Batman sat in the Batcave, thinking about the events of that evening. To think he went from having a romantic date with Selina to having to fight not just Harley Quinn but Nightwing too. Thanks to Joker, she was able to mix up some sort of hypnotizing toxin, he scratches his chin. I'll have to figure out a way to counter that for any possible episodes in the future. Batman's eyes narrow, still having trouble believing that he had to fight his own son thanks to that mad woman.
Getting up from the computer, he strides over to the sprawled figure of his best friend. Nightwing lay on a medical gurney, one eye swollen shut, his breathing was heavy. "Bruce..." A faint voice, poor Dick he thinks to himself.
"No, it's OK, Dick. Don't try to speak." Batman pulls off his cowl, placing it on a stack of crates.
"I know Dick. She's the one responsible for this. Don't worry. We'll figure out what she did to you." Bruce hoped to sound more confident about it than he felt. Where do I start with this new toxin? I need a sample first of all.
Nightwing feebly takes off his mask, "I'm sorry, I had no idea what I was doing. It was like I was-I was in a trance. Almost as if I was madly in love with her!"
Bruce rubs his friend's shoulder, trying to comfort him as best he can. "I know you had no control over yourself. I think she's trying to branch off from Joker now."
Harley Quinn, branching off from Joker. The thought alone strikes Bruce with a bit of fear. As crazy and obsessive as she can be about her "puddin", she is also an incredibly smart and talented woman. There's a reason she is where she is today after all. To think she has Joker as a some sort of twisted mentor. With his aptitude for chemicals, and her ability to learn and adapt, there's no telling what sort of things she can be capable of. One thing is for certain, Batman will need to do a little bit of detective work. Bruce snaps out of his trance as he hears the muffled footsteps and grumbling of Alfred.
"I say Master Dick, you do look a little worse for the wear this evening."
"Nice to see you too Alfred," Dick tries to chuckle against the pain he feels, damn, I think Bruce may have cracked one of my ribs on accident.
Alfred appraises Dick's condition, grabbing a bottle of disinfectant to treat some of his cuts, "What was it this time Dick?"
Alfred's mouth drops almost to the floor as he stares at Bruce.
"It's not what you think, Alfred."
"Well I should hope not Master Bruce. Care to tell me why he's in such a state?"
And here comes the fatherly side of Alfred, Bruce thinks to himself, he's always been quick to make sure his boys are safe though, can't say I blame him. "It was Harley Quinn."
Nodding, Alfred says, "Yes, Miss Quinzel. I seem to remember her being with Joker."
"I suspect she still associates herself with him, except now she's branching off. She's trying to fashion her own crimes, her own niche." Bruce shakes his head, still unbelievable what she did to Dick.
"This still doesn't explain why Master Dick looks like he's seen the business end of Batman's boots."
Dick tries to speak, "Harley drugged me Alfred. She had me fighting for her. It was like I was under some sort of hypnotic spell or something. I felt as if I was in love with her."
"Some sort of love potion?"
Bruce grunts, "I doubt it's something that benign. You should have seen what she was doing Alfred. Dick was ready to take my head off, I had no choice but to defend myself."
Alfred continues working on Dick's wounds, "So you don't think Joker was involved with this particular incident?"
"Not directly. I'm sure he had a hand in her little drug though."
It was such a surreal thing. Seeing Nightwing standing next to her as if he were some sort of guard dog, hell bent on protecting his master. Was this merely some sort of demonstration of what she can do? There has to be a bigger picture here.
"Bruce," Dick calls up from the gurney, "I'm not sure, but I think I may have been some sort of test subject for her. She said something about using her new tool to help rob some of the businesses in Gotham, and the bank of course."
A smirk cracks on Bruce's face, "Lucky for us, Harley has always been sloppy. At least we can warn Gordon. Do you remember how she administered this toxin to you?"
"Honestly, I don't remember. I remember when I cornered her on the roof of the GCN building, but after that, it's as if I was dreaming. Ow! Alfred, be careful!"
"Terribly sorry, but I'm doing my best sir, maybe if you didn't squirm so much." Alfred chuckles.
"Between getting smacked twice in the back by that weird gun of her's and Bruce kicking me in the ribs, I guess I should be thankful to be breathing right now."
"Well sir, I think this about wraps it up for you." Alfred says as he finishes wrapping a large gash on Dick's forearm.
Thankful for the treatment being over, Dick slides off the gurney and stumbles to his feet. Feels like I've been hit by a truck, he thinks. "I'm going to head upstairs and sleep the rest of this off. Bruce, don't stay up too late. I want to help out on this one too."
Giving a warm smile to his friend, Bruce replies, "I'll be going to bed soon as well I think. Wouldn't dream of leaving you out of this case. You have a lot more reason than I do to want to figure out what Harley is up to."
Dick heads up to the main part of the mansion, leaving Bruce and Alfred in the cave. Alfred begins helping Bruce with some of his wounds, a small cut on his chest and a large bruise on his shoulder. Nothing too major.
"It was so hard to do Alfred." Bruce finally cuts into the silence.
"I know it was. He's your best friend, your son."
A frown clouds over Bruce's face as he thinks about the fight, replaying the images in his mind. Despite the circumstances, unsure of whether or not to truly forgive himself. "I let him beat me up pretty badly before I even raised a hand to him Alfred. Why would Harley have done something like this?"
"I think that Harley Quinn may have finally hit her criminal stride. It seems she's turning more and more like Joker everyday."
"My god," Bruce says incredulously, "it's bad enough having one running around Gotham City. Let alone a second. What if she is changing though. What if she becomes the same kind of unpredictable menace that Joker is?"
Alfred stops for a moment, a chill crawling up his back like a spider, "I really don't want to consider that, but it seems as if that is a possibility. Much like Joker, she may just want to cause as much chaos and mayhem as possible."
"If that's true, then she isn't going to stop at just drugging people to do petty thievery."
"I'm afraid not sir. Perhaps tomorrow Batman and Nightwing should pay a visit to Commissioner Gordon."
Bruce nods in agreement, "I think that's a perfect plan."
Alfred smiles as he finishes his work on Bruce's shoulder. "Now then, how about we get some sleep. Sounds like we have a busy few days ahead of us."