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crossbow x canary drabbles

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A series of drabbles/one-shots/vignettes about Helena and Dinah; each chapter stems from a prompt. If you’d like to submit a prompt, feel free to leave a comment or message me. Thanks for reading!

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“What the hell is up with this bow and arrow shtick?”


Dinah hadn’t meant much by it. They’d all just met for the first time, after all. In the face of a common goal, an uneasy alliance was struck, but she was far from trusting any of these bitches, least of all Harley fucking Quinn, Gotham’s most dramatic murdress.


Or so she’d thought, until the so-called Crossbow Killer came on the scene. This chick also had a flair for the drama, if the recent stories were to be believed. After seeing her hooded figure shoot Victor Zsasz in the neck with an expertly-aimed arrow without so much as a flinch, Dinah quickly drove said arrow further into said neck, and as she did so, she felt two things: A) respect, and B) amusement that Harley appeared to have some competition in the theatrics department. Her theory was confirmed after Montoya correctly guessed the assassin’s true identity in like two seconds, earning an outburst from the dreaded Crossbow Killer.


Dinah was still processing the Bertinelli massacre victim’s return from the dead -- if that wasn’t childhood trauma personified, Jesus, she didn’t know what was -- when Roman Sionis and his army chose that moment to show up. Against all odds, Harley had been the voice of reason, and quickly convinced them all to work together to defeat Sionis and his cronies unless they all wanted to die, quote, very unpleasant deaths.


Which brought them to loading up on hardware from a stockpile beneath the floorboards (why anyone would store dangerous weapons in an unsecured amusement park was beyond Dinah, but whatever). Harley started rambling on about a sleepover, Dinah snapped at Harley to focus on the task at hand, and then Harley actually did, so maybe she wasn’t totally insane after all…


...And then Dinah’s attention was diverted to the tall moody woman, who’d been the last to agree to help out, and who was maybe a tiny bit awkward and possibly a little tantrum-prone, and definitely not hideous now that she’d shed her stupid shiny hooded jacket thing, and who was currently touching up her dark eye makeup with a compact she’d procured from some invisible place, and who was apparently the not-dead Helena Bertinelli. Known in some circles as the Crossbow Killer, though Dinah could tell she was not a fan of the nickname, apparently. Dinah would ask why later. If they didn’t all get killed before later happened.


But before they all fought the biggest battle of their lives together, she did have time to ask one burning question: what kind of assassin chose a bow and arrow as their weapon of choice?


“It's not a fucking bow and arrow,” the Crossb-- sorry, Helena yelled back, compact shutting with a snap, “It's a crossbow, I'm not twelve.”


Oh, so the title was accurate, then. “...Rage issues,” Dinah informed the room, laughing, aware of the other woman’s growing ire in her peripheral vision, and not caring one bit. Nothing wrong with a little adrenaline before a fight, and Dinah wanted to make sure Miss Mafia Princess wasn’t going to abandon the squad to save her own hide when shit got real. Anyway, she’d actually been curious, not meaning to insult the woman, who was clearly totally scary, sarcasm intended.




Okay, so her joke didn’t exactly land with certain parties, but it was still funny as hell, and then Harley was up in their faces, spouting some psychological bullshit, and Dinah shelved the interaction, to be dissected later. For now, they had a job to do. She only hoped the Crossbow Killer was capable in a fight.

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Dinah was the second to last of them to hurry down the slide, and as she whooped at the thrill of rushing down the tube, gun at the ready, part of her still wasn’t one hundred percent sure that the not-dead Bertinelli was going to follow them. But she wasn’t gonna dwell on it. If she came through, fine. If not, they’d kick ass just as well without her.


Dinah landed on her feet, about three seconds passed, and then two people tumbled out of the slide. One of them was no longer alive, and Dinah had to admit she was pleased to see that the alive one was the fifth member of their fucked-up little party. After a beat, her relief turned to annoyance that Bertinelli had managed to kill one of the assholes after them on the way down, because it’d only been five minutes and she was already showing the Black Goddamned Canary up in the field. Dinah couldn’t wait to kick someone.


As the woman -- Helena -- scrubbed some hair out of her face in a move that was definitely not attractive, Dinah’s annoyance switched to interest. She could feel the other two women, and the one kid, staring, which was absolutely fair, because knife-murdering skills aside, this chick had two muscular as fuck arms and about four inches of abs on display, and okay, Dinah wanted to know what she was doing after this.


Meanwhile, she was staring back at all of them with a the-fuck-are-you-looking-at? expression, and Dinah wanted to laugh, because did she seriously not know?


It was Harley who spoke first.


“You are so cool!”


