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The Wonder of You

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August 14th, 1963

Holding her tears back, Harley took a long drink of the beer she cradled in her hands. It was bitter, warm, and she wanted to spit it out right then, but she'd rather get drunk off this cheap beer, pay attention to how heavy it felt in her system, than pay attention to the pain and soreness in her cheek; with no doubt she could say it was bruising, and Jack's ring—stolen from Bruce Wayne himself—left a cut from the middle of her cheek to her nose that had finally stopped bleeding. The loudness of the party was making her eardrums throb and her head hurt. She was always one for a party, a good time, but Jack and her had gotten into a fight not long after they'd arrived, and her mood hit rock bottom. Harley barely noticed Floyd sit down next to her with a grunt as he swigged his own beer, then said, "You doing okay?"

Her laughter was bitter, choppy, "I'll be better when Mistah J. forgives me." That could take awhile, she reminded herself, and the thought of going long without him made her stomach twist and turn. She wasn't oblivious to Floyd's eye roll. "He ain't the one who should be mad; You're the one who has a reason to be mad."

"Whatever." Harley gingerly lifted her fingers to her newest bruise and cringed at the tenderness of it. Jack could give a pretty good backhand. "Ya think he's gonna be done soon?" The main reason for coming to this party was so Jack could have a chat with Oswald Cobblepot about something—Harley wasn't sure what about, Jack never told them anything. If Harley had to take a guess, Jack needed dirt on someone or something so he could do his dirty work.

Floyd shrugged, and looked over to where Digger was flirting hopelessly with some Greaser girl. "Dunno. You could probably get out now, if you want. I can keep Joker off your back if he gets pissed about it." Harley pulled her lips tight at the nickname; it suited Jack, really, it did, but it left a bad feeling in her gut. Joker was scary. You hear Joker and you know someone's gonna get beat up, bad. She shook the thoughts from her head, and smiled a little at Floyd. "Thanks."

"No problem," Floyd nodded, then motioned to Digger, "You should probably take that ass with you." Harley looked over to where Digger was. He looked like he was going to pass out any second. The girl he had been flirting with was no where in sight, she had ditched him, and he was sitting there looking sad and like shit. It was a little funny. The sight brought through Harley's light-hearted nature for a moment, and she whole-heartedly laughed, "Yeah, okay."

She downed the rest of the warm alcohol, shaking her head at the taste still, and stood. She said goodbye to Floyd, then walked over to Digger and grabbed the sleeve of his leather jacket, trying to tug him to his feet. "Let's go, Boomerang." Everyone in their group—gang, maybe—had a nickname. Harleen was Harley, Digger was Boomerang, Floyd was Deadshot, Selina was Kitty (or something along those lines; it depended), Chato was Diablo, Waylon was Croc, and Jack was Joker.

Digger tried to pull his sleeve away, saying something about not wanting to leave just yet.

"No," Harley managed to pull him up, but his body still sagged and she was having a hard time keeping him up. "I saw Crane show up. Let's go before he tries ta get everyone ta do his LSD shit." Jonathon Crane had been their friend, but he started hanging around the hippy kids and doing hallucinogens. Said something about liking the horrifying hallucinations they gave him.

This seemed to get Digger's attention, and he moved his own two feet well enough so Harley could get him out the front door with him. "If I see 'im again, I'ma kick his ass," He told her, and she rolled her eyes, "If he wants ta be a hippy, let him. He never was tuff anyway, let him hang with the other pansies. Don't start anything." She heard Digger make a weird chuckling sound, before he gagged and Harley nearly dropped him flat on his face. "If ya spew chunks on me, it'll be the last thing ya do, dick." She grumbled. She liked her jacket, and didn't want Digger's vomit all over it.

"Ya think ya could beat me up?" Digger asked, amused, seemingly finding this hilarious, and Harley bristled. "Joker only keeps ya 'round ta fuck ya up when he's drunk 'n pissed. Ya ain't bright and ya definitely ain't tough, but ya do make a good fuck, I'll bet."

Resisting the urge to punch Digger straight in his ugly face, Harley said in warning, "I'm gonna let that slide because you're drunk and don't know what you're saying. But, keep in mind, if ya say it again; you're drunk and about ta pass out, and I could easily ditch ya in the middle of the street ta let ya get run over." She kicked him in the shin, and he nearly fell, but she kept him upright. "So watch your mouth, buddy."

"Fine," He spat at her, spit landed on her boot, and she rolled her eyes.

Suddenly, his weight on her was greater than it had been, and she grunted, "Wha' the hell—" He passed out, Harley could tell, squinting at his face in the dark. Taking a deep breath, Harley readjusted her grip on him and trudged along, probably scuffing the texture off of the soles of her boots off on the concrete. It wasn't that she was strong, she was, but Digger was a heavy guy, with heavy clothes, and he was even heavier when his body was hanging limply and dragging her down. It was a burden, and he was an asshole, but he was her friend. Damn it.

Eventually, Harley set him down against the brick of a building and she stood next to him, against the wall. She shut her eyes, rubbed them with the palms of her hands. Harley was tired, hurt, and a little drunk, and in summary she didn't feel like a million bucks. She took a shuddering breath as she opened her eyes back up, the light of the moon seeming brighter now, and she shoved her hands into her pockets. From them she withdrew a half-empty pack of Jack's cigarettes. He wouldn't notice one missing. She took one from it, set it between her lips, and put the box back in her pocket. She took out a box of matches, and got out one of the little sticks. It lit after three strikes against the box, and she held the flame to her cigarette, watching the flame pass from the match to the cig. She waved the match in the air and dropped it to the ground.

Taking a drag, Harley sputtered and coughed. It had been a while since she'd smoked. This was the first time anything really bad had happened in a couple of weeks. Harley didn't like smoking much, and she never had really wanted to, but Jack forced her to try it and she got hooked. Right now, she felt pretty bad, and she felt like a cigarette was due.

The second drag wasn't so hard on her, and she got numb to the feeling after a minute, and so she simply watched the smoke against the background of buildings, stars and the moon as it escaped her red lips. She felt a little more calm, a little less stressed, but the throbbing in her cheek was still evident and she was sure it had puffed up by this point. All she could think about was Jack being angry with her. She was his girlfriend, his property, and honestly had no idea was to do without him.

Harley wanted to go find Selina and weep like a lovesick fool until she felt better, but that would have to wait.

As she exhaled smoke, she could see two figures approaching her, bodies distorted by the smoke in her vision and the darkness of the night's shadows around them. Her body stiffened as she squinted and looked at them; dressed nice, had a prestigious, rich kid look to them. They were two Soc boys, one with blonde hair who was flipping a coin in the air as he walked, and the other shorter than the first, possibly younger, with dark hair and a smug grin on his face.

Harley hadn't had Socs walk up to her while she was alone before. Of course, she'd seen her friends get into fights with the Socs, but she, herself? Never. She normally hung around Jack, and no one dared come near him anymore. Not any Soc, hood or hippy with half a brain tried to mess with Jack these days. He had made a pretty good impression on everyone. In fact, she often heard the Socs telling each other stories about Joker, trying to scare one another.

But right now, she was alone. Digger was passed out, and no one else was here to help. Not Floyd, not Waylon, not Chato. Nobody. "Shit," She muttered under her breath. This is gonna be the end of Harleen Quinzel, everybody.

"Don't mess with me," She warned as they got close, watching their eyes drift all over her, from the heart tattoo under her eye, to the red diamonds stitched onto the leather of her jacket, to the hole on the knee of her dark jeans. "I'm—" C'mon, Harl, you got this. "Ya mess with me, you're gonna have ya deal with Jack Napier—Joker. He don't take lightly ta guys touchin' his stuff."

They must have been drunk, Harley thought, because they were fumbling around ever so slightly, and any sober person would back off the second they heard she was Jack's. Or maybe they're just stupid. "Shut up, Greaser." The younger one snapped, and Harley felt a surge of anger at being told what to do by this shrimp. She opened her mouth to snap back, but the boy opened his big mouth again and talked, this time to the blonde Soc, "What do you think, Harvey? Tails, we leave her alone. Heads, we stick around a little longer?" Harley wanted to wipe that grin off his face, but she paid attention to the blonde—Harvey—as he held up his coin for all to see, then flipped it in the air. He caught it, flipped it onto his other hand, and showed them both the results. "Heads, Damian."

"Don't try anythin', I'm serious." She warned again, as she slipped her fingers into her pockets and felt a rush of panic fill her as she remembered Jack had taken her switchblade. All she had was the cigarettes, matches, and a pack of gum. 'Please, wake up, Digger, please please please please.'

Harley tried to move so she wasn't being cornered by them, but the boy who must have been Damian grabbed the collar of her jacket and shoved her against the wall roughly. Her head hit the brick with a crack and her head felt like it was going to explode,, the pain seizing her. He set his free hand on her waist underneath her jacket, and she could feel his fingernails digging into her skin through her thin baseball t-shirt. His hands moved, and his fingers brushed the swell of her chest, and she tried to pull away from him. Damian only held her tighter with one hand, and tore the cigarette from her fingers with the other. He pressed the burning end to her forehead, twisting it as he pushed it against her skin, and she couldn't help but whimper at the painful feeling, but she gathered herself enough to knee him right under his ribcage.

Damian dropped the cigarette to the ground, and his grip on Harley fell as he stumbled back and clutched his stomach. Before she could split, Harvey grabbed her wrist and twisted, so tightly and roughly Harley thought he might break it. "Bitch," He said, voice hoarse, raspy and sounding like sand paper on her eardrums, as he pulled a switchblade out and held it to her skin, "Don't make me fuck up that pretty face of yours."

Suddenly, Harley was blinded by a headlights, and not two seconds later did a sleek, red car Harley didn't know the name of came to a stop in the street just by where they were. Harley felt her breath catch; the last thing she needed was more Socs to beat her and Digger up. The doors on the vehicle swung open, and Harley's jaw nearly dropped at the first person to get out. Bruce Wayne—Bruce Flipping Wayne—in all his rich, handsome glory, he said firmly to Harvey and Damian, "Leave her alone."

Harvey dropped her wrist and Bruce grabbed both him and Damian and pushed them in the direction of the car. "Damian, you're in a lot of trouble, and Harvey, this isn't like you. You both should be ashamed."

Two women emerged from the car then, one who was basically an Amazon, what with her being over six feet and very, very, very muscular, and the other girl, well... Shit. She had on a thin, white blouse, a green skirt with a lovely floral pattern that reached her mid-thighs, and green heels. Her eyes were just as green, and they were piercing, filled with emotion, that were rather terrifying and she glared threateningly at Harvey and Damian, challenging them to try anything like this again, threatening them, warning them. Her curly, red hair was like fire, so bright even in the dim light of the headlights, and even from here Harley could tell it was soft and clean. She was absolutely gorgeous. It made Harley feel a little self-conscious about her own greasy blonde hair, raggedy clothes, and wide, child-like eyes.

