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Rose

For some reason, Harley never really liked roses that much.

Maybe it was because they were such a cliché, done over and over again for holidays like Valentine's Day. She had plenty of boyfriends over the years whom she knew would always get her a dozen roses and the standard box of chocolates for that day, as if that were the perfect gift. It was nice, she thought, and she would smile and gush over the gifts, but inside she would squirm thinking about exactly how long the guy had thought about what to get her before settling on the "classics." Sometimes she wondered if they only got her the gifts for the sex they knew they would get afterward.

Although, she thought, she may have held a dislike for roses because of the undeniable fact that no matter how careful she was, she would always prick herself on one of the thorns. Harley knew she was clumsy, but she just couldn't figure out how that happened every single time. At one point she concluded that the roses were all conspiring against her, just waiting for one of her fingers to get close enough to a thorn, and then they would jerk out of her grip so that her skin made contact. The thought of crazed flowers may have, at one time, made Harley laugh at herself, but after all the time spent with Poison Ivy, she knew better than to underestimate any plant, no matter how harmless it may seem. She still remembered that time with the plant she had dubbed the "Venus Fly-Trap from Hell," and she didn't wish to relive that experience any time soon.

So when, as a present on Valentine's Day, Mistah J had given her a black eye and a couple of bruised ribs, Harley didn't say anything. She didn't cry, even though her body ached all over. She knew Red would scold her for putting up with it, and she knew somewhere, deep down, that it was wrong.

But even so, she couldn't help but think that at least her Puddin' didn't follow conventions. He would never think about getting her roses or chocolates, and even though at the end of the day she was laying in puddle of red on the floor, she was glad it had been him instead of one of those manic thorns.