Shot To The Heart

Author's Note: Written for the livejournal batfic_contest prompt "Flag" in less than 500 words; first posted there on 31 May 2010.

The hot iron skimmed lightly across the surface of fabric, and Harley hummed a medley of show tunes as she revelled in the simple domesticity of it all.

"I'm just a girl who cain't say no…" she sang. "Somethin', somethin', somethin' else…"

The trick gun flags had been overdue for a good wash, along with Mistah J's many strings of colourful handkerchiefs. No matter how many times she reminded him he still persisted in getting blood, bile and goodness-knows-what all over the handkerchiefs and blood and gunpowder over the flags, then shoved them back into a drawer rather than putting them straight into cold water to soak. Fortunately the flags were predominantly red and didn't show the stains too badly, but she'd had to throw out several strings of handkerchiefs that just wouldn't come clean.

"C'mon babe why don't we paint the town," she danced a little on-the-spot shimmy as she folded the crisply ironed flag and picked the next one from the laundry basket "an' all that jazz…"

As she smoothed the material she noticed a tear in the fabric, and held it up to the light to discover a neat bullet hole straight through the middle of the 'a' in 'bang'.

"Oh, Mistah J," she tutted, wondering idly whether that had been caused by the trick trick gun (the trick being it actually did fire real bullets) or if he'd been antagonising armed people again. Then she remembered the rickety owner of that gas station they'd robbed that had taken a few pot shots at them with an ancient rusty-looking blunderbuss that was probably older than he was. Mistah J had thought it was hilarious, letting the man off with an educational-level maiming.

She made a mental note to order more flags from the joke shop.

Harley tossed the holey flag to one side and picked out the next one; the 'rat tat tat' flag designed to go with the machine gun. She always felt a little conflicted when she saw it, given its connection to that whole trying-to-kill Mistah J incident. But all couples had their ups and downs, and that was water under the bridge – she knew he didn't hold it against her any more than she held the whole trying-to-blow-her-up-with-a-nuclear-bomb-thing in the first place.

The next Valentine's Day had proved it. She woke up to find him pointing the barrel of the same gun not six inches in front of her face, one of his most beautiful and heart-freezingly wicked grins looming over her. She had remained utterly still, mind racing as she tried to work out what terrible offence she had committed while she was asleep – wondering if hogging the sheets or snoring was really instant death-worthy. When he pulled the trigger she had involuntarily flinched, unable to watch, and there was a familiar sounding click. She'd opened her eyes to see a protruding flag reading 'be mine'.

She reached for the iron again and sighed wistfully; he really could be such an old romantic.

Author's Note: I kind of think that's quite adorable. (But I'm a sap...)

Please don't remind me of the other 'shot to the heart' Joker bang flag-related incident, from Return of the Joker, or I might go all sniffly...