"This makes me feel that I'll never be quite normal;
this makes me act like I'll never get out alive."
-Say This Sooner by The Almost
Harley smiled as she watched Eddie walk out the door. Grabbing her coffee, she went back to her room and slipped under the covers after placing the cup on the bedside table. She snuggled into the cool surface of the pillow, allowing her eyes to close in hope that she might just be able to relax for the rest of the day. As much as she loved being in the Joker's presence, it was nice to be alone for a while. Before she knew it, consciousness slipped away from her and she fell into a comfortable sleep.
Not an hour later, the Joker walked in through the front door and dropped the keys on the counter. The hideout was strangely silent as he looked in the living area to see if anyone was there.
Eddie must've gone out, the Joker thought, observing the half-empty coffee pot. Strolling into his bedroom, he grinned at what he saw. Harley, dressed in only one of his shirts, was curled up in the sheets. Her back was facing him, allowing him a gracious view of her backside and his eyes trailed greedily down her one exposed leg. Removing his jacket and rolling up his sleeves to his elbows, he stepped out of his shoes and into the bed behind her. He placed his arm lightly around her waist, pulling her close to him so that the curve of her behind fit snugly into his groin.
"Harley," he whispered into her ear, hoping to rouse her somewhat peacefully. She moaned softly, snuggling into the mattress and pulling his arm tighter around her while bringing his hand into hers. He smiled softly and rubbed his nose on her cheek. Bringing his mouth to her neck, he repeated himself.
"Harley," he said again, and the rumble reverberated on her throat. She shivered, goosebumps rising all the way to her toes. She blearily opened her eyes, turning to look at him.
"Yes, dear?" she said sleepily, faking agitation. He chuckled, seeing through it like she knew he would.
"Good morning," he said cheerily, leaning over her to grab her coffee off the nightstand. He took a sip, grimacing at the cool temperature. "God, that's awful. When did you make this?"
"Over an hour ago," she said, laughing at his expression. "Eddie left to go on a date."
The Joker's eyebrows rose.
"A date?" he asked. "With who?"
"T's little sister, Layla," she replied, taking the cup of cold coffee from his fingers and sipping some of it. She grimaced, but resisted the urge to spit the mouthful back into the cup. "God, that is awful."
He laughed, resting his forehead on her shoulder. His hot breath seeped through her shirt (well, technically, it was his shirt) and onto her skin, making her shiver. He smiled at the reaction, pressing his lips on the curve between her neck and shoulder. She sighed, snaking her hands into his hair and began to scratch his scalp lightly as his hands worked their way underneath her shirt while his lips continued to trail down her neck. Removing the shirt entirely, he spoke.
"I have a job for you," he said against her skin. She looked down at him.
"Is this an actual job, or are you trying to talk dirty to me?" she asked, and he barked with laughter.
"It's an actual job," he said, still laughing. "The dirty talk comes later."
She rolled her eyes, slapping his arm softly. "Well?"
"The kid that's Batman's new sidekick—they're calling him Robin. Think you can go out tonight and dig around in my sandbox a little bit? Just to see if uh, anyone has any news on him," he proposed, letting his hands fall onto her stomach. "I know how you like to get your uh, your hands dirty."
She chuckled quietly.
"I'll think about it," she said. He smirked, and neither spoke another word as his shirt followed the same path that hers had.
"What do you need?"
Bruce turned away from the glowing computer screen to the stairs, where Selina was now making her descent into the cave.
It wasn't much of a cave anymore, seeing as the new mansion had been rebuilt. The structure beneath the house was similar, but the particular piece where all the things for his "other job" were held had been remodeled completely. It was still enormous, and still had a back entrance where vehicles could enter.
Selina wore tight, dark jeans and a crisp white button-down with heels so high that Bruce cringed inwardly at the thought of even attempting to walk in them. Her dark curls were pulled away from her face, save for a few strands that had fallen out of place.
"Did you just get back?" he asked. She nodded, finishing off the last of the stairs casually and making her way over to him. He turned back to the computer.
"Buy anything nice?"
"Cut to the chase, Bruce," she said. "What do you need?"
Bruce sighed, looking up at her from his place on the chair.
"I can't go out tonight. My last patrol wore a little worse on me than I thought it would," he told her with regret, wincing as he shifted his injured ankle.
"You want me to go out instead?" It sounded more like a statement than a question, and the exasperated look on her face told him more than her words did. She would do it, but she didn't want to.
"In a way," Bruce said slowly. Selina stayed silent, waiting for him to continue. The cave was silent, other than a news feed running up on the screen that echoed throughout the room.
"The billionaire, missing for three months, returned home yesterday and surprised everyone with his statement at the press conference he called himself…"
Bruce's eyes flicked to the screen, then back to her face. Selina began tapping her foot with impatience.
"Well," he said finally, "I've decided to let Dick go out tonight—"
"—And I need you to keep an eye on him," he finished, ignoring her comment. "I know he's nineteen and he's been training with me for months, but I still don't feel comfortable…" he trailed off, glaring at the screen. Selina sighed, putting her hands on his shoulders and massaging the knots there.
