Harley was washing the dishes in the sink in her small stingy apartment. How she hated it! Yellow walls, not even like smiling, sunny yellow, it was sickly yellow! No purple or green in sight, though, she thought, she probably did that on purpose. Her bedroom had a single bed, so she couldn't even line up pillows beside her and pretend that they were the Joker! Once again, she bitterly reminded herself how it was nothing like Red's beautiful yet forbidden apartment just miles away. Sure, she called Red, they had a whole conversation about the unfairness of it all but when it came to it, Red didn't want to be dragged back to prison and well Harley, she was scared stifles of Batman. So she remained scrubbing the already clean plates, all two of them in her small, suffocating apartment.
She moved finally away and left the sparkling clean plates at the side of the sink to dry while. Just as she turned her back to the sink she heard gentle footsteps behind her.
Without looking, her face fell and her liquid blue eyes narrowed. She knew only one person who could come into her apartment undetected, only one person who even knew she was here and only one person who used darkness as his cover. The Bat, she shivered involuntarily.
"I need to talk, Quinn," Batman's cool voice sounded. His authoritative eyes rested on her as she stayed facing away from him, as if ashamed to look back and meet him. In a way she was. She was terrified he was going to blame her for the robbery that happened, why hadn't she just hidden like those other people? Could he tell how much she loved being in the danger zone? Was he going to drag her back as the sick and danger obsessed woman she was?
"I'm busy, bats," she said quite weakly thinking about which reason he was going to pull for taking her back.
"Quinn are you OK?" Batman asked suddenly, it was so unexpected, so unusual that Harley's knees almost collapsed before her.
"I wasn't apart of that robbery so you can stuff your bat cuffs up your…" Harley Quinn began, bracing her self for a fight.
"If I felt that you had participated you would already be in Arkham," Batman said coldly.
She turned around; her eyes were morose and drawn to the ground at Batman's feet. Her eyes traced his black boots and then the tiles that surrounded them in the kitchen. But she let her arms go back to her waist and she let out a sigh of relief, he knew she was innocent, this time.
"Quinn, look at me," he ordered and her eyes snapped up like a wild animal.
"The name is Harley, bats," she said sharply.
"Harley," he said softly.
She stepped away from him as his authoritative eyes made her want to scream her sins before him, "I got a job, I haven't driven and I haven't even see Red yet!"
"Good," Batman said approvingly, "I wanted to make sure you are OK, after the burglary."
Harley laughed, "Ah Bman, I can handle myself," she said lying through her pearly white teeth.
"Then why are there two plates next to the sink?" he asked quizzically.
Harley's cheeks blushed, "I was…I was," she stuttered nervously.
Heck, she knew what she was doing. Every night she made a meal for her and Mistah J and suddenly tonight after she had set the meal down she remembered that she was alone. So, she sat eating her soup while watching the soup next to her go cold, wondering where her Puddin was, locked up all defenseless in Arkham.
Batman raised an eyebrow but let her stammer on.
"What do you care B-man, you locked him away," she said sniffling with her held back tears.
Batman took a threatening step forward and without warning grabbed Harley's shoulders. He held her firmly as she struggled, "GET OFF ME BATS!"
"If I feel like you are going to resort back to crime I will take you back to Arkham, do you understand me!" he said so darkly that Harley froze, "I stood up for you and agreed to your probation, don't you double tack me."
"No, sir, I mean I won't," Harley muttered nervously as Batman analysed her with his dark eyes yet kind eyes. Finally, he let her shoulders go and she recoiled backwards to the wall. But when she finally brought her eyes up Batman was standing on the window still and she couldn't help herself but leap forward to catch his cape.
"Wait," she yelped, "could ya tell Mistah J something for me?"
Batman rolled his eyes impatiently, this surely could not be good for her recovery. As long as her obsession with the Joker continued he doubted she would even make a recovery.
"Tell him, hiya," she said softly and then she let his cape go. And batman disappeared into the night.
