Every time that he would flop a card down she noticed. It made this very distinct noise that after two years, it was driving her mad. Well no, she had already been driven mad by him, then again she mad wasn't a word they like to use. She knew that, she had studied the whole physiology and psychology of a person. They always spoke to her about cures, about helping her. What they didn't know that was some people couldn't be helped, that they didn't want to be helped.
She had been helped in the past. All the books, articles, papers she had poured herself into reading and writing, she knew it well. After the final attack her body and her mind, she was done being helped. Instead of responding to the people, she was silent and listened. She had always been a good listener. Friends had always told her about their problems and what they would do, what they wanted to do, even if by some shred of knowledge that she knew they weren't there, she would listen because they were the ones with the ideas.
After certain drugs had calmed her down and sedated her, she truly couldn't respond. The doctors at Arkham had deemed her completely incapacitated, but they wouldn't say that aloud, to her, instead she would sit at the therapy sessions, which she used to speak at trying to get help, trying to get away from her friends, but as the months went on and as the drugs began to increase in both dosage and number, Harley became silent. She hadn't spoken to a single soul in a year. Even now at these social functions of bringing the insane together as a kind of social group activity, she was unresponsive. The nurses and doctors would briefly talk to her before going over to the Joker or someone else knowing that they would get a better reaction.
However, she hadn't taken her drugs in four months and they were officially beginning to ware off. So now, as he flipped those cards and shuffled them, she could hear her friends telling her things. She could hear them discuss how interesting his head would look on a silver plate. They would talk about his disgusting looks towards her and the way he would speak to her was unacceptable. He spoke to her like she was some kind of twit that she hadn't worked her ass off in graduate school, only to become this. She was sick of being this and her friends agreed. These friends agreed that she could do so much more. Especially to this sick and twisted man, shuffling his cards, acting like he owned the place and that all these people, these freaks that were stuck inside belonged to him. They said how Harley would be able to do these things because they weren't good enough but Harley, she could do it. She could do anything she wanted.
"So Harley." Another flip of the card, which she was just staring at the deck in his hands. "How are things?"
She didn't respond, but heard a whisper in her ear, this is it.
"Heard you got yourself pretty tied up in here." He wasn't as terrifying without his mask of make-up. The scars, though, that's what really got people. "I mean aside from those first few months since the straight jacket."
He always lied about the scars. He wanted to confuse people, keeping them guessing, Scare them, but he wasn't as daunting as others made him out to be. His chaos only led to more chaos. Loud, noisy chaos. People knew about him, wanted to be like him, wanted the attention. He was all about attention.
"But," Flip, and a card was back on the table, "I always thought you look better in the red or black. More flattering for the skin."
His unpredictability. It was evident in the scars he proudly wore. The fact that no one knew for sure where he got them from. The jagged edges, the curling of skin on his cheeks. People were confused by how someone could look like that or even how someone wanted to look like that. However, he had gotten a couple things wrong.
"You see Harley," He continued. "I always thought you were a good looking girl."
He thought that by looking different, one had to be different.
By different, one stands out.
One has charisma.
"I guess those two go together."
With that charisma and difference, you can change the world, good or bad. Or chaotic.
"But still, you were always on my mind." He got closer.
It didn't matter to him. There wasn't a mission. But chaos can't work with charisma and charm.
"Even in my cell…" And closer.
Chaos is better worked and constructed when it silently creeps up on people.
"Late at night." His lips right next to her ear.
Unpredictable chaos. When in the unknown people are lost, adrift at sea. With loud chaos people are able to band together to form a different group, to object to the loud, noisy chaos. Then the people can gain control again. That's how he ended back here, because he was too loud, too boisterous.
"I think about…" He choked and the speed at which Harley had taken the pencil from table and jammed it in his throat, was inhuman. Blood spurted out of the clogged hole and began to trickle out of his mouth as his jaw kept moving, only strangled noises ushered forth.
Harley returned to her near cationic state, in her chair. But this time she was faking it. This time she was going to be the innocent, the silent chaos. It was going to be quick and quiet. While the Joker had been rowdy about his wrong doings, she would creep under the radar, let others take the blame, it was easier that way. If they found her, let them catch her. There wasn't anything to loose, her friends assured her.