Harley tore her eyes away from the girl, and to Bruce Wayne. He looked at her, eyes gentle and full of care, and she was astonished seeing a Soc, especially one of such class as Bruce Wayne, look at her, a no-good greaser, like an equal. "I'm sorry for those two," He said, voice just as gentle, and she wasn't sure how to respond for a moment.

"That apology don't make it okay, but thanks." Harley said sourly, without really meaning to sound like that, and for a moment she was worried she would make the Socs turn on her. Instead of the worst, Bruce simply nodded his agreement and said, "I know." She could feel his eyes looking at the cigarette burn, on the bruise and cut on her cheek. Him looking at them made them hurt worse. It made her feel weak.

She saw the Amazon of a girl ushering Damian and Harvey to the car, scolding them, though Harley couldn't hear what exactly was being said clearly. Bruce cleared his throat, gaining Harley's attention again, and look behind him at the redhead, "Pamela?"

Understanding, Pamela nodded, and came over to Harley, while Bruce went back to the car to, from what Harley could tell, assist in dealing with the two who jumped her. Harley only realized Pamela had been standing with her hands behind her back the entire time when Pamela held them in front of her, revealing a first-aid kit. "Bruce is very strict about keeping this in his car for emergencies," She informed Harley, seemingly catching the greaser's odd look at the white box. Pamela's voice was as gorgeous as the rest of her was; husky, and deep and Harley could catch the slightest bit of a southern accent in it. Harley nodded shakily, staring into the fiery, intimidating eyes of this girl and not understanding the shaky feeling in her gut as she looked at her and listened to her honey-like voice.

"Would you mind sitting down?" Pamela asked, and Harley blinked, hesitant, before doing as asked, and she sat on the cold, hard concrete. Every part of her instinct was telling her not to trust these Socs, despite their acts of kindness, but Harley couldn't seem to listen to herself. She never had been good at doing that. Pamela followed Harley, kneeling in front of Harley on the concrete and observing her. Harley couldn't help but squirm under Pamela's piercing gaze, as her green eyes studied Harley. Pamela reached out, causing Harley to flinch, but still Pamela brushed Harley's hair behind her ear to get a better look. Harley pretended it didn't hurt like hell when Pamela's fingers ghosted over the bruise.

Harley's entire face was burning at this point. Jack would be so angry, so violent if he knew she were around these Socs— That they were being nice to her, that she was letting this girl so close. To make it worse, this was Bruce Wayne's clique, and Jack and Bruce had, to keep it simple, a feud.

"That burn should be okay, as long as we clean it," Pamela said, to herself mostly, then took her fingers away from Harley's face and took gentle hold of her wrist. She rolled the leather sleeve up and hummed bitterly at the blotchy red and purple marks forming their from Harvey's grip, "and this looks like it will bruise, but you should be fine otherwise." Her eyes flitted back to the dark bruise and scabbing cut on Harley's face, knowing the bruise was much too dark and cut was scabbed over enough for it to have happened in this attack. "And what happened there?"

Harley shrugged, "I fall down a lot." She hated to let people know Jack often hit her. People didn't understand, but she did. He just got a little temperamental sometimes, is all, that's what she told herself and others.

Pamela raised one of her perfect eyebrows, "Right." Then she straightened her back and introduced, "I'm Pamela Lillian Isley."

'Full name? Wow. That's totally not arrogant at all. And kinda cute.' "Harleen Quinzel. Friends call me Harley Quinn." Harley smiled her bright, dopey smile.

"I know. Everyone knows who you are," Pamela said, not sounding like she was listening much, as she got rubbing alcohol and a small square of gauze padding from Bruce's first-aid kit. Harley watched every movement she made; watched her twist the white cap off of the dark bottle of rubbing alcohol, then cover the opening with the gauze and carefully tip the bottle, getting the gauze damp. Harley took quick notice of how Pamela's tongue stuck out from the side of her lips and her eyebrows furrowed as she worked, and it was cute, and Harley really didn't understand her feelings right now.

"Dunno how I never knew about you," Harley said before she could stop herself, "I think I'd notice a girl like ya."

Pamela must have caught the flirty undertone of the comment, because her cheeks were dusted with a light shade of pink, and her eyes went a little wide. 'She's so cute, shit.'

Her thoughts were interrupted as Pamela softly wiped the gauze against the cigarette burn after getting it wet with the antiseptic, and Harley hissed in response. It hurt, bad. Pamela frowned, retreating her hand for just a second to say, "Be still. It'll get infected if you don't clean it."

By this point, Bruce had wondered back over to them, and was looking at Digger with his eyebrow raised. Inhaling, and her body finally relaxing a little, she let Pamela take care of her, and she asked in a small voice that she hated was her own. "Why did ya help me?"

"Why shouldn't we?" Bruce asked with a hint of a smile on his chiseled features. Harley was incredulous, "Um, you're Socs, an' me an' him," she waved at Digger, who was peacefully snoring away, totally oblivious to everything that had recently happened, "are dirty greasers."

Pamela laughed a little, and Harley decided she wanted to hear that sound a lot more. "Please. Your friend's a pig—he tried to flirt with me once—" Harley tried not to cringe at the thought of a, well, pig like Digger bothering Pamela. "but you don't seem horrible." Pretending to wipe away a tear, Harley said, "Aw, thanks. 'Not horrible' is the nicest thing I've ever been called. Bless your soul." Which, technically, was a little true. It was certainly the nicest thing a Soc had ever said to her.

Pamela seemed to appreciate this joke, and Bruce shook his head, "Anyway, we don't see the point in all the conflict. We're all the same."

"That's not a very popular opinion," Harley observed, resisting the urge to whine in protest to Pamela standing up as she finished. "Tell me about it," Bruce gave a chuckle, "Do you need help with that one?" Harley knew he was talking about Digger. Sighing, Harley shook her head as she stood, "It's okay... Ya'd probably get into trouble if someone sees ya with a couple'a greasers."

"We can help, really, it's no problem." Bruce pressed his offer, but Harley shook her head. "Thank ya for everything," She said, truthfully. "Really."

Bruce smiled, "Don't mention it. Have a good night, Harley."

"'Night."

Bruce headed for the car, but Pamela lingered, looking at Harley. She had a look in her eye, but Harley couldn't place it. It was odd, not a look she'd ever received from someone. It was strangely caring, and not even Jack looked at her like that. Finally, Pamela spoke, voice low and firm, "You should tell whoever did that," She glanced at Harley's cheek, and she sounded rather sure she knew exactly who did it, "To never touch you again if that's how he's going to treat you."

Her smile was sad, "It's not like that, Pamela."

Pamela pursed her lips, "Good to meet you, Harley."

"I'd like to see ya again," Harley blurted. Pamela blinked, surprised, but still she hesitantly nodded. And with that, she joined her friends, and they sped down the street. Harley watched the tail lights until they disappeared.

Damn.

Harley's stomach had butterflies, and she hated it. One look at Pamela had her falling to pieces. It wasn't a feeling she'd felt often; with Jack she had, a few years ago when they'd met, and now here she was feeling the same way over this girl. All she knew was that Pamela was the most beautiful person Harley had ever seen, and that she definitely wanted to see Pamela again no matter what it took.

Harley felt bad, as she walked up to Selina's front door. She imposed on Selina every time Jack got mad at her, and Selina said she didn't mind, but Harley still felt guilty for it. Harley shifted the dirty welcome mat to the side, and collected the bronze key from under it. Selina kept that key there entirely for this reason, which made Harley feel even worse. Into the lock it went with a little push, and it hurt Harley's hand to turn it. The lock was a little rusty; the entire house wasn't much, it was old and the wallpaper was peeling and there was rust and dust and god knows what else. But it was Selina's home and it felt, to Harley, more like home than she felt when she was with Jack.

The door creaked as she pushed it open and stepped inside. She kicked off her boots at the door, and called into the house quietly, "Selina?" There wasn't a response, so Harley just slid her jacket off her shoulders and threw it over the tattered couch as she walked to Selina's bedroom. The floorboards groaned with each step, and Harley cringed, but she made her way as silently as possible. The door to Selina's room was open and Harley entered and went to the bed, where she could see Selina's sleeping form. "Selina?" She said, just above a whisper. It was enough. Selina's eyes opened, Green eyes cat like in the darkness. "It's Harley,"

"Do you want to talk?" Selina asked, voice laced with sleepiness and wear as she sat up, and Harley nodded meekly. Harley watched Selina sit up, scoot over, and pat the bed next to her, "Come on."

Harley climbed in, feeling home, comfortable. Unlike the rest of the house, the blankets, sheets, and pillows were soft, and warm, especially now, since Selina had been there for a while. The cotton felt like silk against her skin, her hands feeling rough and scratchy from dragging Digger to his home. "What happened?" Selina asked, yawning much like a cat.

"Mistah J got mad, backhanded me. Got a real great bruise and cut to show." She heard Selina's sigh. "Got jumped by a couple Socs."

This really got Selina's attention. She seemed to sit straighter, "You what? Are you okay?" Harley laughed, genuinely laughed, and this seemed to confuse Selina. It sounded insane when she thought about it, but still she said, "These three other Socs pulled up, and I'm thinkin' this is where I die, right?" She took Selina's silence as an urge to continue. "Yeah. Well, Bruce Wayne steps out of stops them from hurtin' me. Then, this girl, Pamela Isley, she checked me out—all the guys managed ta do was burn me a bit and bruise my wrist. I..." She trailed. She wanted to tell Selina about how perfect Pamela was, about the feeling in her stomach. If there was anyone she could tell it was definitely Selina, but still, a crush on a girl? A Soc girl at that?

But, God, it felt so wrong and yet so right. Pamela was amazing. Harley wanted to hold this girl, she wanted to run her hands through Pamela's soft, red curls that weren't messed up by grease like her's was, she wanted to kiss her lovely plump lips, and let Pamela do the same with her. She wanted to go see movies with her and hold her hand, and eat at the diner with her, and she wanted to dance to Elvis with her. The more her mind lingered on these thoughts the sicker she felt, but she couldn't stop thinking of it. She'd never thought these thoughts of a girl. And, worse, they were far more intense than her thoughts of what she wanted to do with Jack when she first met him.

Her thoughts were interrupted by Selina placing her warm hand on Harley's cold one, "Harley?"

Harley started crying. She didn't know why. She hadn't cried when Jack hit her that night, she didn't cry when the Socs attacked her, she didn't cry when she realized, shit, I I've got it hard for this girl. But the night seemed to hit her all at once, and she had to let it out. She was with Selina, and Selina wouldn't judge her. The tears just welled up and spilled past her eyelid, without warning. She had no time to hold them back, stop them from showing themselves, but that was okay. Everyone needs a good cry now and then.

"Hey," Selina pulled Harley into her grasp, and held Harley against her chest, "You're safe here, kid. If I ever see the white trash that jumped you, I'll fuck them up, sound good?"

Harley laughed, the sound weak.

Eventually, Selina fell back asleep, and Harley lay down, staring at the ceiling. She could see the sun rising, the light filling the room through the single window in the room, and the fact she hadn't slept all night was certainly started to eat at her mind and body. She felt horribly tired.

