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Christmas Day, New Gotham City
Dinah had gotten her first wish: Jak was alive, out of prison, with Daxter, and mostly okay. Not safe, but maybe that was too much to ask. Portalocity kept screwing up her second wish, to see him in person.

Her third wish was something she'd nearly forgotten about.

After stockings, peppermint candy canes, new bubble bath that made Dinah laugh hard for reasons she wasn't going to share, cashmere sweaters from Alfred, more candy, gold earrings, sweet rolls and coffee, Barbara finally handed over a large, thick box, and said, "I hope you like it. It was all I could find."

"All you could find?" Dinah ripped the shiny paper off, giving Barbara curious look, as Helena draped herself over the back of Barbara's chair. Barbara actually looked nervous about this one, a little line forming between her brows, and she twisted her hands together as Dinah carefully opened the box.

A photo album. She shot Barbara a questioning look, then opened it. She swallowed in shock, a finger reaching out to trace a photo of her mom and herself on the first page. Vegas, 1997. "That was my birthday," she whispered. "I was five-- how did you get these?"

"I did the research we talked about. Tracking your mom's movements after she gave you up for adoption," Barbara said quietly. "And I found a safety deposit box in Seattle. Amazingly, the account was still active... there's a little money there for you too, a few thousand. Maybe for a down payment on that motorcycle you keep wanting."

Dinah wasn't paying attention to that now (even though eee! Motorcycle! went through her head) because she'd turned the page, to see a stranger. With a little girl. Who had to be her, right? So that meant...



"Is this...?"

"Your dad. Turn the next page," Barbara suggested, biting her lip. Dinah didn't want to, just stared at the photo with her throat tightening, but finally did. A photo of her dad, and her mom. "Lawrence Thaddeus Lance. Larry. Born 1965, Gotham City. Decorated police officer. Later, a private investigator." Barbara sighed. "Died, November 12, 1993. Shot during a liquor store hold-up. He saved three people taking on the shooter."

Dinah touched the little cut-out newspaper notice of Larry Lance getting shot earlier during his career as a police officer, getting a commendation, and retiring from the force. Lance Investigations. She blinked as the words on a little gilt-edged card blurred in front of her eyes. Private Inquiries, Public Support. A copy of her parents' wedding license. "So they were married," she said softly. Her mom was 21 on their wedding day. Larry-- her dad-- was 26. "It wasn't a one-night stand or something." Even knowing that would've been enough. Just knowing was enough. But believing they loved each other, and her-- that was bittersweet icing.

"Your mom joined the FBI's organized crime taskforce after your dad died," Barbara said, watching Dinah. "They sank all the official records, since she was going to be regularly undercover. Your father was an only child, and he didn't have any family left either. It was just you and your mom. She kept these in the bank under another name." She looked sad. "I'm sorry it wasn't more."

"Are you kidding?" Dinah sniffled, and got up to throw herself at Barbara in a hug, giggling and crying at the same time. "This is fantastic. More than I thought you'd ever find, more than I expected. Thank you. Thank you so, so much."

"You're welcome," Barbara said, voice husky as she hugged Dinah back. "I wish it were more."

Dinah half-wished it too. Although a new alive dad would've been awesome, she'd never expected it. But knowing that she'd had one that had loved her, and having proof, photos of him playing with her, feeding her, hugging her... She was sad for her parents, unexpectedly. That they weren't here, that she never got to talk to them. That their lives had been so similar and so short. But she couldn't feel cheated on her own behalf, when she had Barbara and Helena right here, hugging her.

I'm okay, she thought, toward wherever her parents were, afterlife or time or wherever. But I wish you were here.

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