Bruce Wayne entered the front door of Wayne Manner greeted by Alfred who took his coat eagerly.
"I heard about the robbery at Wayne Enterprise, Master Wayne, caused quite a scare," Alfred said with a kind smile.
Bruce walked briskly by him, "Yes, but whats worse is that Harley Quinn saw the whole thing. And now she's acting like she wants to go back to the Joker."
"Oh dear," Alfred said hanging up the coat gently, "If you don't mind me saying, Miss Quinn might benefit from a pep talk from you."
"I tried," Bruce said exasperated, the sun outside had already set and the mansion was filled with the large beaming chandelier lights, he couldn't remember the last time he came home when the sun lit his house. The long days were beginning to get to him and he sat on the couch in the sitting room while Alfred followed behind.
"With batman, sir, not yourself."
Bruce looked back at his Butler, how inquisitive he was.
"I think I might try that, thank you Alfred."
"Very good sir," Alfred said, "Ah and Miss Lowbell called again sir, she seems ver... eager."
Bruce sighed putting his head back on one of the embroidered cushions. You see Miss Lowbell had seen him at a charity ball last weekend and now barely a night went by without her pressing questions, he was deciding whether he should just bite the bullet and ask her on a date, after all she might seem less shallow in person.
"Call her back, would you Alfred?" he said and Alfred's eyes went wide with surprise but he went over to the old-fashioned telephone and rung her numbers carefully through the machine.
"Miss Lowbell," Alfred said, "This is Alfred from Wayne Manor, Master Bruce has requested to speak to you."
The noise in the telephone came alive with enthusiasm and Bruce rolled his eyes before taking the phone reluctantly.
"well I was thinking Saturday"
Finally he hung up the phone and sighed louder.
"Miss Lowbell is a very attractive young woman," Alfred said encouragingly.
"Yes," Bruce agreed, "But you know how I feel about those women at the charity balls, they are all so obsessed with social rules. It gets so frustrating."
"Well you are speaking to one girl who definitely does not care what society thinks of her," Alfred muttered humorously.
Bruce glared, "don't even joke about that, Alfred," he said lightly.
Harley Quinn sat at her desk peering at where the builders were cleaning up the mess the robbers had left just the day before. It was almost gone, yet Harley could still remember everything vividly. Maybe that is what scared her, or made her miss the Joker more. Those minutes where she was in front of the danger was the most alive she had felt in days. Yet, who could she tell that to? No one here! Red maybe but it just wasn't the same, she missed her puddin' and what killed her was she thought of him in Arkham all alone without his pumpkin, without his daddy's little girl!
"Miss Quinn?" Bruce said softly appearing at her. She looked as if she was about to cry. Her long lean legs were crossed and she was leaning on the desk with her arms covering her head. It did not look like the happy woman he had seen yesterday and the worry began to eat at him.
"Uh uh" she said looking up. As soon as she saw Bruce Wayne standing in front of her she leapt to her feet like a soldier standing to attention. Yet, he noticed the rim of mascara under her eyes, a cause of crying he guessed.
"Miss Quinn are you alright?" he asked worriedly.
She nodded softly but then as he eyes met his she couldn't lie to him, not after he had been so nice to her.
"No," she said truthfully, "I am sorry Mistah Wayne, I am grateful for this job, it's just been hard and all, it's such a change from my old life and I think I am home sick, but it aint a home I am missing, just my puddin'!"
"But don't you like the job, Quinn?" Bruce asked, wondering if there was just one thing he could do to take her mind of that twisted deranged man.
"Oh yes," she said enthusiastically, "I aint never worked like this before."
They both knew that was a lie. She wasn't very good at lying, never had been, it was often why the Joker had been able to sus her out.
"Would you like to help me organize my office, Quinn, you were right I could really use an assistant in there," he leaned closer to her, "it would at least get you away from the people staring out here."