Across the room there was a potted rose sitting on a bookshelf. It's red petals were gorgeous and vibrant, gentle and soft, and yet there were thorns all down the stem and Harley couldn't stop thinking of her.

Pamela Lillian Isley.

Chapter Text

August 17th, 1963

"Ain't that something," Was Floyd's response to Harley's story, as he kicked a battered Coke can across the alleyway. It clinked and scraped against the dark concrete before it slowly rolled into a stop just before it reached the other end of the alley. Looking at Harley, a look of apology on his features since he hadn't been there to help her against the Socs, "I can teach you how to shoot good, if you want. And give you a gun, so you have some defense."

Running her hand through her greasy blonde hair from front to back, Harley gave a laugh accompanied by an astonished look, "Appreciate the offer, Deadshot, but I'll pass." There was no way in hell she was going to be caught by the police carrying around a gun, let alone using it against a Soc. If she did that she'd be in jail quicker than Jack's tuff Harley Davidson bike could speed down the road. "Socs could probably shoot on a' us with no trouble with the fuzz, but us? Ya know better than that."

Floyd shrugged, only half-caring. Chewing on her lip, Harley asked without much thought to the question, "You ever love anyone?" To her surprise, Floyd let out a surprised laugh, and quirked an eyebrow, "Guess so."

"You ever have a thing for a Soc?" The alley oddly seemed to get darker when she asked that question, and her breath caught in her throat, because that was no question anyone ever asked, or was asked. Harley kept her eyes trained on the ground, on the scuffed toes of her well-worn boots, but still she could feel Floyd's eyes on her. "Are you kidding?" He asked, voice sounding like he thought she wasn't definitely wasn't serious about that question, that she'd laugh and say 'ha, you thought I was for real?', but she didn't. "No, I haven't." He answered, "I don't know any greaser who's had it for a Soc, but maybe there are some who are just smart enough to keep their mouth shut."

Her shoulders slumped in shame. Harley's skin felt sticky, sweaty, all of a sudden, and she slipped her leather jacket off her shoulders before it got too hot. "Yeah," She answered simply, as she tied the sleeves around her waist in a tight knot, and looked at the blue and purple bruises all around her wrist, from Harvey. They were tender still and were just as ugly to look at. Unfortunately for her, Floyd asked the one question she hoped he wouldn't, "Why are you asking something like that?"

Smiling, wide and bright, Harley nudged him in the arm with her elbow, "Dunno, got curious." His eyes showed he was unconvinced, and Harley wanted nothing more than to be able to slap the look off of him, knock some other thoughts into his brain, "Wanted ta know if anyone was that stupid," She added. There was an answer to that, she thought, there was someone that stupid, and it was her. Stupid enough to be crushing on a Soc girl. Jack was right all those times he told her she was dumb.

Frown growing deeper, Floyd looked like he shrugged the issue off, but still he said, "That isn't something you hear everyday."

"I know," Harley said, hoping to change the subject she'd brought up. "Are we still going ta the drive-in tonight?"

"Yeah," Floyd confirmed, "Us, Croc, and Chato."

She felt her heart sink a little, "No Mistah J?"

At this, Floyd laughed, "I think Elvis would stop being cool before Joker ever went to see a movie. So, no, he's not." He was right, and Harley knew Jack wouldn't be coming, but part of her had hoped. She hated being in trouble with him. She hadn't even seen him since the party. "Of course," She said, holding back the disappointed sigh that tried to escape her lips.

The second Floyd pulled the car to a stop, Harley swung the door open and got out, inhaling through her nose deeply. Fresh air was good after being in the guys' cars; they always smelled of cigarettes, and it wasn't entirely pleasant to be trapped in. They were late, the movie had already started, but she didn't mind too much, it couldn't have been more than ten minutes in. Going around to the front of the car, Harley seated herself on the hood of it with Chato and Waylon, and heard the hood creak under their weight. It was especially heavy with Waylon, that man probably weighed a few hundred pounds and it was all muscle. Chato and Harley were both pretty small, Harley weighed 140 while Chato couldn't be much more.

"What movie is this?" Waylon asked in his gruff, raspy voice, and Harley tried not to crinkle her nose at the smell of beer in his breath. Chato answered for her, "The Great Escape, I think it's supposed to be good." In response Waylon grunted. He wasn't a very good conversationalist, but Harley liked him plenty. She heard the sound of the movie coming from the car's radio, and finally Floyd joined them on the hood, muttering something about not liking movies that much. "D'ya have a drink?" Harley asked him. Her throat felt a little dry.

He tossed a can of Mountain Dew over Waylon's head, and she caught it easily. "Thanks." He nodded at her in response, then turned his attention to the movie. Harley opened the can with a loud 'pop' and it fizzed over the top, just a little, as she looked around at the other people at the drive-in. She was a curious girl. There were a few other groups of greasers, maybe six or seven, and the rest were Socs, easily standing out with their fancy, nice cars in comparison to the greasers', which were a little less so.

Then, her eyes caught sight of someone, a Soc, and she choked on her Mountain Dew, and she coughed heavily. Floyd eyed her, "You okay?" She held up her thumb in a thumbs-up sign, though she kept coughing, the action rough on her throat and she didn't very much enjoy it. She was sure she was being stupid and her eyes were playing tricks on her. After a minute, she recovered from her coughing fit, took a careful sip of her Mountain Dew to soothe her throat, and she looked back up to do a double-take. And... She hadn't been seeing things.

There, alone, sitting on the hood of her own car was Pamela Lillian Isley, her red hair brushing her shoulders, wearing a plain green shirt and, again, a skirt, but this one was longer. She looked impossibly graceful, even sitting on the hood of her car in the Drive-In theater, her legs crossed and her hands folded neatly in her lap like she didn't know what relaxation was. She looked so formal and pristine and beautiful. Her eyes were focused on the screen, though her eyebrows were furrowed and her lips were almost pouting. Harley felt her heart ramming against her chest, and she looked at her friends, all not paying any attention to her. She could sneak away with ease.

She did.

Harley slid off the hood, and headed for Pamela's car. It was a stupid idea, the voice in her head screamed, but she didn't listen. Pamela had been in the back of her mind since that night, and she wanted so, so badly to see her again, and here she was. She ignored the yell that a Soc directed towards her for walking in front of his view, and she walked faster to get to Pamela's car. Taking a deep breath, Harley approached the fascinating girl.

"Hey," Harley said, sure her voice was shaking, and she wanted to slap herself for sounding like that around this beautiful girl. Where on earth was her mojo? So what if Pamela was this gorgeous Soc? But then Pamela looked at her, furrowed brows relaxing from that position and raising and her lips parted ever so slightly; she made looking surprised look like the most flattering thing, and Harley was reminded of why she was feeling so giddy around her.

Pamela looked from Harley, to the inside of her car. "Get in," She said a little harshly, hurriedly, and she got off the hood of her car and went to the driver's side. She got in, and looked at Harley expectantly. Of course Pamela wouldn't want to talk right where everyone could see them. Blinking, Harley hesitated, before going around to the passenger's side. She got in. It kind of awed her, how nice and clean Pamela's car was. The scent of flowers was around her, filling her nostrils pleasantly, the second she opened the door and carefully got in. The leather seats weren't dirty or dusty. The dash was clean. It was a very nice change from Floyd's car.

Harley watched Pamela turn the sound coming through the radio down. "Have have you been?" Pamela asked, voice making it sound like it was just a formality or, maybe, just something to say because she couldn't think of what exactly to say. "Good," Harley smiled at her, wide and bright, a signature Harley Quinn smile, "Thanks to you and your friends." She didn't want to think of what Damian and Harvey would have done to her; she probably could have pulled her own a little bit, but the two of them against her would end up in their favor. "I was really surprised ta see ya here," Harley said before Pamela could answer what she had initially said, and Pamela nodded, fiddling with her necklace, "I haven't been to one of these before," She admitted, "Bruce pretty much made me. He said I don't do anything besides study and garden and I need to have fun, especially since it's summer and I 'shouldn't be studying anyway'. I think those things are fun," She sounded defensive over studying and gardening, and she crossed her arms over her chest, and Harley thought it was adorable. "Although, he's more serious and bland than I am."

"So... You're a nerd, is what I'm gettin' from this," Harley giggled, grinning at Pamela, who glared a little defensively at her, "No, I'm not."

She held her hands up in sarcastic defeat, "Whatever ya say, girl."

"I... Suppose in comparison to some of my friends, I could be considered a nerd," Pamela admitted, and Harley laughed. Then they were silent. Pamela stared straight ahead at the movie, but Harley watched her, and Harley saw every glance Pamela sent her way, and she paid attention to how Pamela fiddled with her necklace and how she tapped one of her feet against the floor of the vehicle.

Harley hoped to any God who would listen that her face wasn't bright red. Pamela was really, really pretty. "Do you have a boyfriend?" She blurted, breaking the silence. Pamela turned her head to look at Harley, and Harley just about sunk into her seat. It surprised Harley that she asked Pamela that, but she really was curious and wanted to know who the hell the guy who got to be with Pamela was. "No," Pamela said, dropping her hand away from her necklace and to the hem of her sweater, which she tugged on with her thin fingers. "I'm not particularly interested in having a boyfriend." Her voice was sour, a little dry, and she had a sort of sly smile like it was some sort of inside joke between her and herself alone. Harley couldn't place why.

It occurred to Harley then how Pamela was shivering a little, and how there were goosebumps up and down her bare arms. Without much thought, the greaser leaned forward off the seat to pull her leather jacket off her shoulders and pull her arms through the sleeves, leaving her in her white ringer t-shirt. "Here," She offered, holding out the jacket. Pamela's green eyes locked on the shiny leather with the red diamond on the back and smaller ones on the chest. For a moment, Harley was sure Pamela wouldn't accept it, but right as she started drawing it back, Pamela carefully took the jacket and put her arms through the sleeves until it was on, but she didn't zip it. Harley was glad she didn't attempt to zip it up, it was fairly obvious the leather would be far too tight on her chest. The thought was a little embarrassing.

And, also, Pamela looked even more alluring while wearing that jacket. It was good on her.

"Thank you," Pamela said quietly, relaxing into the feel of the leather on her.

"...So, Pamela Lillian Isley," Harley started, trying to calm the beating of her heart, "Here ya are, talking to a greaser in your own car, wearing her jacket; what's up with that? Until your friends and ya came along I've certainly never seen a Soc act so friendly with one a' us."

"You seem," Pamela chewed her lip, messing up her red lipstick, as she thought for the words. "Different than the people I've met. Soc or greaser. I guess you intrigue me."