And though Dinah herself would have said something more along the lines of who the fuck even are you? she had to agree, because yeah, this freaky bitch had just knifed a guy three times her size in the neck and she wasn’t even bragging and did not look even a little winded, and that was very cool indeed. 


Dinah hoped the look on her face wasn’t totally fucking goofy as she nodded in agreement with Harley, but either way the assassin was still busy pushing her hair away (which was stupid -- why bother pinning half of it back if the other half was just going to get in your face anyway?) and didn’t seem to notice. Which was fine, because Dinah was also busy not noticing how dark and wavy and nice the women’s hair was. Nope.


There was no more time to lose, and again, Dinah filed away her observations for later. Showtime.

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By some miracle, they won. Sionis was dead and the group of women, against all odds, got to live. Even the kid, who Dinah felt guilty for losing track of during the fight, was alive and kicking and still serving as a human bank vault for that fucking diamond.


Dinah had passed out after unleashing her Canary Cry, and woke up in the back of Renee Montoya’s car, the two of them all alone. She rubbed the back of her head (there was definitely going to be a mark from when she’d collapsed) and found herself praying that Harley and the crossbow-wielding goth chick were okay.


Soon they were speeding down foggy Gotham streets in the direction Harley had skated off in (Dinah herself was missing a few minutes of memory, but the cop knew where to go) until they suddenly screeched to a stop.


From the passenger seat, Dinah peered around Montoya to see a helmeted figure -- yep, it was one Helena Bertinelli -- standing next to a smoking hunk of metal on the side of the road. As Dinah watched Bertinelli rip off the helmet and give it an especially angry kick, she figured the motorcycle had to be hers, and then Dinah was thinking about how hot women look when they ride bikes, and then she banished that line of thinking, because there simply was not time, and Jesus her head hurt. 


Anyway, it looked like a serious wipeout, and the assassin seemed pretty coordinated, so Dinah could only assume Harley was involved. 


Then Montoya was shouting at Bertinelli to get in the damn car, or else they weren’t going to make it, and Bertinelli was yelling, “That way,” and Dinah’s head was pounding from all the loud noises but she didn’t say anything, and they were off again. 


By the time the trio arrived at the docks, Sionis was no longer a problem, and Dinah finally breathed a sigh of relief. Harley suggested tacos, and twenty minutes later they were crowding into sticky booths at some dingy corner spot that Dinah prayed to God wouldn’t give them all food poisoning. Then again, the kid still needed to cough up the diamond, so...


“No, but seriously,” the cop, Renee, was saying to the Huntress (who had finally gotten to properly introduce herself on the car ride over) as they all slurped on Day-Glo-colored margaritas, “You were very impressive with that bow. Very impressive.”


Before she could help herself, Dinah, who for the record was extremely exhausted, corrected: “It’s a crossbow.” She wasn’t even being sarcastic, which is how Dinah knew she truly needed a nap.


“I appreciate that,” said Huntress, who was giving Dinah a look she couldn’t quite read. “Thank you.” 


Well, shit. Angry-Pants was capable of being polite after all. 


So Dinah decided to be nice back, and complimented the other woman on her choice of vigilante name, though she opted not to voice her appreciation for the amount of shoulder that Huntress’s crop top showed off. 


And when Huntress mentioned Dinah’s kicking skills and her tight pants, she wasn’t even annoyed that Harley was right there, butting into their moment. And when Cassandra Cain handed a little toy car to the assassin, thanking her, Dinah put two and two together and melted a little bit. Anyone who protected the kid couldn’t be a monster. Far from it…


...Although Dinah really did not appreciate the hysterical laughter after Harley fucking stole her car, even though it was a little adorable that the socially-awkward woman’s timing was so off. Still. It was her car. So Dinah stared at her pointedly, but when she earned a “sorry” accompanied by wide brown eyes, she felt the frown slip from her face in an instant. 


Dinah was so fucked.

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Months later, after Harley pawned the diamond, started her own “business” and returned Dinah’s car (not without a different, mismatched bumper, though otherwise it was intact); after Renee quit her job at the GCPD; after Huntress got her family’s money back; after the three of them formed the Birds of Prey; after Cassandra moved in with Harley (who turned out to be a surprisingly fit guardian, despite the clown’s junk food habits and general encouragement of petty crime); months later, after all of that, Dinah and Helena finally relaxed one night in the corner of the warehouse that wasn’t full of workout gear or weapons or not-100%-legal tech.


“Hey, nice job tonight,” Dinah said, grabbing two beers from the fridge that never held any real food, but could always be counted on to have booze, hot sauce, and those disgusting energy drinks Helena liked. 