And as the doctors ushered her out of the way and surrounded the Joker trying in vain to save the man's life.
"Magic trick." Harley whispered and then began to giggle, her shoulders shook and it was noiseless at first, but then it only sounded a bit. She could feel the uncertain eyes in the back of her head as the nurse pushed her down towards her cell. Good, let them wonder. Let their passivity serve her. She needed the silence, she thrived in listening. Everyone could underestimate her, including Joker. His mistake.
"Mrs. Wayne." Selina looked up from the paper that was sitting on her desk and saw Alfred walking towards her will a freshly brewed pot of tea. "Dr. Grayson just arrived."
"She's still in parking garage isn't she?" Selina smiled slightly, as the kindly man just shrugged, she put the pen down and rose. "It really bothers you that she won't let you announce her doesn't it?"
"I wouldn't say bother," Alfred returned the smile. "She tests the limits of protocol."
"Trying to keep everything normal?" She watched as he began to set up the area for the impending arrival. "Even with just a pseudo Wayne living here?"
"You are every ounce a true Wayne, Madame." He turned his kind eyes on her. "You are a Wayne, who has endured quite a bit through the years."
"Is that the definition of a Wayne?" Selina let out a soft chuckle. "To be plagued by misfortune?"
"It shouldn't be."
"Anybody home?" Barb's voice rang throughout the vast apartment.
"Maybe we should move back to the manor." Selina quirked a brow. "She might not come over as often. Or change the locks."
"You're starting to sound like a recluse." He chided, while still smiling.
"Starting?" Barb walked into the modern study. Her red hair that had been so long a year ago was now cut just above her shoulders and bangs lined her forehead. Newly bought glasses sat on the top of her nose and a smile lit her face. "I thought she already was one."
"I'm a lot of things today, apparently." Selina embraced her friend as Barb came forward, then released her. "Checking in on me?"
"Told mom I would." She took off her light jacket and lay it on the chair, taking a seat. "She's worried."
"She's always worried." Her shoulders moved indifferently. "I haven't seen her in a while, how is everyone?"
"Good." Barb nodded. "We missed you at dinner on Sunday."
"I've been busy."
"I noticed." Her voice carried a heavier meaning than what many could grasp, but Selina pretended not to notice. Then Barb continued with slight hesitation, "They're wondering if you heard anything from him? Dad especially."
Selina paused. It was usually an unspoken elephant in the room, but she knew that any time that someone saw her they wondered. They wondered what happened, why it happened, and most importantly why had Bruce Wayne up and decided to leave his wife while he went to Africa to work in a clinic. Although, some people knew better. The woman sitting in front of her knew that Bruce Wayne wasn't just in Africa and that his wife had not heard from him in six months. Jim Gordon had attempted to talk to Selina about it, but the talks were usually interrupted by a passing family member. He had been supportive, and everything else, but it was hard on him as well. Bruce had simply spoke quietly with Jim before leaving; putting down the finer details, ensuring him that Selina had things covered. Then he left.
"I'll take that as a no." Barb sighed. "You shouldn't be in this huge place by yourself."
"I have Alfred." She pointed out.
"Selina." It was the first time in a long while that Barb looked extremely worried, such a change from her usual jovial personality, always making Selina talk. Damn the girl. "What happened?"
"He left." Selina shrugged.
"Why?" This was something that Barb had also not done in a while, bring him up.
"Babs, you know why." Her heart raced, she had yet to tell of what had happened, of why she thought he left. "He had… his reasons."
"Selina." Barb stood, walked over to her friend and sat down opposite her. "I know it's not your normal happy go-lucky self to tell stories," That earned her a slight glare, "But I'm going to ask you nicely, please tell me what happened. You have bottled it up for more than five months, I think you can release some of it."
"Just some?" She had to smirk.
"Or all." Barb returned with a gentle smile. "Whatever you want to tell me."
"Alfred?" Selina turned slightly towards the man that had silently observed the women and had kept what he knew to himself for this long.
"Yes, Mrs. Wayne?" He had insisted on calling her that even though she had tried to coerce him to just calling her something besides that. But the old man had reminded her that it had been far too long since he had called someone by that name, let alone he thought it might never happen.
"If you go get a room set up, I'm going to get the wine." Selina cocked her head. "Dr. Grayson is going to want to spend the night."