"How so?" Harley itched for a cigarette right then, thinking it would probably help calm her down. She was feeling like an utter mess around this girl. "Mm, I can't say for sure," Pamela tapped her fingers on the center console near where Harley's hand was set on it, "We don't really know each other, remember? But I'd like to get to know you," Pamela winked at her playfully, a smile playing at her pretty lips, and Harley felt her cheeks go burning hot. This Soc could probably throw a wink at any guy she wanted and he'd fall at her feet and kiss her shoes. Unable to help her stuttering, Harley agreed, "I'd really like ta know ya,"

Pamela laughed, the sound low and quiet, and she laid her hand on the center console so that her fingertips were just barely against Harley's. Even with the feathery touch Harley could feel how soft and warm Pamela's skin was. "You're not in school very much," Pamela observed, and Harley tore her eyes away from their close hands, and said a little sheepishly, "Mistah J likes me to act dumb. He said I need to be able ta play ev'ry kinda person. And... his favorite is the ditz."

"Mister J?"

"Joker," Harley clarified, and she saw Pamela purse her lips. "I like school. Dr. Leland's mad at me for being like this, and it makes me feel kinda guilty, but Mistah J likes me this way." Dr. Leland was one of the high school's science teachers, a retired psychiatrist who had worked at Arkham, and Harley respected her a great deal. She thought Harley had a lot of potential, and Harley really appreciated having someone who believed in her like Dr. Leland did. "I wanted to be a psychiatrist," She finished, not looking at Pamela anymore.

The judgement in Pamela's voice made her feel rather horrible, "You're giving up your education and pretending to be an idiot for a man?"

"I still go to school sometimes," Harley tried, "And it's okay, I'm happy if he's happy." Because when he's happy he doesn't hurt her and she gets the rare acts of love from him she usually doesn't get. "He loves me lots, so it's all right." She pretended she didn't feel Pamela's sharp eyes linger on the fading bruise and scabbed cut on her cheek, kept her eyes away from Pamela, but then she felt Pamela's warm hand on her own, intertwining their fingers together, and she looked at them, eyes going wide.

Pamela's hands were so soft and smooth against Harley's rough, callused hands. Her nails were so nice and neat, long, and were painted a beautiful shade of green, while Harley's were cut short and nowhere near as pretty. "You should probably reconsider how you feel about him," Pamela said, voice much quieter, "Men tend to use and break things for no reason. Trust me, I know. If he loved you, he wouldn't do this to you." Instinct caused Harley to lift her free hand up to her face, and she ghosted her fingers on the bruise. That must have confirmed Pamela's suspicions of his physical abuse, because she didn't seem surprised. Her mind lingered on the 'trust me, I know' part, but still she wasn't happy on Jack's part.

"He does love me," She said, and though she was a little irritated, she didn't pull away from Pamela, and she didn't really want to either. "What do ya like to garden?" She asked before Pamela could press the matter. She didn't like where that conversation had went. "Everything," Pamela replied instantly, and she kept her hold on Harley's hand. "Absolutely everything."

"Why?"

"I like plants better than people. They're easier to understand." Pamela said, and Harley didn't understand that at all, but she nodded a little. "Have you ever considered being with anyone else?" Back to Jack. Harley fought the sigh. If it were anyone else, she'd be out of here in a jiffy. But she really, really wanted Pamela to like her, and if that meant answering all her questions, so be it. And, on another hand, Harley had to get back at her for that incredibly irresistible wink earlier. "I'm considering it right now," She said, glancing at their intertwined hands and back to Pamela's eyes with a wink of her own.

But, apparently Pamela was just much better at this game than Harley was and could keep her cool. "Is that so?" She asked in her sultry whisper, leaning across the console so her face was unbearably close to Harley's. Harley could hardly handle it, how she could feel Pamela's breath on her face, how painfully close the Soc's red lips, the lipstick smeared from her teeth, were to her own chapped ones. Gathering herself together just enough, Harley hummed in response, trying to keep her eyes on Pamela's.

And, shit, Harley wanted Pamela to kiss her, and the thought was so wrong, but she certainly wouldn't be complaining if Pamela were to.

Pamela stayed there, smirking and inching closer to the greaser with every second. Harley's breath hitched, but right as she got a little too close to her lips, she pulled away with a chuckle, leaving Harley confused and a bit embarrassed. The Soc grabbed a tube of lipstick from her purse and pressed it to her lips, fixing the lipstick she'd messed up when she was biting at it. Harley found herself watching, just about hypnotized by the simple act. If Pamela kept managing to make everything so damn attractive, Harley didn't know what she'd do.

"Would you like to come to my house?" Pamela said, startling Harley out of her focus on the movie. She must have been surprised she asked the question, because she looked at Harley, blinking, but quickly put on that femme fatale act back on and said, "I have some psychology books lying around somewhere. We could get you caught up, and maybe you can teach me a few things. I know... Nothing about it." Unable to stop the grin growing on her face, Harley jumped in her seat, nearly hitting her head on the ceiling, "Only if ya teach me some stuff about plants. It's only fair if we both share out interests, right?" She was going to Pamela Isley's house with her. Her, a greaser, going to this beautiful, elegant Soc's house.

"Right," Pamela agreed, and Harley thought of a concern, "What about your parents or something?"

The look of Pamela's face was sour and Harley was worried she hit a nerve. "They're never home, it's okay." Harley just nodded. She didn't have a family other than the gang and Jack; like her education, she'd chosen Jack over them. But she didn't want to tell Pamela that. Instead, Harley started to open the door, "I gotta— gimme a second ta tell my friends," She had honestly forgotten about Floyd, Chato, and Waylon's existence until this very moment. She hoped they were too distracted to notice she was even gone. Worrying them wasn't at the top of her list. Pamela nodded in understanding, and Harley zipped out of the car, and started for her friends. As she neared she could see Waylon had fallen asleep on the hood, and Floyd was trying to find ways to get reactions out of Waylon in his sleep. Chato just sat there watching the movie, ever the peaceful one.

"Hey, boys," Harley said as she got to them, setting her hands on the car. Floyd and Chato looked at her, Floyd's eyebrow raising. "Where the hell have you been?" Floyd asked, and Harley shrugged, "Nowhere." If she told them that she was hanging out with a Soc, one in Bruce Wayne's clique, the information would get back to Jack, and fast, whether they mean to tell him or not. "Anyway, I ain't leavin' with ya."

"You get a date?" Floyd chuckled at his own half-assed joke. He knew she wasn't interested in anyone other than Jack, but she herself wasn't so sure anymore. "No," Harley stuck her tongue out at him. Chato looked at her, a little suspiciously, "Where's your jacket?" Looking down at herself, Harley remembered exactly where her jacket was. Her favorite leather jacket was currently being worn by Pamela Isley, and what she said was the ever so eloquent, "I Dunno."

"Fascinating," Floyd said. Then, he waved his hand, "Whatever. Have fun." He must have realized they weren't getting any information out of her any time soon. Harley wanted to laugh, but instead she just waved, and headed back for Pamela.

When she got to Pamela's car, she saw Pamela had unhooked the movie's sound from her car and was waiting, ready to go. Harley climbed in, and smiled at Pamela.

Harley quickly found out Pamela didn't like to talk very much while she was driving. She was worried about distractions. Harley found that a little adorable, and she quickly learned the girl could go from a first class nerd to the literal definition of femme fatale in five seconds and back again. It didn't take terribly long until they got into Soc territory, and Harley instinctively sunk into her seat like a Soc would see her through the window and come beat her down. She hadn't even realized she'd done that until Pamela's warm voice said from beside her, "You're safe, Harley." And she was strangely comforted by the three little words.

Eventually, they reached Pamela's house, and Harley's jaw dropped as the car's headlights revealed everything. That house was more of a mansion than anything, at least by Harley's standards. The place was gigantic, and beautiful. There were gorgeous flowers all outside, red and blue and yellow and white, and Harley immediately concluded they were planted and cared for by Pamela. Meanwhile, Jack's house was one floor, tiny, and the only thing close to flowers were weeds. "Damn," Harley said, and Pamela stopped in the driveway before shrugging, "Come on."

The both of them climbed out, and walked for the door. It was hard to see with the headlights off now, but Pamela led Harley by holding her hand and making sure she watched out for the porch steps. On the porch, Pamela let go of Harley's hand and Harley missed the warmth of it. She dug around in her purse for a moment, before pulling out a key that shone in the little moonlight, and pushed it into the door handle, turning it sideways and straight again, before she pushed the door open and led Harley inside. She flicked a light switch on the second after she shut the door behind Harley, and Harley was a little breathless. It was just as pretty inside as it was outside.

"Shoes," Pamela instructed, stopping Harley from coming any further with one hand, which she placed on the greaser's chest, and pointed to a shelf of shoes right next to the door. "Yes, your majesty," Harley sarcastically bowed down for a brief second, and suppressed her grin when Pamela laughed a little, and kicked her shoes off and onto the shelf. They landed crooked and turned over, and Pamela's look was one of distaste, but she let it slide. Pamela started down the hall, so Harley followed. She followed her up a flight of stairs, really terribly long stairs that pained Harley, and followed her into what must have been her bedroom.

Pamela's bedroom was bigger than Harley and Jack's entire house, she was sure. The bed was huge, and the blankets looked so soft. There were potted plants on the window sill, and there was a thick book about botany on the desk pushed into the corner of the room. The floor was hardwood, the walls had a sea green wallpaper, and there was a record player in the corner opposite the desk, with a neatly placed stack of records next to it. Harley's eyes lit up, absolutely shone, at the sight of the record player, and she squealed, "Do you have any Elvis?"

Harley felt Pamela's hand on the small of her back, urging her to go over to the records and the player, "Yes. I'm not sure which ones, though." Harley hurried over to it, dropping to her knees in front of the stack, and she could practically feel the warmth of Pamela's smile as she shifted through her closet for something, keeping an eye on Harley and looking like she enjoyed the greaser's excitement. There were records of the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and, most importantly to Harley; Elvis Presley. She put a record on the player and set the needle on it gently. Once the music started wafting through the room, Harley looked back at Pam, who was holding two nightgowns.

"You can borrow my pajamas," Pamela explained, and handed Harley a powder blue one, and Harley thanked her.

She abandoned her jeans and shirt on the floor, then pulled the fabric over her head. It was silky against her skin and the chest area was a little loose, but it was very comfortable and soft. She looked back at Pam, who had gotten hers on, and set Harley's clothes and jacket neatly in a pile in the closet so they weren't cluttering the floor. Pamela looked really pretty.

Pamela laid on her bed, got under the blankets, and patted next to her for Harley to join her. Hesitantly, Harley did, and they both lay looking up at the ceiling and listening to Elvis drift through the room. "No psychology or botany tonight, Dr. Isley?" Harley teased, closing her eyes and appreciating how perfect everything was here. Pamela hummed, "Mm, no. Not right now. How about you just tell me why you like it?"

A topic Harley wasn't sure she wanted to share, but she was so tired she didn't care. "My entire family's messed up, I guess." She admitted, "I don't talk ta them anymore, uh... 'Cause of Jack." She felt Pamela's body stiffen, and she continued, "But it wasn't great even before that. Pop's in jail, he was a con artist and wasn't exactly nice ta me usually, if ya get what I'm saying. Hurt me and Ma. My brother's a loser, can't even take care of his kids, so they basically belong to my Ma now. Then, I'm like this. We just aren't exactly a poster family for normal. I wanted to study psychology to get an idea of why we're like this."

