinah says after a minute.

“So did you.” She shifts, looks up at her, and Helena knows she has one more confession to make, and for the first time she’s not afraid of the words. “I told you I didn’t have a plan for after. For when I finished. But that wasn’t entirely true. I didn’t have a plan because…” she swallows, and she wants to look away but Dinah’s eyes are magnetic and she isn’t strong enough to break the connection, not until the words come out. “I didn’t have a plan because I knew I wouldn’t need one. Because my list had five names, not four.”

She turns forward, stares at a spot on the wall. One, two, three, four, five seconds before Dinah stops breathing, before Helena knows she’s understood. Six, seven seconds before the arms around her waist squeeze, and Helena wonders if she’s supposed to be crying now, but she isn’t. Dinah is. A part of her hates that she’s the reason for it. Dinah’s head shifts onto her chest, and she can feel her tears making their way onto her shirt, knows there’ll be a spot there when she leaves, but she doesn’t stop her. Her arms are pinned to her body underneath Dinah’s embrace, but she has enough room to move her hands up to her arm, to hold it. The position is a little awkward and a little uncomfortable but so is she, and she knows Dinah doesn’t mind.

She stops counting the seconds, so she doesn’t know how long it takes before Dinah’s tears slow down. Even when they do, she doesn’t move, keeps her head on Helena’s chest, right over her heart.

“What do you mean,” Dinah finally asks, “when you say I saved you? What did I do to make you change your mind?”

Helena shrugs. “I don’t know. It was more of a feeling. That morning, in the restaurant. You were nice to me. I didn’t understand why. All I knew was I liked the way it felt when you smiled at me. When you and Renee started making plans for after, I realized I didn’t want to go. Not yet.”

Dinah keeps her head on her chest, and Helena knows the position can’t be comfortable but she doesn’t look like she wants to move anytime soon. She’s not looking at her anymore but Helena doesn’t mind. Dina’s holding her like she’d float away if she let go, and she wants to tell her she won’t, that she’s here and not going anywhere. She’s her anchor, in more ways than one.

To no surprise, Dinah’s the one to break the silence. “Thank God for margaritas and Mexican food, then.”

Helena knows she’s joking but she can’t stop herself from correcting her. “No. Thank god for you, Dinah Lance.”

Dinah nuzzles into her chest and she finally pulls her arm free, places it around Dinah’s body. They fit together, even with all her missing pieces, and she thinks she would have talked about everything ages ago if she knew it could feel like this. Like coming home.

They stay like that, wrapped up in each other, for long enough that the radio passes through three commercial breaks. At the beginning of the fourth, Dinah shifts her weight, just enough to get her attention.

“If I buy you a piano, will you play for me?”

Helena smirks. “Do you know how expensive pianos are?”

“Fine,” she says, and Helena can’t see her face but she can hear the smile in her voice. “If I borrow from the Bertinelli fortune and buy you a piano with your own money, will you play for me?”

She nods, and part of her is glad that Dinah can’t see her face clearly because she knows she’s smiling so big her teeth are almost showing, and something about that embarrasses her, more than anything she’d said before. She can’t help it: the thought of making music, of playing again and having Dinah listen, having her sing along with her, is enough to make her giddy. She makes a note to look for pianos today, although she isn’t sure if she wants a cheap one or not. Part of her can’t imagine playing in tune again, but Dinah doesn’t deserve to listen to cheap music. She deserves the best. So she thinks maybe she’ll buy another baby grand, and maybe she’ll spend her nights in front of the keys, the moonlight shining like a spotlight on the two of them, her hands finally remembering how to create.