Disclaimer: I don't own
Thanks to James, who was completely not a jerk this time about it,
mostly, and to the folks over at RTBH that gave initial beta fb.
There was a voice echoing in Harvey's ears, one that sounded like his
own. Except it was the self that chewed on rocks-and liked it.
"There's something sweet about doing violence to little birds."
The young man at his feet probably did not think so. He quaked on all
fours, spitting blood and trying to gasp over having the wind knocked
out of him.
Harvey hooked his wing-tipped shoe beneath the boy's stomach and
kicked him over, onto his back. This new one was spent. Blood was
spilling from his nose, half his face was bruised and swollen, and
every time he did manage to breathe, a bloody bubble would pop on his
lips. If left to his own devices, the stupid little creature would be
done for shortly.
It was a nice thought, really. Watching it die from internal
slowly and in pain had a certain amount of pleasure for one of his
selves. He did not know which one.
A moment later, the boy's head collapsed onto the cement basement
floor with a thud so deafening, it made his own skull hurt. Then it's
struggling slowed. It was just some wounded, dying animal.
In anticipation, he crouched beside it, watching.
"You should just finish him," Two Face grumbled in disappointment. He
reached into his pocket to pull out the object of his decision-
a two-headed coin.
Harvey hesitated, however. Two Face always seemed to get whatever the
hell he wanted. Harvey just wanted to watch the kid bleed. "Put it
away," he ordered.
It seemed that Two Face was in the mood to indulge him today, because
There were few events that were of a singular nature in his life,
however, he'd gutted a man once.
It was one of the underlings of the man who'd split him in two. He'd
done it without qualm, question or squeamishness. He'd simply shoved
the knife into the barely resistant flesh, and pulled upward, until
was stopped by bone. He felt like he had sliced forever, were it not
for the ribs. He'd had a good handle on the knife before the blood
started spurting, and it did not harm his grip. He was sure Two Face
hadn't minded either.
The Joker was the type to love a good bloody massacre. He liked to
how far he could make the blood spurt, after cutting the jugular.
Harvey knew he was not that perverse, or wasteful. But there was
something almost. life-giving, to feel warm human blood running over
his hands, down his legs, penetrating his shoe. There was something
satisfying, something that made him comfortable with his now
disjointed state of being in feeling one's enemy's entrails
out, and onto the floor. That was the moment he realized that he was
survivor, and he could exist in this new state of being. His other
self had done it, but Harvey had taken pleasure.
With his gnarled, acid-burned hand, Harvey prodded the bubbling heat
blisters on the bird's forearm. Several of them popped and oozed, and
he wiped his fingers on his pants. "It's nothing personal, kid."
That wasn't true. It was personal. It was quite a personal sting that
he was at odds with the Batman.
The other part of him didn't care, of course.
"We used to be friends. We used to work together."
Nor was this the first Robin he'd nearly put out everyone's misery.
That damned first one came back to haunt his other self, again and
again. All because he hadn't finished it the first time around. And
the second one. He'd thumped the stupid creature four times, and
obviously didn't inflict ENOUGH brain damage on the thing. His only
regret was that that homicidal maniac, the Joker had done it. The man
had no art. At least the Joker had beaten him AND blown him up.
There'd been another singular event in his life that came to the
of his attention. In a rare moment of odd interest, he'd bothered to
ask the Joker why he'd killed Robin. He said the second was just a
substitute for the first, and the first really irked him, with those
terrible puns. The Joker also asked Two Face why he thought the Bat
DESERVED the disease infested things, chirping around his knees.
Two Face had stepped in, and had asked why the Joker had Harley,
always chirping around his knees. That had ended any chance Harvey
had in getting any information or understanding from the clown.
No matter how bad Two Face was, Harvey'd never be like that, dancing
around his cell, plotting his next forty or fifty murders. Two Face
might have been a sadistic bastard, but at least he only killed out
Revenge was a necessity, sometimes. So was punishment. They were
really the only two forms of Justice the world had left.
Harvey rose, and began pacing along side this third Robin. Three was
an unholy number, and it bothered him.
"You really should just die, already," he ground out. Why wouldn't it
just die? Hadn't he hit it hard enough? Blown it up with enough
explosives? Had HE done something wrong?
A third Robin didn't bother him, it bothered Two Face.
He just wanted to make the numbers even, the sides even, the halves
and the wholes, and the parts that fit together in the way that
fractions and puzzle pieces did, the puzzle pieces that were cut in
unequal portions but interlocked and made a four-sided shape and
completed a picture that was always whole and complete, never night
and day, just a sunset or a flower, or the Taj Mahal, then got glued
to poster board and taped to the walls of his cell, always even
numbers, 100, 500, 1000.
He realized he was breathing shallowly as he paced. The world seemed
to zoom in and out, he couldn't catch his breath or focus his mind.
He wiped his good hand over his bad face, and heaved and sighed and
felt dizzy and light of head, then wiped his bad hand over his good
face, and felt no better. His eyes did not focus, even though they
were two. The numbers were even, the paces were even, there were an
uneven number of Robins, and it had to be corrected.
Perhaps he would breathe better if he had a paper bag. That stupid
Harley hyperventilated something like twice a week, and had to
into the paper bag. Two paper bags would be best.
Two paper bags, three Robins. the numbers had to come out in the end.
It would never be even, two lived and one did not. If one died, two
would die and one would not. Three was the most unholy of numbers.
There were no 300 piece puzzles, and this was good. 100, 500, 1000.
Five hundred was half of a whole, and therefore acceptable, if in
context of another puzzle beside it, taped to the wall and complete,
500 pieces glued to poster board.
He had no paper bags, not one or two, so he took the cell phone from
his left pocket with his right hand in an effort to create continuity
and balance, and dialed the ten digit number with the area code,
because ten was better than seven, which was still more holy than
three because it was 14 when it was doubled and 28 after that and
seventy which was thirty five when halved, split down the middle.
"The Bat lost something," he told another former friend. Gordon was
idiot who thought the scales of justice could be balanced. Justice
not a yin and yang. It was a pendulum that swung back and forth and
could not abide the constant imbalance. Gordon was the antithesis of
balance. he sat on top of an organization and reported another, one
was larger than the other and it caused him distress. He tried to
balance it out, but the numbers never matched. 500 was only a good
number when it was next to itself. The Taj Mahal next to a flower, or
a sunset and a kitten. Gordon was unbalance, but he knew how to get
hold of the Bat. "He's in the boarded up bar, across from the pier."
"Two. Harvey?" Gordon asked. He had the sound of a man who had been
"Not the first pier. The second. With the two docks." If the stupid
kid had not died thus far, he'd last until his partner came, and he
wouldn't be able to stand it if Gordon reprimanded or commended him.
They were the only two options available. In light of those two, he
opted for none. He hung up just then, and began to walk away.
It was not as hard to breathe, and surprisingly easy to turn his back
and leave. The Joker would mock him, making their Bird conversation
two. He may stab the Joker, if the urge came upon him, totaling his
guttings at two.
He would let this Bird see another day, making his opposition two.
He could maintain Two, and halves and wholes and pieces of puzzles
that were uneven but made a four sided picture and men of split
natures who wore masks, or who were masks and boys who should not be
out past their bedtime. He could have two, or both, or all, without
halves. He could hold on to these things.
.all of these things. in a world that constantly spun towards chaos.