Harley's body went stiff from surprise as Pamela held her arm out away from her side, inviting Harley to cuddle against her. Harley scooted into the crook of Pamela's arm, and held to her waist. Her head lay on Pamela's shoulder and Pamela's chin was laying against her head. "I haven't known you long," Pamela said, "But you really do deserve so much more."

A laugh escaped Harley's lips. "Nah, it's all good."

There was silence save for Elvis, and Harley sang a long to it, trying to break the sadness in the air, she hadn't meant to bring up her issues to this girl.

"I'm falling in love tonight, somehow I know. The beautiful world tonight is sharing it's glow. When love let down before," She sang, her voice not perfect but Pamela didn't seem to mind, "I said I was through, but I'm falling in love tonight, with you."

Then Pamela's lips were on her own and everything came to a halt. She didn't hear Elvis then, just the thousand voices in her head screaming at her that this was horribly wrong, and the one tiny, tiny voice saying it was right, telling her to go with it. That tiny voice won over the thousand others, and she kissed back, breath catching in her throat as Pamela's hand went to the back of her head, tangling in her greased hair.

Everything was Pamela then. She didn't think about how furious Jack would be if he knew, she didn't think about how she was kissing a girl and how she couldn't be doing that, she didn't think about how she was a greaser and the girl she was kissing was a Soc. All she could think about were Pamela's soft lips, the lipstick smearing on hers, and the hand she placed on Pamela's hip. The kiss was so gentle and she could tell Pamela was as terrified as she was, and yet at the same time it was a little messy and a little desperate.

Pamela was the first to draw her lips away, though she still remained in such close contact with Harley, and Harley found herself longing for the kiss to be longer. The thoughts were all invading her head at once now and she was feeling s bit overwhelmed. She just kissed a girl. And she liked it, a lot, inexplicably so. She liked it more than when she kissed Jack; he was so rough and violent, but Pamela was so soft and gentle. Her stomach was turning, and she couldn't figure out if it was because she kissed a girl and knew it was wrong or if it was because Pamela was so perfect.

"Wow," Harley breathed.

Chapter Text

August 18th, 1963

"I," Pamela seemed to be at a loss for words, and her face was flushed as deeply as Harley's, "I should apologize for that."

Eyes widening, Harley protested quickly, "No, don't." It was much too perfect for apologies. Harley could still barely grasp how it felt to have Pamela kiss her, to have the Soc's hand still on the back of her head as if she were going to pull her in for another kiss at any moment. Harley wished she would. But still, she couldn't help the panic gathering in her chest the longer her mind lingered on it. "Fuck," She said, sitting up suddenly, and holding her face in her hands, body hunched over. The tears were there, and there was no way in hell she was letting anyone see her cry. Selina was the only one who she'd let see that.

Pamela sat up right after she did, Harley could feel the bed shift under the movement. "Harley," Pamela said, the worry in her voice making Harley's heart melt, "I'm sorry. You probably think I'm disgusting, and that's okay, I— just please don't cry," Harley wanted to laugh. The problem wasn't that she thought Pamela was disgusting, it was that she didn't think Pamela was disgusting for kissing her, the problem was that she was so eager to kiss her back, the problem was she'd been wanting her to since she stepped out of Bruce Wayne's car. "You're not," Harley mumbled through her hands. "I kissed ya back, ya know damn well."

Without intending to, Harley's body stiffened as Pamela hand touched her back, and Pamela immediately withdrew once she felt Harley's muscles go stiff. "And I'm not cryin'." Harley added, though she could feel Pamela's unbelieving gaze on her, but Harley just went on and chastised, "I told ya not to apologize."

"I shouldn't have done that."

"We're both girls," Harley said, out loud, though it was mostly to herself. Not once in her life had she ever even thought about kissing a girl, until Pamela. Her being attracted to and kissing a girl was wrong. That's what everyone was taught. And, worse, she had seen Jack put some freshman boy in the hospital for flirting with Jonathan, when Jonathan had still been in the gang. Jack had smashed his beer bottle against the wall, and used that against the kid, then he laughed after. Harley could still remember the kid; brown hair, pale and a little tall and gangly with awkward features, and he was wearing a shirt with a green question mark on it. She'd experienced first hand what Jack's torture felt like, she'd seen it and been the victim of it, and she didn't want to think about what he'd do to her if he knew. "You're queer?" Harley asked, though she knew the answer fairly well.

"Yes, though that term's a little... Distasteful to me," Pamela really did sound bothered by it, and Harley murmured her apology. "Does anyone know?" Was Harley's next question. She thought if she stopped talking she might really burst straight into tears. Pamela thought for a moment, "Bruce knows, as do Diana and Barbara, I'm sure... I haven't been with any girls since I was in Seattle, so just those three." Harley didn't know who Diana and Barbara were, but she didn't ask. They were probably Socs.

"And... They don't care?" Harley found that rather amazing, and she finally took her hands from her face and looked at Pamela. Out of her friends, the only ones she could think of who wouldn't slaughter her were Selina and maybe Floyd. The Soc shook her head, "No. Those three have a serious hero complex, I think it would damage their self-image if they acted horribly over something so silly." With another thought appearing in her head, Pamela tapped her lower lip with her forefinger, and Harley couldn't help stare as she did, acting transfixed by the movement. "And it would be hypocritical for Barbara and Bruce to be disgusted by me, I think. Something tells me they aren't totally straight."

"Why do you like women?" Harley's next question blurted without much thought.

Pamela's smile was one of distaste, "I don't know. Why do men like women? Why do women like men? No one asks that question to straight people, do they?"

"...That's fair." Harley said lightly, "I didn't mean it rudely, I just..." Just what, Harley? Harley thought as she chewed on her own lip, nervously. "I dunno. You've got me all mixed up. I never even thought about... With a girl."

Smile faded, Pamela looked genuinely sorry. "I really shouldn't have kissed you."

"I've been wanting ta kiss ya since we met," Harley admitted, unintentionally clutching her stomach as she watched something glimmer in Pamela's eyes. "Am I queer?" Harley said, again mostly to herself, "Ah, shit. I don't know, Pamela. I'm inta boys. Men. But I liked that, a lot, and I've been thinkin' about ya so much." She could feel the tears welling up again, but she held them back.

"You do know it's possible to be attracted to both, right?" Pamela asked, and Harley stared at her, clearly dumbfounded. "Bisexuality," She clarified. "I obviously can't speak for you, but that's a possibility. People who think a person can only be attracted to one gender only have half a brain."

"Bisexuality," Harley repeated. She did like men plenty; she loved Jack, she thought men were attractive. Very attractive. And, Pamela, was absolutely flawless, and Harley had enjoyed that kiss much more than she'd like to admit. The more she thought about it, the more she thought she might have been feeling that way towards girls before, but she'd just brushed it off, because she'd never considered she might be queer, because she did like men, and she was one of the half-brains Pamela mentioned who thought it was one or the other. "Can... Can you do that again?" She asked, voice quiet and a little shaky. She wanted to feel it again.

Pamela's brows furrowed in that way she did when she was concentrating or serious, and Harley found it much too adorable. "Are you sure you want me to?" Harley nodded jerkily, "Please." And in the next second, Pamela gently cupped Harley's cheek in her hand, and kissed her. She was still slow and soft, like she were afraid to scare Harley off or somehow hurt her, and Harley was sure she'd cry at how gentle Pamela was in comparison to Jack. Harley returned the kiss, thinking she could get used to how soft Pamela's lips were, and how warm her hands were, and how she smelled like roses.

When it ended, Harley felt it was much too soon. She found herself pressing against Pamela, searching for another kiss, but Pamela only gave her a peck, then shook her head as she brushed Harley's greasy, blonde hair behind her ear, "I'm sure you have a lot to think about. It's past midnight, so how about you sleep on it?" She suggested, and Harley nodded. Sleep sounded good. She was tired and stressed, and maybe sleep would help her figure out what her problem was. Maybe she would wake up and realize none of this happened and she was just high or drunk and she wasn't queer after all. That would be nice, she thought. She was kind of hating herself more than usual right then.

"One more thing," Pamela said, as if reading her mind, "Don't feel awful if you are gay. Feeling awful about something so silly is a waste of time; you shouldn't have to feel bad about it. It's nothing wrong."

The words were comforting.

Once she closed her eyes, she fell asleep rather quickly, the warmth of Pamela and the soft blankets proving to be a comfort for her, just enough for her to push aside her thoughts for now.

Harley was the first to wake. It was early, and she couldn't have slept for more than a couple of hours, but she couldn't fall back to sleep. For a moment she lay there, awake, and watching how beautiful Pamela looked right then, with her eyes closed and the most peaceful look on her perfect features, and her fiery red hair messy and frizzy, spread all over her pillow, and all of her positively glowing with the sun shining through the curtains. "Glory, I'm fucking queer," Harley whispered to the quiet room, the thought hitting her like a freight train. "I'm going to get killed." A crazy, lesbian greaser, she was. She was basically asking to get beat up and killed.

Eventually, she pushed herself out of the bed as quietly as she possibly could, and went to the closet. She pulled off Pamela's cozy nightgown, and tugged on her usual, dirty jeans, shirt and jacket. Then, she snuck out of Pamela's room. She needed to walk around a bit and clear her tired, confused mind.

The house was even more beautiful with the sun shining through the windows, and Harley couldn't help the pang of jealousy that split through her. She walked downstairs, eyeing everything in sight. She couldn't help but notice how sad Pamela looked in the few pictures of her family there were around the place. The beautiful girl looked unbearably sad and angry, nothing like the girl Harley was getting to know. It bothered her.

Unceremoniously, she threw herself onto the couch. It was so comfortable, Harley wanted to sink into it and never come out again.

"Do ya think Selina will freak out?" Harley asked to the empty room, staring at the ceiling. She talked to Selina about literally everything, but she didn't exactly think to ask in advance how Selina would react were she to come over and go, 'hey, I just kissed this girl a couple of times and I think I'm a lesbian. How's your day?'. She sighed.

"Considering I don't know who Selina is," Pamela's voice said, as the steps creaked under her weight, "I can't say for sure."

Harley stared at her, and stuck her tongue out. Pamela rolled her eyes as she came to a stop at the bottom of the stairs, and crossed her arms neatly across her chest. "I was worried you'd left," She admitted, and Harley felt a little bad. "Nah," She said, smiling as she stood up and rocked on her heels, "I just didn't wanna wake ya up— I'm real loud, ya know. If I had a superpower, it'd probably be annoying people." Pamela's eyes rolled again affectionately, and brushed her fingers against Harley's as she headed for what Harley assumed was the kitchen, with a wave of her hand that said 'follow me'. Harley did just that, fingers tingling from Pamela's touch.

She was right with her assumption the room was the kitchen, and she sat down at the glass counter and watched Pamela open the fridge. "Are you hungry?" She asked, and Harley grinned, "Always can go for food." Pamela hummed in response, and pulled a carton of eggs from the fridge, asking, "Are you fine with eggs?"

