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A/N: And I asked myself: How do you shoot a gun in stilettos? Dedicated to knit-wear and her fascination with Harleen's shoes in A Handful of Dust.
If Harleen Quinzel had perfected anything in her short life, it was how to walk in stiletto heels while either loading or firing a semi-automatic shotgun. Her profession (partner to a mass-murdering psychopath) was something that would require specializations that you couldn't check a box next to in college.
8.6 GPA. Check.
Killer Heels. Not so much.
If her mother could see her right now, strutting down a tiled hallway, eyes focused on the scampering of those ahead and popping in cartridges. . She may never had encouraged Harleen's choice in footwear. She had stumbled upon a small Harley after the child had sequestered herself in her mothers closet, trying on various heights of shoes. Her mother probably wouldn't have laughed, twirled her around in a circle and told her that those were big girl shoes. What she may have done instead was rip the shoes off the child and snap the heels right off.
If she could have seen into the future, who knows what Harley would have been instead.
Harleen wore sneakers through grade school that were somehow always worse for wear even after they were scrubbed and tidied. They took her around the playground, through the parks, under bridges and through triple-doggie dares that the local boys challenged her to.
"I bet you can't," was often followed by a swift kick or stunned amazement.
In high school she abandoned the sneakers for ballet flats classes and her bare feet in the gymnasium. Twisting through the air, flirting with boys or sneaking an extra dessert in the lunch line was typical protocol. She didn't need sneakers for running around outside, in the soccer field. She needed dainty shoes that helped her entice.
She spent most of university indoors, in her stocking feet. She didn't have to leave her residence room to study, in fact if she stayed inside she wouldn't be distracted by the boys and the parties. (There were a lot of boys who intended to get the young blond drunk at parties.) If she stayed inside with her text books she kept her A average. She slipped on tennis shoes when she did surface and needed to run to the corner store for snacks, go to the market for groceries, or (albeit rarely) to the pharmacy for condoms.
It was after she was hired at Arkham that she bought her first pair of very expensive high heeled shoes. Not stilettos yet but high enough that she didn't feel tiny next to the patients or the doctors with more seniority. She wasn't about to get any taller she rationalized and the heels made her legs look nicer. They took practice and she kept a spare pair of flats in the bottom drawer of her desk for emergencies.
She bought her first stilettos not long after he made her feel so very small. Standing in an elevator with a pair of guards and her patient she felt minuscule. She barely reached his chin in the heels she had on, and looking up at him with the Joker looking down at her was disconcerting. She had no desire to be smaller than a man who's presence could fill a room as is.
She'd googled the word "stiletto" a few days prior, hoping to narrow down her choices before dragging herself through a department store. She was disturbed to learn that a stiletto was a knife as well as a shoe. They looked small, but violent. It bothered her until she bought her pair of shoes, which were far more feminine than anything else.
The heels broke early on. She could admit later that day that perhaps her ending up on the table with his hands around her neck was due to some fault of her own. Perhaps she hadn't been paying enough attention to his hands and was too focused on the words and scars. He was excellent at slight of hand.
But as his hands tightened she'd managed to save herself. The room spun and while he was distracted with her hands and neck she managed to get enough leverage to apply one of her considerably delicate looking heels to his thigh. His hands loosened and when one instinctively reached for her foot she pushed herself out of the way and off the table.
The heel snapped as she impacted with the tile floor and the guards finally restrained him.
No one at Arkham expected they would ever be bedfellows.
There was something intrinsically frightening about her now. An exceptionally pretty woman wearing his face paint and sporting at least one deadly weapon made people in Gotham nervous. When she and her Pudding decided to come out and play there was nowhere anyone one could hide.
Tonight was special. She fired off the last of the rounds and turned a corner in the hallway. She was finished here and would soon being getting in the elevator, going to the bottom floor, ensuring the explosives were set, heading back to the top floor where she and the Joker were about to announce that the cable service provider would be unable to provide the usual programming. But! They would be stepping up to rescue where city service failed.
Thinking of the public service announcement they'd filmed made Harley giggle all the way down the elevator and back up where Mr. J was waiting for her signal to pop in the tape.
"All set Mr. J," she said cheerfully, entering the studio.
The Joker angled his head in her direction. "Good thing. I was beginning to get impatient Harley."
"Ah Pudding. You know I'd never let you down."