"Almost there." His voice in her ear, as he kept the blindfold on her. His hands grasping at her side and guiding her to their destination. She stumbled a bit. "Careful."
"This would be easier if I could see where I was going." Selina mumbled.
"That would ruin the surprise, wouldn't it?" Bruce chided her.
"I hate surprises." She attempted to lift her brow.
"I didn't hear you complain about your last surprise." He reminded her.
"I was slightly intoxicated."
"You had one glass of wine."
"On an empty stomach."
"Are you insinuating that your agreement to my proposal was fueled by wine?" Bruce smiled.
"I'm insinuating that one has to drug me before giving me any sort of surprise." She explained, and she felt them stop. "Bruce Wayne, you are making your wife very nervous."
"Before I take the blindfold off," He felt a flutter of nerves go around in his stomach as he held her to him.
"And release me." Selina quickly stated before he could continue
"And release you." Agreeing, he went further. "And lose your attention. I wanted to say," He took a breath and whispered in her ear. "With every breath and every beat of my heart, I love you. You have brought me to a place that I can reconcile with. Everything that you have given me, I never thought I could have..."
"Bruce." Her voice was so quiet he barely heard it, but he knew that she was suppressing emotions that she barely ever shared, even with him.
"Selina," Slowly, his hand removed themselves from her and took the blindfold from her eyes. "I love you."
Her eyes widened at the sight before her. Although she had been mad at him for a whole month, she was surprised to find some of those feeling dissipate as she looked around the room. Now, she couldn't find what to say, but wandered in staring in awe at what her husband had kept from her for so long.
The room was decorated tastefully. The walls decorated with dark shade of yellow, the hardwood floor that used to be instated was now gone and replaced with a cushioned dark blue carpet. Light, wooden furniture of the old room was replaced with dark wood, but no less opulent. Windows were draped with linen fit for royalty with the matching yellow and blue in place.
She moved in towards the center of the room more, her mouth opened slightly, behind her, her spouse smirking to himself. A certain piece of furniture caught her eye and she headed in that direction slowly.
The sheets matched the whole room perfectly. Dark blue, with an outline of the golden yellow she had come to appreciate. Colors that contrasted perfectly with the dark wood that was the crib. Her hand outstretched and touched the mobile that hung over the crib. She finally smiled and half turned to her husband.
"This gets you off only a little." She warned him.
"There's more tonight." He took her facing him as a sign that he wasn't going to be pulverized, so he moved towards her.
"Really?" Selina cocked a brow at him and let herself be taken into his arms again. "And what would that entail, Mr. Wayne?"
"Plenty." His eyes had a certain spark in them. "It's a surprise."
"If you don't tell me I can't plan accordingly." She retaliated.
"Everything has already been planned." He leaned down and kissed her, gently, then pulled back, resting his head against hers. "I'm sorry."
"I am too." Her eyes closed, she went in for a total embrace. "If that was an indication of how these next months are going to be we're in for a treat."
"Hopefully not." Bruce chuckled, putting his chin on top of her head. "We still need to talk."
"Well now that the moment is ruined." She looked up at him, he didn't look amused. "We can figure this out."
"With everyone there's details." Selina reminded him. "We just have a few extra."
Splitting apart for the moment, they looked at each other. She leaned against the crib and he stood with his hands in pocket. Sitting in silence for a couple of beats, both trying to formulate words that would get across both of their points without starting another cat fight.
"I'm terrified." Selina wasn't sure if she was surprised who said it, or the fact that it came from her husband that she had known to be one to never admit defeat or fear. His fears were deeply rooted and she be damned if she had not known that from the beginning.
The only other time he had admitted his fear was when they were getting married. It had finally hit him, all of the emotion that he had suppressed through the years and had focused on his enemies, they came out. However, it was nothing she couldn't handle or at least help him with, provided that he would let her. Amazingly, he had, for the most part. There were still some things that he had decided to keep for himself and to be fair, she had not been the most forthcoming person. Neither would fool themselves on ever reigning the other in, but it was the partnership, trust, and love that kept them together.
"It's..." He started. "It's the fact that if anyone were to..."
"We'll deal with it." She cut in.
"There's going to be more at stake, Selina."