"Yep-a-roony." Harley couldn't help but notice the way Pamela's nightgown rode up her thigh as she reached for a pan in one of the cabinets. She tore her eyes away quickly.

"...Do you really think what Joker does to you is okay?" Harley bit her lip. This topic, again. What was with people and trying to convince her that Jack was a bad person? "He loves me. Can we please drop it?"

"Well, if that's love, it comes at much too high a cost." Pamela's voice was sour, and Harley glared wickedly at the back of her head. "All that grease can't possibly be healthy for your hair," Pamela noted, dropping the initial subject as asked, so Harley was happy for that. "Eh," Harley said, as she watched Pamela start scrambling the eggs, "It's kinda our thing, ya know, greasers and all that. Don't really think about it that much. How come ya Socs think you're all that?"

Pamela laughed a little, "Well, I for one am just very egotistical. I don't see how money makes any one person better than another, but oh well."

Tap, tap, tapping on the glass, Harley said without much thought, "It's hard to convince myself I ain't queer when you're so beautiful."

To her little surprise, Pamela turned her head to wink at her, and blew a kiss with her free hand, "I know. I'm charming, aren't I?"

"You weren't kidding about being egotistical," Harley laughed, and Pamela did, too, but hers was more of a giggle that ended with a snort. It was adorable, but Pamela seemed embarrassed by it and gave a look that showed the embarrassment, her cheeks growing red. "Red, that was the cutest thing I've ever heard."

"Red?" Pamela repeated. Harley blinked, "Yeah, your hair. It's red. So..." She noticed Pamela's smile that she was attempting to hide, and before she could tease her for it, Pamela turned. She leaned her body across the counter, and kissed Harley quick, before going back to her cooking. "Gee," Harley said. "Has anyone told ya that you're a tease?"

"Has anyone told you how gorgeous you are?"

"Like I said: tease."

"Haha," Pamela said, "Really, though, you are." And Harley couldn't help but glow at the fact this supermodel of a girl thought she was gorgeous, even with her messy clothes and ratted, greasy hair. "Shit," Harley said, and Pamela stared at her a moment. "I'm gay."

"Me too," Pamela said with a chuckle. "Welcome to the club."

Harley's brows furrowed, "When ya figured out ya were gay, did it occur ta ya that ya were gay for people ya didn't even realize ya were into?"

"All the time, darling. It explained a lot, really."

"'Cause my old gymnastics instructor was, like... Whoa."

This got Pamela to start laughing, and she shook her head, "Glory, Harley."

Unable to help herself, Harley found herself walking in the direction of she and Jack's house. Well, Jack's house. Pamela had driven her to Selina's, and she was about to go inside, but then she stopped, and turned around. Being with Pamela made Harley start to long for Jack to forgive her, and she wanted desperately to be his again.

The first thing she saw as she neared the house was Bud and Lou chained up outside, and Harley grinned impossibly wide and she ran to her babies; two big mutts Jack picked up from an alley that were so similar in appearance only she could tell them apart. They were fierce and could probably kill, but with her they were loving, cuddly dorks. Jack hated how that was the case. "Babies, it's mama!" She called, and they both perked up, heads turning toward her and tongues hanging out the sides of their mouths. She threw her knees onto the grass, and held her arms open, and they jumped into her embrace, both licking her face affectionately and slobbery. She pet their matted, tangled and dirty fur happily, feeling very happy. Bud and Lou were two of the things that made her the happiest.

Eventually, she had to stop though, and she stood. They looked sad, and it made her sad, but she bid them adieu and headed for the front door. Taking a deep breath, she raised her fist and knocked it against the door. Once, twice, three times. She waited.

After a minute, the door was flung open, revealing Jack, who looked irritated. His face changed the second he saw her, and he stepped aside, allowing her in. So far so good, she thought. "Honey," He cooed as she entered and he shut the door, "baby, punkin pie!"

"H-hi, puddin'," She said a little timidly, twisting her fingers together a little painfully. "Are ya still mad? I'm really sorry,"

"Of course not, my dear little Harley Quinn," Jack said, cackling his signature hyena cackle as he took her chin between his forefinger and thumb, and bent down to place a chaste kiss on her lips with his cold, rough, and chapped ones, and he clacked their teeth together accidentally. They were nothing at Pamela's warm, soft lips, and Harley couldn't help miss the Soc. But still, Jack had kissed her, had forgiven her, and she was filled with delight, a bubble of happiness filling in her chest. "Oh, thank ya, Puddin',"

"Don't call me that," Jack warned, his voice harsh enough to make Harley draw back a little, but then he went cheerful again. "I was starting to think you'd gotten yourself into trouble! Usually you come crawling back a lot quicker!"

"I was worried ya'd still be mad," Harley said, letting Jack lead her to their bedroom. She really wasn't in the mood for that, but she didn't want him to be mad at her again, so she followed without a complaint. "Where'd you get that cig burn from, Harley girl?" He asked, looking at the slowly healing burn on her face, as he laughed high and loud. "I'll have to tell them throwing you around is my hobby, not theirs!"

Harley laughed, though she couldn't help notice how fake it sounded, "You're a real hoot, Mistah J."

August 20th, 1863

"I see you've got some new bruises," Selina brought up once Harley sat down. Stiffening up, Harley tugged her sleeve farther down her wrist in hopes to obscure all of the fresh, tender bruises from view. "It's not what ya think." She defended, and Selina shrugged and shook her head hopelessly. "Yeah, of course it isn't. So what is it you need to talk about? You look like you just saw a ghost."

"Um," Harley eloquently started, chewing on her lip and trying to figure out exactly what to say, "So... I've got a crush on someone. Other than Mistah J." Which was bad enough in itself. She never, not once, had eyes for anyone other than Jack. But now Pamela was in her life and she was ultimately fucked. Selina's eyes glimmered with something resembling either hope or curiosity or maybe it was a suggestive look. Or maybe all three. "Is that so?" She purred. "Who?" Anyone is better than Jack Napier. Selina didn't say that, but Harley knew it was what she was thinking.

"Uh... Firstly, it's a Soc." There was the second worst part about the whole attraction. Selina raised an eyebrow and laughed, "Damn, Harley, you've got guts. The boys would probably burst into flames if they knew that. Tell me more, kid."

Time to take a leap, Harley thought, practically bracing herself for Selina's reaction as she started talking, "Well, I guess—"

Then there was a knock on Selina's door. The knock itself was so even and refined, Harley was a little surprised. It basically screamed Soc. "Hold that thought," Selina said, almost grumbling, as she stood and went for the door. Harley couldn't help the sigh that escaped her lips. Whoever it was certainly spared her for at least a little while longer, and for that she was grateful. She heard Selina open the door, and then, to her confusion, heard Selina whistle in a catcall sort of way, then call to her, "This person you were talking about wouldn't happen to be Bruce Wayne, would it?"

"Not even close, Kitty." Harley said. Wrong gender, for one thing, she laughed to herself.

"That's good," Selina purred, and Harley started to ask why as she turned, and saw Bruce Wayne himself standing there. He was wearing a white button-down and black suit pants, with shiny, sleek black shoes and his hands were in his pant pockets. "What the hell?" She asked, and Bruce Wayne smiled at her, in that charming, playboy way of his, "Ms. Quinn," He greeted, then turned his eye to Selina. "And you are...?"

"Selina Kyle," She said, with a wink Harley barely caught notice of. Bruce took hold of her hand and placed a kiss on her knuckles, "Pleasure to meet you, Ms. Kyle."

"The pleasure's all mine," Selina said, and a part of Harley wanted to gag at them, but the other part of her was simply relieved that clearly she wasn't the only one who was into a Soc. "Down to business," Bruce said, and turned attention back to Harley, "Though she'll deny it was her idea, Pamela wants to know if you'd like to go out for lunch with us. And, of course, you're invited, too, Ms. Kyle."

"Oh, definitely," Selina said without a thought, and Harley pursed her lips. "Well, Harl?" Selina turned her head to her, and as much as Harley wished she could deny, she really wanted to see Pamela. Hell, she always wanted to see Pamela now, but first... "What if people see us?"

"I'm not too worried about that, but if it makes you feel better, the diner we go to usually never has any customers other than our friends."

"Yeah, okay," She agreed, and Selina practically purred as she stepped out onto the porch with Bruce Wayne, and put her hands on his arm as they walked out. Harley rushed out, and fumbled with the door awkwardly before managing to shut it. She quickly caught up to Bruce and Selina, and she looked at the sleek red car belonging to Bruce. It was so very nice.

"Pamela's in the back," Bruce informed her, as he stopped at the driver's door, and Selina made her way to shotgun. Harley nodded more than eagerly, and she pulled the door open, and got in, grinning at Pamela. How on earth did Pamela manage to be more gorgeous every time Harley looked at her? "I hope you don't mind the short notice," Pamela said apologetically, and Harley shrugged, "Doesn't bother me any."

Turning her attention to Selina and Bruce, Pamela sighed loudly, "Really, Bruce? Can you go anywhere without picking up a date?"

Bruce turned his head to smile innocently at her, "What can I say?"

"Shut up and get going," Pamela rolled her eyes.

Bruce was right; the diner didn't have anybody there, except the few workers, and a couple of kids Harley had seen around the neighborhood. They weren't really a threat in any case at all. Bruce, Selina, Harley, and Pamela all took a seat in a corner booth, Selina and Bruce across from Harley and Pamela. The seats were a little torn up in some places, and the table was a bit shaky, but Harley didn't mind one bit.

"So, you're the Socs who helped Harley out?" Selinda observed, resting her chin on her palm. Bruce nodded, then spared an apologetic look to Harley, "Harvey's very sorry about that. Damian is... Well, he's a brat. Somewhere in him he's sorry, but he won't admit to that." Harley shrugged, and Pamela huffed, "How very typical of men, that was." Harley grinned, and Selina and Bruce started talking to each other. Pamela gazed at Harley blankly for a moment, before asking, "Can I buy you a milkshake?"

And, not ten minutes later, Harley was sucking down a chocolate milkshake, thanks to Pamela. Milkshakes were Harley's favorite drink, and shit, this diner had some very good milkshakes. She'd given Pamela the cherry that was in it, and only now had Pamela gotten around to biting the cherry off of the stem.

"I bet you can't tie the stem with your tongue," Selina challenged, and Harley stared at her, a little amused. Bruce and Pamela both seemed amused, too. "Really?" Pamela asked, twisting the stem between her forefinger and thumb, "Don't underestimate me, 'Kitty'." She'd caught on to Harley's nickname for Selina quickly. "Do it, then," Selina grinned, "Ten bucks says you can't."

Bruce pitched in, "I won't be surprised if she can."

All three of them stared at Harley, expectantly. "I bet she can," Harley provided, and proceeded to stare at Pamela, waiting. This was something she wanted to see.