"Bruce," she said, watching the goosebumps rise on his neck, "you can't expect him to trail you around forever. I'll keep an eye on him," she assured him as she felt him stiffen up. "But I'm not going to let him know I'm trailing him. And I'm certainly not going to be watching his every move. He's a legal adult, you know."
"I know." His voice was rough, and infused with a sigh that didn't quite make it to the surface. She put her head on his shoulder, placing a kiss on his neck.
"Who knew the Batman would be afraid of an empty nest?" she couldn't help herself, and she grinned as he glared at her. She began walking up the steps, bracing herself for what was sure to be a long night.
"How did you get down these stairs with that ankle, anyway?" she called to him, turning around to see his face.
He ignored her.
Harley hadn't found out much; she had asked around, but not enough to raise suspicion. All anyone seemed to know was that his body was that of a teenager (albeit a very fit one), and that Batman called him Robin. She couldn't help but feel for the kid—he must've had a pretty bad childhood to want to spend his teenage nights with the Bat.
She figured there was only one way to truly find out anything; she needed to get it straight from the horse's mouth.
So she set out to the deeper, inner layers of the Narrows; Batman tended to patrol there frequently, as that's where the Scarecrow tended to find test subjects for his latest toxins. She wasn't dressed up, so roaming here wouldn't be too much of a problem—all she wore was a plain black hoodie, a pair of ripped jeans, and her sneakers. It was mid-September, and Gotham was just starting to get chilly at night again (which was just luck, really—now the hoodie was much less suspicious). She saw a young woman crossing the street, dressed in a waitress' uniform and a coat. The girl pulled the coat tighter around her while looking around (one could never be too careful in the Narrows).
Perfect, thought Harley.
"Hey, sugar," Harley called out to the woman. She turned abruptly, obviously already nervous because of the darkness. Harley ran swiftly over to her and got in close. Grasping one of Mr. J's knives behind her back, she began to speak.
"I'm giving you some advice, woman to woman here: bring some clothes to change into after work. That outfit, down here," she gestured to the street around them, "not safe, honey." Pulling out the knife, she held in front of the woman. "You want me to show you what happens to girls that don't?"
The woman screamed shrilly, and Harley grinned. If she was incredibly lucky, the Bat would be hanging around somewhere near here.
A figure swooped down—one that definitely wasn't the Batman.
"Let her go." His voice wasn't at all gravelly like the Batman's, but a deep, mature voice all the same. Harley immediately let go of the woman's arms, and turned around to look sweetly at the boy known as Robin. The woman ran away quickly.
"You'll only find a rapist if you're running that quickly without looking!" Harley called to her retreating figure. She turned back to Robin and smiled gleefully. "Sooo, you're the famous Robin. Gotham is just buzzing with information about you."
He stayed silent, and Harley rolled her eyes; he had obviously been taught be the Bat. She began to circle around him, enjoying what seemed to be a look of uncertainty erupt on his face as he spun around to follow her movements.
"Well," she started again, "since you seem to be no good with words, I'll start with the introductions."
She moved quickly to try and get behind him, but he matched her just as swiftly. She grinned.
"Harley Quinn," she purred. "It's a pleasure." At that, he made a move towards her; she automatically jumped backwards a few steps, her graceful gymnast's feet allowing her to do so seamlessly. She laughed aloud.
"So tell me," she asked tauntingly, "what happened to this little birdy? How did he end up in the hands of the big, black Bat?" He made another grab for her, but she only dodged it again. "What's the matter? Afraid to hit me because I'm a girl?"
He hesitated. Bingo.
"Let me give you a tip, kiddo. The girls in this town—they don't play nice." She took a swing at him with her hammer, and it narrowly missed him. "So step up to the plate."
"You belong in Arkham," he finally said, staring her down. She laughed.
"Tell me something I haven't heard before, bird boy. Too bad for you, though, I don't intend on going back any time soon. I've got a man waiting for me at home." She smiled. "Speaking of men waiting for us at home, where's Daddy Bat this evening?"
"He's on vacation." Harley turned quickly at the sound of a familiar voice. Catwoman stood on a ledge several stories above them, looking down on the scene.
"So he sent his most faithful pussy… cat?" Harley jested, swinging her hammer. "Gotham's finest—and by that I mean most wanted—have been betting how long it would take the two of you to get back together again. It was only a matter of time, I suppose. Now Daddy Bat and Mommy Cat have got a little bird in the nest, too!"
Catwoman growled, flipping down several ladders to stand next to Robin.
"Just go home, Harley. I'm not bringing anybody in tonight, especially not you. It's not worth the trouble that would undoubtedly follow." Robin looked at her incredulously, as if to say, What the hell are you doing?
"Whatever you say, Mrs. Bats. Give the rest of the family my love."
And with that, she was gone.
A/N: I am SO SORRY about the enormous wait for this! I went to England for three weeks, and then I went back to school right after I got back and then I have loads of homework every night... yeah I know, excuses, excuses. I AM sorry though, truly. If you're still reading this, I love you. A lot. I'll give you a cyberhug if you guys guess who the missing billionaire mentioned in the Bat cave was. I'm sorry if I don't post again very soon after this, I am, after all, in the year from hell. Or so they tell me. Love you guys lots lots lots, if you keep reading, I'll keep writing!