Harley looked around, he was right people were staring and she didn't think it was her outfit today because it was almost normal! A tight strappy tank top and denim shorts with grey woolen tights on, so what everyone could still see the shape of her body, she never got to show it in Arkham and it was one of the few things she had that society praised. They didn't like her mind, or her past job, or her lover but yet when she saw a model on the front cover of a magazine with her figure she knew she at least did one thing normal, even if it was due to the vigorous fighting of Batman!
"Oh yes Mistah Wayne!" she said jumping up and down like a child who had been given a christmas gift.
He led her into his office, despite the whispering of his many employees and she stopped when she saw file after file on top of each other.
"Do you think you can handle it, Miss Quinn?" he asked peering at her shocked expression.
"Yes sir!" she chirped enthusiastically, "I organised all the Jokers things, including all of his plans for mass destruction, and boy is there a lot of them!"
His eyes widened nervously, her openness about her past life had gone past refreshing to shocking but then he reminded himself of her tender age. Harley Quinn had barely lived in society before the Joker had taken in away from her.
"So do you want it alphabetically, chronologically?" Harley asked as Bruce sat back behind his desk.
"Anything you think really, Miss Quinn, I am afraid organising has never been much of my style."
Harley wasn't surprised, he probably had hundreds of maids, she thought to herself, wondering what that life could be like. Her and Mitah J lounging around an inside pool, him on one of those cool multicoloured floats and her drinking a diet coke by the side while a butler waited with their guns in case Batsy came through the door, aahh, bliss.
"Sure Mistah Wayne!' she squealed and began taking file after file, with noted enthusiasm, over to the small desk in the corner to sort out. This was a job she liked doing, not being the office's servant on sharpening pencils.
After about an hour Bruce Wayne looked up, curiously, he had wanted to see how everything else was going, give her a little pep talk, anything to keep her out of that asylum and into the real world like a normal 23 year old girl deserved.
"So, Miss Quinn, are you enjoying weather?" he asked before cursing himself for bringing up such a generic topic.
Harley blushed, realising he was trying to make conversation, a billionaire who she worked for was trying to make her feel welcome. She had never known someone who she presumed to be so snuck up and snobby could be so nice! The Joker really had underestimated these guys, she thought.
"No," she said forcefully, "it's so cold i can barely wear half my wardrobe! See I had to pair these denim shorts with these wooly tights," she said pointing to her thin, long legs. "Aint it meant to get warmer in February," she whined pouting out her pink lips.
Bruce smiled, "The weather should be changing soon, though it does seem like you could use a new wardrobe!"
He couldn't help but laugh, how much of a child she really was, in fact in these moments where she appeared so innocent he could hardly imagine if she had a parking ticket on her record rather than about 50 murders and a love affair with a psycho killer. Yet, it worried him that he didn't even know, who was the real Quinn and which one was the fake?
"Yeah well going into shops isn't really something I have the pleasure of doing anymore, ya know, it seems everywhere i go they threaten to call the police," she looked down sadly at the clothes she was wearing, "it's just unfair ya know." Her blue glassy eyes looked up at him and for a moment he couldn't even pull the firmness of Batman out of him, she had made him solely Bruce Wayne.
"Maybe I could help you, Miss Quinn, I happen to be going out tonight, to find a suit for a date I have, if you would like to help me I would pay you for your time and you could buy clothes more appropriate for the weather," and this job he wanted to say but he bit his lip. Not because he liked what she was wearing, he was too much of a gentleman to admit he liked it when she showed off her figure, no, because as bad as it sounds, getting her to fit in seemed very important in this office.
"Ah Mistah Wayne, ya serious?"
"Of coarse miss Quinn!"
"That would be great! Those shop assistants won't know what hit them when I walk in with you!" she squealed with excitement, "oh and Mistah Wayne the name is Harley!"
He walked over to her desk, watching her wide, blue eyes, "Nice to meet you Harley," he said holding out a hand, "my name is Bruce," and he winked at her.