He feels lightheaded, off-balance, as if his insides have been scooped out to leave him empty.

"No," he says numbly. They are both intimately familiar with this pattern, the deathtraps and their symbols and the collateral damage they always cause. Blades, fire, bullets. Gambling money and mortality time after time turning the world into one twisted joke, when it was clear there was no way out and the only path left led deeper into the illness that gripped them all. That was what it meant to be a rogue. That was what it meant to fight Batman. Despair in theatrics, glory in surrender.

A gloved hand comes to rest on his shoulder. "It's safer this way," says the Dark Knight, and his tone is not unkind. "Trust me."

"Please," whispers Harvey, begs Harvey, "please…"

Batman doesn't move, doesn't say a word. Eventually his shoulders drop. Eventually, he has to nod.

The hand falls. Batman retreats several steps until he stands at the opposite end of the room. He waits.

Harvey stares at the coin for longer than he should. His fingers assemble to their familiar position, then spring.



"Heads," he says, voice quavering somewhere between terror and relief, "heads…"

"Again," answers Batman simply.

Harvey's head jerks up. Unconsciously, he clutches the coin to his chest. "Don't make me do this. Please, please don't—"

"I can't make you do anything. Again."

He laughs, loudly, and there is a hysterical tinge to it he doesn't like. It feels as if something hideous is crawling up his throat. His hands are so unsteady he almost can't complete the toss.


Still giggling, he covers his mouth, struggles to force himself silent. Batman waits, unmoved. His vision blurs. He blinks.



"T-Tails," he titters, collapsing into a chair, "You die." His fingers assume the shape of a gun now, and he mimes a single shot before covering his eyes with his palm.

The only sound is his strangled breathing. His face is hot and wet.

"Are you going to kill me, Harvey?" asks Batman quietly. He does not approach.

"F-Fuck you," Harvey responds, "get out of my f-f-fucking house."

When he finally looks up again, he's alone.