She was referring to the evening’s mission, the details of which were uninteresting, except that Helena had employed a few tricks with her crossbow that left Dinah as impressed as ever.


When Helena didn’t answer, Dinah looked over to where the woman was positioned on the couch, brow furrowed as she stared at her phone.


“Helloo?” Dinah prompted, shutting the fridge door before tossing a bottle at Helena, maybe with a little more force than necessary. Not that it mattered; she caught it without looking up. Stupid assassin reflexes.


“Sorry,” Helena muttered, clearly distracted. “Thanks.”


Dinah plopped down next to her, and cracked her beer with their bird-shaped bottle opener. (Dinah had picked it out, wanting to remain on theme, even though it was a little cheesy. Sue her.) After a beat, she waved the opener in the air. “Earth to Helena. Anyone in there?” 


Helena, who was finally paying attention, set down her phone and gave Dinah a small smile. 


“Sorry,” she said again, reaching to grab the device from Dinah, who was relieved, because for a while Helena had been using her teeth for such occasions, until they all told her that was gross to witness, and for the love of God to please stop doing it. “The hotel I’m in is shutting down for renovations next week, and I haven’t had a second to find a new place. So I was just looking.”


“Fuck, you haven’t gotten an apartment yet?” Dinah took a swig and gave her a look of disbelief. “I thought you did that ages ago. It’s been, what, months?”


“I know.” Helena sighed, bringing the bottle to her forehead like a cold compress. Her eyelids fluttered shut at the cool sensation, and Dinah tried not to stare, because Helena’s eyelashes were just as nice as the rest of her, which was to say very nice. “I’ve just had a lot going on...we’ve been setting up the base, or out fighting.”


“And now you actually have to find someplace, or else you’ll be camping out in this beautiful, dank abode,” Dinah joked, gesturing around the room.


Helena opened her eyes again. “Actually, that idea also occurred to me. If you guys don’t mind, of course. I could stay here, keep an eye on things after hours.”


Dinah rolled her eyes, because Helena fucking would. Over the past few months -- with the support of the Birds -- the Huntress had made significant progress on many fronts, and now Dinah was proud to call her one her best friends. But once in a while she said or did something ridiculous that proved she was still totally Helena. Which Dinah secretly loved, not that she’d ever say.


“Uh, no. You are not living in this warehouse like some creepy bat. Have you seen anywhere else that looks good?”


“Not really. Though like I said, I haven’t looked much,” Helena admitted. “Renee said it’s a buyer’s market, and that I shouldn’t take the first thing I see. But there’s so many choices, it’s kind of overwhelming.”


Dinah felt a ruffle of annoyance that Helena had sought advice from Renee, and hadn’t even mentioned the situation to Dinah, but then again, Renee was an actual adult and had way more experience with adult life things like home-owning. So she’d let it pass.


They sat in companionable silence for a moment. Then it struck Dinah: Helena could live with her! She hadn’t had a roommate in ages, and it would be nice to have someone to help out with the rent. Sure, Dinah could afford it on her own, but if she and Helena split everything, there’d be more money for fun stuff, like good wine and nicer sheets and cashmere sweaters.


“Hey, why don’t you move into my place?” she suggested, nice and casual, before she could lose her nerve.


Helena choked on the sip she’d just taken. “What?”


Dinah grinned, enjoying the feeling of catching the other woman off guard. “I have the extra bedroom. We’d be, like, roommates.”




“Yes, Princess. In America, when one isn’t rich, one has roommates,” Dinah said, eyes widening to let her know she was being sarcastic. “They share bills and help each other cook and clean.”


“Wait, wait, I didn’t mean it like that,” Helena stuttered. “I know what a roommate is. But…” her expression clouded, “Why would you want me?”


(Oh, if she only knew all the ways in which Dinah wanted her.)


“Because I like you,” Dinah said instead, “And then you don’t need to waste time looking. C’mon, it’ll be fun!”


Helena appeared to be thinking it over. Dinah could practically see the cogs turning in her head. Please say yes, please say yes.


“And you’ll let me pay rent?” Helena asked.


“Duh,” Dinah replied, her thoughts already running future scenarios where she might, you know, accidentally catch the other woman walking around the apartment in various states of undress. “That’s sort of the point.”


Helena nodded. “Okay. I would like to do that,” she said formally. “So let’s do that.”


“Yes!” Dinah squealed, beers sloshing as she gathered her in a hug. 


“Don’t do that,” Helena grumbled, and Dinah -- who in all of her excitement failed to notice Helena hiding a pleased smile -- considered herself merciful, so she pulled away after a few seconds.


“To you not being homeless!” she said, and they clinked their bottles together in agreement.