A minute later, Pamela had successfully tied the stem, and Selina blinked, before grabbing a handful of ones from her pocket and throwing them at Pamela, clearly impressed. Bruce and Harley both applauded her, very seriously, and Pamela scoffed at them. And, Harley for one, was definitely impressed, and really wanted to kiss Pamela. And not the soft kisses they'd shared the other night, she wanted a lot more. Frankly, someone who could tie a cherry stem with their tongue had to be pretty good at kissing.

Harley was known for her impulsivity.

She grabbed Pamela's wrist, and tugged, "C'mon," She said, and Pamela, along with Bruce and Selina, stared questioningly at her, but Harley just slid out of the booth, tugging Pamela behind her. She pulled her to the diner's counter, but once Selina and Bruce stopped staring at them, she changed course and went for the bathroom.

"What are you doing—" Pamela was cut off by Harley, who gently grabbed her shoulders and kissed her, hard. Pamela went stiff for a second, surprised, surely, before shifting control and pushing Harley back against the sink's counter, and she kissed her back just as roughly and smoothly, her hands finding their place on Harley's hips. Her fingertips were pressed firmly into Harley's hips, holding her there, and Glory, Harley was pretty happy with her impulsivity for once.

Pamela drew back just as Harley shuddered in pleasure at the kiss, and looked at Harley with her brow raised. "Really, Harl?" But she couldn't keep her smile in check, and the corners of her lips tilted upwards just slightly. Harley grinned sloppily at her, "Sorry. Been wantin' ta do that anyway, and that cherry thing was kinda hot."

"Oh, honestly," Pamela shook her head, but still she kissed Harley again, this time on her neck, and Harley thought she might melt under Pamela's touch. Harley could feel Pamela's lipstick smearing on her neck, but she didn't care at all. "Damn, Red," She murmured. Her times with Jack couldn't even come close to comparing to how good this felt. Pamela was somehow gentle yet firm at the same time, overwhelming but still careful.

She drew away, and smirked at the smeared red on Harley's neck and lips, before she grabbed some paper towels from the container and got them damp under the sink. "Look what we did," She said, "That's totally not an obvious sign of what we were doing."

"Ha. Sorry." Harley said, not really sorry, as she let Pamela gently wipe the lipstick off her neck and mouth with the paper towel.

"No you aren't," Pamela said, though her voice held nothing other than amusement.

Chapter Text

August 20, 1963

"Okay, kid," Selina started, as she put a cigarette between her teeth and lit it, "When are you going to admit Pamela is the Soc you're into?" Harley felt her face flush and she stared wide-eyed at Selina, "What?" Oh my god, Selina, she thought.

Selina laughed after she took a drag of her cigarette, the smoke spilling from her lips, "I'm not blind, Harley. And, you weren't exactly subtle about it." Her smile turned into a smirk as she pointedly glanced at Harley's neck, a lighter shade of red where Pamela's lipstick wouldn't wipe off completely and stained, and Harley hurriedly flipped the collar of her jacket up. Selina must have noticed the fear in Harley's eyes, because she softened, and placed a hand on Harley's shoulder, "Hey, I don't have a problem with it. She clearly likes you, too, and hell, if I haven't been waiting for you to find someone other than 'Mistah J'."

"Don't," Harley warned, about Jack. Selina shrugged, and went on, a little more playfully, "And, really, she is easy on the eyes. Good work, there. I can't blame you." She punctuated with a wink, and Harley felt her face flush up more, and she bit her lip. After a moment, she couldn't help but smile—grin—and say a little excitedly, "She's real good, Kitty."

This received a grin from Selina, but Harley said a little self-deprecatingly, "You ain't bothered by us both being girls? Even I'm bothered by it, and I'm half the problem." She laughed a little forcefully. Pamela was amazing and had tried to assure her there was nothing wrong about it, that people were such senseless and close-minded, but she couldn't help feel guilty about it. Or gross. Nervous. "Please," Selina said, offering her cigarette to Harley, who took it without a moments hesitation and took a drag, "I couldn't care less. Now, I wouldn't exactly recommend telling any of the guys about it, but uh," She herself flushed a little, looking down at the pavement of her porch, "You don't exactly have a good thing going with Joker—don't get pissy with me, I'm just telling you—and Pamela seems nice, if not a little arrogant and stuffy. I hate seeing what he does to you."

Harley sniffed a little, "I love ya, Kitty." Selina had been her friend for as long as she could remember, and they really did tell each other everything. While Floyd was probably her best friend of the guys, Selina was her best friend, well, ever.

Selina just winked.

"You and Mr. Playboy Billionaire hit it off," Harley brought up with a laugh. "Oh, God," Selina said, putting her hand over her heart, "I'd love to have my way with that boy, if you know what I mean."

Crinkling her nose, Harley tried to look disgusted, but couldn't stop her toothy grin. They laughed together, before Harley's smile faded, and she took another long drag to soothe her nerves, "I should get goin' to Mistah J's place. Ya know he doesn't like me ta get there real late."

"Harley," Selina frowned deeply, running her hand through her short, fluffy, brown hair, "You should just stay here. I hate to sound sentimental, but I care about you, a lot."

"I know, Kitty, but it's fine," Harley dropped the cigarette on the porch and stamped it out with her boot, before she stood on her toes a little bit to plant a kiss on Selina's cheek, "I'll see ya soon."

"You say that, but the longer you stay with him the more I question that I'll actually see you again. He's going to kill you one of these days, he's not above it."

Harley just shook her head, and trudged off.

Harley pulled the red nightgown over her head. It didn't go past her mid-thighs, and it was so thin you could really see everything, from her bra, to her ribs, to her belly button, to her panties. The thin material was soft, though it didn't exactly provide any warmth. Jack had gotten for her, so it didn't matter how comfortable or warm it was so long as he found the sight appealing, and she was happy as long as she was pleasing him. As she left the bathroom and walked for their bedroom, she nervously squeezed at her bruised wrist, not caring about the pain of them as she hoped that there wouldn't be any more anytime soon.

Jack sat on the bed, wearing a white wife-beater and green and purple striped boxers, with his nose shoved in the newspaper, and he looked rather annoyed. "What's wrong, Mistah J?" She cooed gently as she climbed into the bed next to him. She rested her hands on his bicep and lay her head on his cold, pale shoulder. Jack, and her as well, were both deathly pale, practically pure white. It tended to freak some people out. It was the result of some chemical Jack had never told her the name of. He'd just bleached their skin with it.

"Fucking Croc went and got himself arrested." Jack grumbled, as he crumbled up the paper and threw it onto the floor. Harley's blue eyes went wide, "Again? How?" She liked Waylon, a lot. He was a funny guy if you really knew him. He was kind of quiet and very, very scary and gruff, but he was nice to her. All of the guys were usually nice to her. This got Jack to start cackling in that gross, loud, hyena way, "Apparently our friend was stealing raw meat from a grocery store." If it were anybody else, Harley would be weirded out, but she knew Waylon, and they didn't call him Croc for no reason. Not only was he massive and scary like one, but he had some weird habits. "Oh, Harley, you missed it today," He said suddenly, changing subjects, "This kid thought he could beat me. Well, he thought wrong! I practically sliced his face apart with that bicycle chain!"

"Good going, Puddin'," Harley said and laughed, a little forcefully. Jack's violence hit a little close to home. She had sympathy for the kid, whoever he might be. "The fuzz get involved?"

"I doubt anyone's found the kid," Jack cackled, "He's probably still lying there in the alley bleeding! Oh, if you could only see his face... Plus ol' Jimbo has no reason to claim I did it, if they do find the kid." Jim Gordon was the police commissioner, and Jack got into trouble more than often, but somehow always weaseled his way out of it. If anything, Jack did know how to cover his tracks and put the blame on someone else.

She stiffened as she felt Jack shift under her and drag his fingers over her neck. His fingertips were scratchy and dry, and so uncomfortable. Harley didn't like it all of a sudden. "What's this, Harley girl?" He asked, and Harley immediately knew he was talking about the lipstick stains. She sat up, suddenly, speaking without thinking. "N—Nothing, Mistah J." His eyes narrowed, and he looked at her in the way that made her flesh crawl, "I recommend you tell the truth. You're acting very suspicious, and you know I don't like secrets."

Well, what the hell was she supposed to say? She couldn't exactly tell Jack that she had been making out with Pamela in the bathroom of a diner. "It's really nothing," She tried to assure him, and she felt every hair on her neck and arms stand. Oh, glory, if Jack found out she'd been cheating on him. With a Soc apart of Bruce's circle. With a woman.

"What's so bad you think you have a right to keep it from me?" His lip curled. God, she should have just made up some story instead of impulsively throwing up her guard. She couldn't dig her way out now. If she had just made some silly story, at least he wouldn't be mad with her for keeping secrets. He just would have called her stupid and went back to cackling over kid's he'd injured.

Mentally, she prepared herself for him to hit her. She prepared herself for the feeling of the palm of his hand making contact with her face, for his knuckles to bloody her nose, for his long, thin, bony fingers to wrap around her neck— anything.

"You should have just told me," He said, and Harley didn't watch him reach for the razor blade he kept on the nightstand, as he grabbed her and pulled her from the bed and pushed her against the wall. "This conversation isn't over, dear."

Afterwards, Harley trudged her way to the bathroom again, and Jack fell asleep without a care in the world. She flicked the light on, and stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her face was even paler than usual. Her hair was a mess that only made the image worse. There was a thick stream of blood running from her right nostril almost nonstop and over her split lip, and he had carved deeply into the skin of her forehead, the letter 'J', with blood running from it still, past the blood that had already dried, and it threatened to drip into her eyes. She would be lucky if it didn't scar. Through the thin fabric of her nightgown she fixed her black panties, where they were thrown back on hurriedly by her and one side was about to fall off her thigh, and she tried to ignore the throbbing there, and the bruises forming on the inside of her thighs. At her reflection she stared for a minute. Two minutes. Three. Then the tears started to fall, past her eyelids and down her cheeks.

Without much thought, she hurried from the bathroom without trying to fix herself, and out the front door, as quiet as possible. She didn't bother to get her shoes, or change into real clothes. Bud and Lou whined at her, their heads perking up, as she walked past them. For once, she didn't pay attention to them. She was too messed up, and she just wanted away.

Bits of pavement dug into her feet painfully, and if she were thinking she'd be worried about getting shattered glass stuck in her feet, and the cold of the night was bitter and biting though it was the summer. She didn't think of how she must look, half-running, a bare-foot woman with blood all down her face and wearing just a sheer nightgown. In her neighborhood, anyone who saw might think nothing off it. Her neighborhood was a lousy one.

She didn't even realize where she was headed until she found herself on Pamela Lillian Isley's porch, her hand shakily rapping on the door, and all she could think was that she was glad no Soc in this rich neighborhood had seen her. If someone had jumped her she wasn't sure she had the ability to do anything about it now. She wasn't sure she would have minded if they killed her.

The door opened, to Harley's relief, and Pamela was standing there, a look of hate on her face until she saw Harley, and the look was replaced with something resembling shock. "Shit," She breathed, opening the door wide and waving Harley inside. Harley stepped in, and the second Pamela shut the door and turned to her, she threw her arms around the Soc and shook. Pamela held her in return after a moment's hesitation, and Harley listened to the tapping of Pamela's heartbeat as if it were the most calming thing in the world. And to Harley, it was.