"And there wasn't before?" Her arms crossed, not defensively but enough. Willing herself to keep her hormones quiet she continued. "I've lost just as much as you have Bruce, I've fought, bleed and stole for those I love. Nothing will ever account for those you've lost. You and I know that better than most. And trying to predict the future is impossible, so can we please live in the moment and see how much we've gained."
Bruce stared at his wife. Yes, she did know what it was like to lose everything. She had put up with him through their stumble into the mantle of marriage, which he did not think possible. They had fought, she had made her point and had proved him wrong. Although his mind was never completely at ease, it was complacent. When he saw her walking down the aisle, he knew that he would never doubt her again.
Both had taken leaps and bounds against their adversity towards making complete commitments to another. She had made it a point to say that his nighttime crusade was something that she could not doubt nor would she. But Selina was also adamant to make herself useful whenever she deemed proper, meaning he did not have a say in the matter... the majority of the time. At times Bruce was not one to admit he found her insights useful, but also was reluctant to share his work, even though she had been doing so before and not to mention Barbara or Jim. However, she had not been down to help recently in light of the event of their argument.
The one problem that they had truly come across was that of her injury. It had been two years since a bullet had gone through her knee. Replacement surgery and physical rehabilitation had mostly solved that problem. He would never forget her determination nor her attempt at hiding every wince or the fact that she would never truly be up to par again, even though that didn't stop her from nightly activities from time to time. Even today as he guided her through the manor to this room, she had a slight limp and though it was not noticeable to others, to him it was a reminder of their past, that they would never be completely safe. He would keep track of every time that she told him it was she and she alone that had brought her to this. So far, it was it was one thousand nine hundred and forty nine.
"I believe you have been around Alfred far too long." A smirk finally came to his face.
"Who else am I supposed to talk to when you have Babs down there with you?" She questioned, taking his hand, she continued on a more serious note. "You haven't told her, right?"
"Of course not." He shrugged. "Has she said something?"
"Apparently you haven't been the best person to work with." Her brow quirked in amusement. "But if I remember what she's like at three in morning, I know she's not a pleasant person to be around either."
"You don't think I'm pleasant to be around?"
"I have my doubts." Selina smiled, then put her hands on the slight bump that had started to show on her stomach. More than two months in and still just a sliver, but still Selina felt nervous about the impending weight. "Do these plans that you have involve food?"
"They do." He nodded, and began to lead her out of the room. "They also involve you getting dressed..."
"How dressed?" She asked, as they made their way to their room.
"There's something sitting for you on the bed." Bruce told her.
"Are you sure it's going to fit?" Although she had barely just begun to show, Selina was already conscientious of her growing figure.
"You can blame Alfred if it doesn't." He answered as he opened the door to their room.
"You're quick to throw him in the line of fire." She glanced back at him just before going close to the dress that lay on the bed. Her eyes roamed the red dress that sat there. It was indeed beautiful. Although she had not be one for loose fitting dresses, this one made up for it quite a bit. The embellishments were not overly done and the neckline dipped a bit and she was happy that it accentuated her bustline tastefully, ending right below her bust before loosening. Selina turned to him with a questioning brow. "Nothing extravagant?"
"I never said that." Bruce approached her, his hands going to her shoulders as he kissed her neck. "I'll let you get dressed."
"How long until our reservations?" An idea popped into her head and she was hoping that he would be compliant.
"Seven." He answered, without needing any more prompting from her his hands went down her sides, underneath the shirt she wore, feeling the smooth skin that was there. His breath hot on her neck. A month of not talking, included the loss of another very important activity in their routine.
"Two hours." She nodded in approval, then closed her eyes as his hands ventured further down her body. "It's a good that shower is built for two."
Got it up! Now please, do not be discouraged all shall be revealed soon and WAY more to come in present day. Also, I was asked what my background was, and I am American, with quite of bit of time spent overseas. And Bruce and Gordon's relationship will be expanded on, as well as a few others.
If anyone is new to this, you probably might be able to catch up fairly quickly without reading the first one, but it will give you a great deal of insight to the characters if you read the first, Persistence of Memory. Anyway, I'm hoping that people are still interested in this story, because I was definitely second guessing myself putting it up but there was more I wanted to explore. So please let me know what you think, question, and feel!