It's a Stitch Up

Author's Note: Written for the livejournal batfic_contest prompt "Framed" in less than 500 words; first posted there on 31 August 2009.

Harley Quinn hummed happily to herself as she skipped across the kitchen, stirring several bubbling pots and tasting the different sauces to try to work out which was which. Somewhere along the cooking process her recipes had got into a muddle, so to err on the safe side she added a hefty glug of crème de menthe to all three pans.

It wasn't often Mistah J and her had time just to themselves, and she'd wanted to make an effort beyond the usual takeaways and gummi-bears. She cracked open a window to let the worst of the smoke out and decided to see how the roast was after resting.

"Harley! Came a yell as the kitchen door flew open, the Joker trying peer through the smoke and coughing. "What did I say earlier about casual arson inside the house? Only if I get to join in!"

"Hi Puddin'!" Harley waved, wafting at the charred roast with her apron. "I've been cookin' a nice meal, just for the two of us!"

Joker lifted a cautious eyebrow. "Were you using a crematorium oven?"

She giggled and prodded at the meat with a fork. "It's Cajun style – it's supposed to be well done, silly!"

Harley would never know whether the Joker was about to compliment her or make a clever pun on Cajun cooking, for at that moment a familiar dark figure swept in through the half-open window and sent her Puddin' crashing to the ground.

"You're going down Joker," Batman growled, twisting his arms behind his back to cuff his wrists together. "I've made sure of it this time."

"Mistah J!" Harley gasped, feeling powerless to help her poor Puddin' before realising she still held the meat fork. She gripped it more tightly and rushed to confront his attacker, heedless of her own safety. Although she put up a valiant struggle, Batman was stronger and she was soon trussed up next to the Joker. The menacing vigilante glowered at them with undisguised venom.

"Once they find the explosives at City Hall match these," he withdrew a vial of concentrated liquid explosive from his belt, "you'll be going away for a very long time." At their shocked expressions the Bat threw back his head and laughed, laughing right until the police arrived when he vanished into the darkness.

"An' that's exactly how it happened."

"Right," Gordon frowned down at the notes he had been taking. "So, Miss Quinn, you want your formal statement to be that Batman planted those explosives in your premises."

"Of course he did! Bats can mope alone on rooftops all he wants, but he's got no right breakin' up our magical evening outta jealousy." Harley sniffed dismissively.

"Why would Batman frame him when he knows the Joker has been declared insane and should be arrested on sight?"

"How should I know how his pointy-eared head works?"

"I really don't think there's a case to answer here," Gordon replied, watching Harley be escorted out muttering about shocking Gotham police corruption.

Author's Note: Obviously Harley's version of events has got quite considerably sidetracked from reality by the time Batman breaks into Joker-style mad cackling, but I'll leave it to you to decide where the detour begins.

I'm sure a letter-writing campaign to the major newspapers to highlight her cause will have great effects give the return address of Arkham Asylum...