Title: More than one way to eat an Oreo cookie
Characters: Edward Nygma, Harleen Quinzelle
Genre: Friendship, romance, comfort, crack
Flames: Not funny unless poop in a bag is involved
Author's note: Written for Cold Nostalgia's a_b_Joker prompt at LJ. Be sure to check it out!
Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. They are owned by DC Comics. No copyright infrigement is intended. Written for pure entertainment purposes only.
Edward Nygma had little trouble with women. After all, his henchgals Query and Echo were a testament to that theory. Loyal and dependable and oh so talented with weapons, they were a treasure. What's a Clyde without his Bonnie? While some claim that sport's figures are what turned them on, and while others sought to be a muse to a touring band, not even a heavy weight champion could rival his immense analytical skills that would make Miss Marple green with envy.
After all, the brain is considered the sexiest organ, no?
That didn't mean however, that he saw himself as the consummate lady's man. No. Chasing skirt was something best left to brutish oafs like that playboy Wayne who saw women as nothing but conquests and notches on his belt. They were barely even human. They were more like trinkets. That still doesn't let the latest socialite or heiress off the hook either. They knew they were getting into dangerous waters like going after the consummate bad boy when there were princes lining up at the door. They are all ignored because they lack excitement and when they lack excitement they lack commitment and when they are at their feet, they are treated like proverbial doormats.
Women, what enigmas they were.
Even if the Riddler had the fairer sex figured out to a degree, women were still an eternal mystery and no one proved that to be a challenge so much as Harley Quinn, once known as the respected Harleen Quinzelle around these parts. She was now a part of the jungle that she had sought to study and write a book about and maybe land a book deal on Oprah.
Now, the joke was on her. Sitting alone and barely touching her meatloaf and mashed potatoes, she looked like a downtrodden and broken doll instead of the bubbly and likable intern that she started out as when she first came to Arkham Asylum. She was very human. Very open, think Anna Nicole Smith but without the drinking and drugs and with a college degree. She was a shining star in the dark halls and desolate atmosphere of the asylum. The doctors were detached with their patients, treating them like freak experiments rather than people. Harleen was not like that, she was approachable. Edward Nygma liked her because she was passionate and now, she threw it all away for the approval of the Joker who was egotism personified. She was a case that feminists roll in their graves. Not even a stint with Pamela Isley proved to be a healthy friendship.
Harley Quinn was a walking paradox, a beautiful woman trapped in a cold and ugly delusion which she rationalized with fluffy and flowery descriptions. She was a human riddle. What do women want? What does Harley want?
It was lunchtime and before he would get his lunch, he sat down across from the once professional therapist.
"Harley," he whispered softly.
Ocean blue eyes looked up at the master of riddles. They were almost grey due to the glassy luster.
"Hiya, Ed," she responded. Success, that meant that she was ready to talk but best not put your eggs in one basket.
"Is there something on your head, kiddo?" The Riddler asked as he folded his hands, giving her his full attention.
"You're gifted at guessing games, you should know," she shrugged, almost venomously.
Ouch, but not completely out of the ball park. It was NOT a rebuttal.
"They cancel your favorite TV show?" he asked.
"No," she sighed.
"There's a sale at the mall and you're stuck here?" Okay, so maybe that was a bit sexist but hopefully, maybe…
She huffed. Oh, no.
"I STEAL Eddie, remembah? I'm a wanted criminal in forty eight states!"
He had to admit it, he did this to stall and play dumb but she saw through him like gauze. He didn't want to get to the heart of the situation so quickly because that would mean that he tied her one hundred percent to that clown. She was a person with her own personality. Of course she probably wouldn't have minded but to him, she was unique.
"Okay, okay, lemme guess. It's almost Valentine's Day and your puddin is nowhere to be found?"
The small whimper was the only confirmation he needed.
"Harley…." Eddie said in a warm fashion as he rested his palm onto her forearm. "You know, there is more than one way to eat an Oreo cookie." Edward responded when he took notice of a small pile of cookies left by another inmate most likely.
"And it all tastes the same, so what's your point?" Harleen said in a poisonously cynical matter. She was far more dangerous when she was serious just like her beau.
"What I am saying is that if you are not getting the results you want, you can get a little creative. Like take this piece of paper for example, I can either make an army of paper men OR I can turn it into a paper airplane." He explained but it was obvious she wasn't getting it. It was like digging for oil in a sandbox.
"But I am creative! Didn't I tell you about the time I tried getting Mistah J to notice me with a little red nightie I got for him or the time I made bird boy drink an antidote cuz Red was ignorin' me?!"
Edward cleared his throat rather loudly when he noticed the other inmates including Jervis and Waylon giving them strange looks.
"Um, no I didn't know about those moments but you see, that's the problem Harley, you are looking for answers to which there are no solutions."
"But didn't you just say that you can be creative" Harley counteracted.
"Harleen," Nygma replied. "You can't turn an elephant into an airplane. Ivy is a misanthrope who sleeps with plants and the Joker is a walking chemical waste dump."
"You didn't have to be so blunt about it," Harley moped, still looking away in a dream-like manner.
"Better a cold hard fact than a comfortable delusion, Harley." Edward responded. "That doesn't mean, however, that I don't think that silver linings don't exist, especially if you know where to look."
His fingertips graced Harleen's delicate chin. She stared back at him in a derisive but calm manner. She was at his attention but most likely because she saw him as a friend.
"Sometimes the answers are just right in front of you, love. You don't have to decode and overanalyze…."
He had hoped that that was enough.
"But that's silly! Who is up front and honest anymore? I mean, isn't that why most guys front about these sorts of things?"
That was too close, too very very close.
"Um, all I will say that is if the Joker rebuffs you while you are wearing something out of a Playboy magazine, then I am positive that he is just not interested." Edward replied on a calm manner. Harleen blushed.
"Awww, shucks ya think?"
"No bones about it Harley, that clown doesn't know what he is missing." Eddie retorted as he wiped a blonde wisp of hair from her forehead. God, she had that smile again.
"I think the world of you, Harleen and I am letting you know right now," he said with a soft smile, hoping that at least she would get it without trying too hard. There were no key words, there was no need for subtlety, and there was no room to be sophisticated. The cards were laid out in front. "As I was saying, there is more than one way to eat an Oreo, but first a test." The Riddler said before grabbing a cookie and started to twist it open. "Why do these cookies come in packages the way they do?"
"Because the cream filling is what holds them together like the ham, mayo and cheese in a sandwich." Harley said in a perky manner. Well, at least she got out of that angst stage but they weren't quite out of the woods yet.
"Um, yes, that is true, but you know, you don't have to have the mayonnaise, just like you don't need the cream filling…" Riddler replied as he quickly sought to rid his Oreo from the white stuff. He was starting to hate that color as it reminded him of a certain fair skinned killer clown and he really wanted to wean Harley off of him. "See, you can just bring the two cookies together and dip and enjoy," Eddie explained as he dipped the two bare wafers into the milk.
"Yeah, I guess you're right. I always liked eating one half with the cream…"
"But what about that other half?" he queried.
"Nothing. It was just forgotten." She said solemnly.
"We can't have that, can we? Then the cookie isn't as enjoyable, no?" Eddie said warmly. Harleen smiled.
It was a small step, but it was better than nothing. He may not have talked about Philosophy 101 with her but he did share a new world view with her, even if it just involved twisting a cookie.