I own nothing except the character Harlow. Read and review!
The snow fell in heavy flakes along the street, as I made my way home. I knew it wasn't safe to be out at night, but I had ended up working the late shift at the diner. A job I hated but work was scarce in Gotham. I couldn't imagine going back to the job I had before. Back before Gotham had been taken over by a madman intent on blowing it up. I spent those long months inside and reflecting on my life. As everything came to shambles around me. Then the batman saved us all and it cost him his life. Things slowly got back to normal or as normal as it could. work was hard to come by still. Crime still happened not as much as it had during the "revolution". But people were just trying to move forward. I gripped my coat tighter around me as a gust of wind blew down from the alleyway in front of me. All I wanted to do was get home to my small studio apartment and take a hot bath. I should have known that would never happen.
I saw him hunched against the wall. A beanie hat covered his head and he had a bloody scarf tied around his face. I felt my heart seize as his eyes found mine. I stopped dead in my tracks, fear running down my spine. He limped towards me. I was vastly aware of his size, bulky and tall even at his hunched stature.
"Stop!" I said readying myself to run.
"I do not intend to harm you or take anything from you" He said, muffled through the scarf. I felt my brain trying to recognize the voice, I knew I had heard it before.
"I am badly hurt" he said, leaning his body on the wall of the alley.
"Let me call you an ambulance"
he held up his hand.
"I cannot go to the hospital. I fear that as soon as I am seen I will be shot on sight"
"why would they do that?"
I heard him laugh.
"I am not as recognizable as I once was, I imagine...I look like any homeless person this city has now filled with, because of my revolution"
My brain filled with recognition. I felt my body tense up. I backed away slowly.
"I can see that you have worked out who I am and I intend to keep my word of not harming you"
"what do you need...?"
"medical treatment and a place to recover..."
"maybe I could just turn you in...and get a lot of money. I need that kind of money"
He looked at me almost disappointed but also understanding. Then his eyes turned cold and hard again. He got up to his full height, turned around and started to limp back down the alleyway.
I felt my head fighting with my self to not call out to him. My mind didn't win.
"Wait! I will help" I called out
He turned around. "Just until you are healed and then I want you gone."
He came back towards me. "I need you to promise you will not harm me"
He chuckled lightly.
"I have already said I wouldn't..but I promise"
"Follow me, I live just around the corner"
He nodded and I saw him reach down to the ground and grab a black duffel bag.
He followed quietly behind me, I walked quickly not wanting to draw any attention.
I opened my front door and turned on the light.
"I know it's small..."
"it's just fine.." he said.
I had a small kitchen and bathroom. My bed was hidden behind a long screen and on the other side of it was my living room/dining room.
He sat himself down on my couch.
"Do you know anything about first aid or nursing miss...?"
"Harlow Williams" I said sitting down next to him.
"And yes actually..I was a nurse before.."
"Before you came and tried to give us an unwanted revolution"
I felt his eyes on me.
"I am gonna need you to remove your shirt and your scarf, please" I said getting up and going to get the medical supplies I did have. My natural nursing instincts kicking in.
I came back to see him shirtless and bloodied. I stared at his face and then at his chest.
"did you try to fix your self up?" I asked, pulling my coffee table closer to him and sitting down on it, in front of him.
"Yes and I had a few of my men help me the best they could. stealing me supplies and morphine for the pain...after a few weeks they stopped coming, I assume they were caught"
I pulled on gloves, to check his face.
"So was the mask just for show?"
I saw him tense up.
"I had worn it for many years, to hold back the pain of my earlier injuries..I will not go into further detail" he said, his eyes were harsh.
"and where is the mask now?"
"in my bag, broken. I am having trouble repairing it myself because it seems my fingers are somewhat broken"
"I will take a look at them in a minute" I said, bringing my fingers to feel along his jaw. then up to his nose, which i could tell was broken.
"How is the pain now?"
"a dull throb. I have taken morphine several times a day to numb what I can."
"I am gonna have to get you some more so I can try to repair your nose.."
"I can handle the pain..do it now if you can"
"If you are sure.." I said pressing down on his nose and gave a sharp push. I saw his eyes close and his jaw clench tight.
"Sorry" I said. I brought up the wet cloth to his face to wipe the blood away. Even with the scars I had to admit he was handsome. a red scar trailed down across his nose and over his lips, stopping at his chin.
"Open your mouth, please"
"What for? you said you are a nurse, Not a dentist"
"besides, everything there feels fine..move on" he said sternly.
"lift your arms above your head than"
He obeyed. I checked his ribs. I heard him inhale sharply.
"I suspect some bruising.." I ran my fingers over some stitches
"did you do this?"
"I did. I was shot before the bomb was suppose to go off. I dug the fragments out.."
"they look infected. I may have to open them,clean them and stitch them properly."
I moved on to his hands and checked his fingers.
"only a few broken bones" I said readying up the supplies for splints. I moved the bones back into place without saying anything. I saw him clench his jaw.
"all done there.." I said
"I am gonna have to have you lie down so I can do the stitches properly.." I said removing my gloves for a fresh pair.
He laid down on the couch and I set to work. I watched him out of the corner of my eye.
after I was finished.
"I will find a way to get you some antibiotics and some more painkillers..now let me just check your leg, I noticed you limping"
he rolled up his pant leg and I felt along the shin.
"not broken..perhaps just pulled a muscle.." he nodded, standing up to pull on his shirt.
He was still hunched over.
"Back bothering you?"
"Old injury, I used to wear a brace for it..but seems I was pretty much robbed while I was unconscious and thought dead..no doubt some of my men's doing"
"Woke up in an open grave.." he added
He went to his bag, he pulled out the mask. He brought it to his face and I watched him inhale deeply.
"it's a mixture of morphine and other painkillers. I will have to show you how to make them because I am nearly out, I have saved it"
"Alright..well if we are done..feel free to make yourself at home and I do sleep with a knife"
"you think that would stop me, I may be weak and broken but I still could kill you..."
I glared at him.
"you will not test my patience anymore on this. I promised to not harm you and I will keep my word unless you provoke me further" he ground out. I turned around and walked away from him.
I went behind my screen that separated me from the rest of the house.
I heard the springs in my couch move under his weight. I quietly got ready for bed and turned off the light.
I tossed and turned all night. On edge at the foreign presence in my normally empty apartment.