The warmth of the embrace was over far too soon, and Harley couldn't help the whimper that came from her. Pamela shushed her gently, and took her hand. "Come on, darling," She said, and Harley followed her to the bathroom.

Pamela put the lid of the toilet seat down, and Harley sat on it. "Oh, Harley," She said quietly, as she dug around in the cabinets and got a green cloth. She wet it in the sink, then knelt in front of Harley. She started wiping the blood away from Harley's forehead, and Harley watched through her tears as Pamela pursed her lips once the smeared blood was cleaned off enough to reveal the cut was a 'J'.

"Ya seem like a good nurse, given how we met," Harley tried to joke through her hurt, "I thought I'd come ta ya about this." She could tell Pamela was looking at the bruises on her belly and thighs, and her stomach twisted at the thought. "Please don't think the wrong way. He's just a little rough sometimes. I made him upset, it's my fault, not his."

"Harley," Pamela said, her voice sharp and eyes blazing so much it almost scared Harley, "Don't you dare say it's your fault. He has no right to do anything to you just because he's 'upset'."

"But—"

Pamela interrupted her. "In no universe is there ever any good reason to abuse someone, and in no universe will it ever be your fault that he hurts you."

They were silent as Pamela started cleaning the blood off of her upper lip and nose, and it remained silent until Pamela said, "Did he...?" Her voice trailed but her gaze was locked on the bruises on her thighs. Harley stiffened up, "It's fine, Red. I'm his girlfriend."

"But did you say yes?" Pamela interrogated further, and Harley hesitantly shook her head, and protested, "Well, I didn't say 'no', either."

"Unless you give your consent, he shouldn't be anywhere near you," Pamela looked furious, and Harley was scared the anger was towards her. She looked like she was taking the matter very personally, in Harley's eye, and that worried her. "Girlfriend or not. He doesn't own you, Harley."

Harley wanted to argue. She knew Jack could do whatever he wanted. She loved him, and if it took a few rough patches for her to get that love in return, she could cope with it. She had taught herself how to deal with it. But she couldn't find it in herself to argue with Pamela, and instead she said dumbly, "I'm sorry."

"Don't apologize. You aren't the one who should be sorry."

"I'm sorry for buggin' ya this late." Harley said.

Pamela shook her head, denying her apology again. "Don't, Harl, it's nothing you should have to apologize for. I'm glad you feel like you can come to me." Her eyes held nothing but genuine care then, and Harley felt her tears rolling free again. She couldn't help but feel embarrassed, letting Pamela see her like this. Pamela stood to get a bandage, and she covered the 'J' cut with it.

"I'll kill him," Harley heard Pamela say, so quietly she had to strain to hear it.

Harley shook her head. "I wish I could stop screwin' up, I just wanna make 'im happy," Harley dug her nails into her forearm to keep herself grounded, "But how can I do that when I'm this awful, useless, dumb, mess? Ya know, everyone's always tellin' me he's gonna kill me one day, and I think, that's okay, I deserve it. If that'll put an end ta me annoying him, make him happy, let him at it."

"Don't," Pamela stopped her again, "Not one of those things is true. Believe me when I say if he lays a finger on you again, I'll personally kill him."

"Don't do that," Harley shook her head violently, "Don't talk like that about Jack. He's sweet, knows how ta treat a gal, when I'm not making him mad. I... I don't wanna talk anymore..."

Pushing a strand of Harley's hair behind her ear, Pamela let her hand linger on Harley's cheek as she gazed at her. "If you want, you can sleep and we can talk in the morning." Harley nodded. She'd like to sleep, and surely she'd rest easier lying with Pamela than with Jack right now. In return, Pamela nodded, and helped Harley up from the toilet seat.

Then, she helped Harley into her bed and lay next to her. Harley huddled close to her, feeling comforted by the warmth of Pamela, and by hearing Pamela's gentle, reassuring whispers into her ear that lulled her to sleep.

"Harley, baby," Pamela said quietly, as she nudged Harley's shoulder, "Wake up." Harley groaned, but opened her eyes and scrunched up her nose. Her pain from last night hit her quickly and hard, and she resisted the urge to groan at the accompanying headache. "I made you pancakes," Pamela's voice continued, and then the scent of syrup hit Harley's nose, and she felt a little better. She blinked the sleep from her eyes, and sat up in the bed, a surge of pain hitting the bruises on her stomach as she did.

Pamela was holding a tray with a plate of pancakes, sliced oranges, and a glass of milk, and once Harley seemed ready, she carefully gave it to the girl. "Aw, Pammy," Harley said, grinning up at her friend, "Ya didn't have to."

Her face flushed red. "Well, you said you like pancakes, and I woke up earlier than I usually do, so I wanted to."

Harley thanked her, and picked up the fork. She was always starving in the morning. As she got her first bite of the soft, syrupy pancake, Pamela sat herself down next to Harley, and asked, "Do you want to talk about last night?"

"Not righ' now, please." Harley said quickly, through a mouthful of pancake. "Later."

"Okay."

"This is amazing, Red," Harley swallowed, and immediately shoved another forkful in her mouth, "Oh my god. Why didn't ya tell me ya were a goddess at making pancakes?"

"I'm glad you like them," Pamela laughed, clearly not sure what to make of the last part.

"Have ya ever made bacon pancakes?"

"No...?"

"Ya should. God, it's heaven."

When Harley finished her (amazing) breakfast, Pamela took the tray from her and set it on the nightstand, before she turned her attention back to Harley. "Surely, you see how bad Joker is." She said, and Harley's eyes watched Pamela's hand gripping the blankets, so hard her knuckles were white. There was fire in her green eyes, the green eyes so filled with overpowering emotion Harley had came to take comfort in. She looked so, so angry and like she were about to explode with rage. "Your friends can help you. I can help you," She added, putting stress on 'I'. "I haven't known you long, but Harley, I do care about you."

"He loves me." Harley said, though she was starting to doubt it. Her bruises, the cut on her forehead, her headache, they all throbbed at the thought. She'd given her whole life to Jack. He did love her. He had to. If he didn't, she'd be lost, she wouldn't know what to do. "He does, Red. He does." She hoped Pamela didn't notice how her tone made it seem she was trying to convince herself of that. "He does." She put emphasis on the last one.

Pamela rolled her eyes, and Harley looked down at her lap. She really wanted to drown herself in booze right about now. She felt pathetic. She felt Pamela get off the bed, and she thought maybe she had gotten her annoyed or mad, but Pamela was there again in just a moment, sitting so she could run a brush through Harley's hair, and Harley looked up in surprise. Pamela scolded, "Don't jerk your head like that, I'll rip your hair out." Blinking, Harley faced forward again and let Pamela run the brush through her hair.

"Kitty—ya know, Selina—knows I like ya," Harley said with a laugh, "She said it's way too obvious." Pamela chuckled in that alluring way of hers, and Harley thought she'd melt with hearing that chuckle and the feeling of Pamela's fingers running down her hair after each brushstroke, "Is that so?"

"I'm thinking about just dropping out of school," Harley admitted, "I mean, before Puddin' I used ta get all A's, but now I'm failing anyway."

"You're not dropping out, Harley." Pamela said firmly. "You're smart. Don't drop out for that lunatic." Harley wanted to gape at Pamela. She was failing. It's not like it mattered if she dropped out, and, honestly she felt stupid and brainless. Playing the ditz for Jack made her feel like a real ditz.

Harley went silent, and she leaned back into Pamela's touch when Pamela stopped brushing her hair. Pamela wrapped her arms around Harley's waist and Harley could feel her breath on her neck as she talked, "When school starts, come. Even if you can't completely raise your grade, you'll still be learning more, and you yourself told me you want to do something with that brain of yours." A kiss was placed on Harley's shoulder, "And, you're definitely smart enough to do whatever you put your mind to."

"Jack ain't ever called me smart, and none of the guys have, either. What drugs're ya on, lady?" Harley grinned, though she knew Pamela couldn't well see it with her face in the crook of Harley's neck. "Those men are assholes, sweet pea." Pamela concluded. "And I refuse to ever try drugs. It sounds horrible."

"...Ya really think I'm smart?" Harley asked, her voice little.

"I do."

Harley felt off, not wearing her leather jacket. She'd left it at Jack's house, so now she was wearing borrowed clothes, from Pamela. A navy blue button-down and shorts. She definitely felt strange in this attire. But still, she walked along the street, her hands shoved in her pocket hoping aimlessly a pack of cigarettes would magically appear at her fingertips.

This neighborhood was nice, she thought. It wasn't poor, beat up, and lousy like hers and the rest of her gang's neighborhoods. But it wasn't rich and fancy like the Socs'. It was middle-class, and still, Harley liked it, a lot. Eventually she came to a house; small, and painted a dull tan color. She'd gotten the address from Oswald Cobblepot, though she'd be owing him later, he told her. He didn't say what, because he didn't have anything planned yet she could help with.

Taking a deep breath, Harley went up the driveway and up the porch, before knocking loudly on the white door. "Pamela thinks you're smart," Harley reminded herself out loud, "Pamela's a genius. And she thinks you're smart. So ya gotta be smart, I think."

Do it for Pamela, Harley thought as door opened to reveal a middle aged woman with dark skin and chin-length black hair that had gray streaks through it. She was wearing a wine-colored sweater and a black skirt and Harley wondered if she had been out in town for something that day. Her eyes barely widened when she saw Harley, and Harley grinned a little sheepishly.

"Harleen." She said with surprise, "What are you doing here?" She was staring blatantly at the bruise on Harley's nose, the bandage on her forehead, and the still not quite healed bruise from when she'd met Pamela. That bruise was faded but still obvious. Harley felt incredibly self-conscious as Dr. Leland's eyes assessed her.

"Hi, Dr. Leland," Harley greeted, her hand on the back of her head as she rocked on her heels, "This is kinda dumb, but— I dunno—if you're not busy, I mean—could we maybe have a bit of summer school? And maybe, um... Talk about some stuff?" The woman had a psychology license. Harley may as well milk off of knowing her.

Harley was about to turn and run, because this was stupid. She wasn't smart and she was wasting Dr. Leland's time just because Pamela said she was smart. But she wasn't. She was a blonde ditz, stupid and innocent and dorky. Nothing else.

Dr. Leland smiled gently, and she invited Harley in.

Chapter Text

August 24th, 1963

"Hey."

Harley looked behind her, eyebrows raised, to inspect who had greeted her. She knew the voice, his name was on the tip of her tongue, but she just couldn't place it until she saw the two boys standing there. One was Jason Todd and the other was Tim Drake. Jason and Tim were both greasers, both in a gang together, though Harley couldn't tell you the rest of their gang for the life of her. She only ever saw Jason and Tim together.

Tim Drake was a nice kid, Harley liked him. He was younger than Jason, and her, and just about all of the people she was friendly with. He had a sort of a contagious smile, much like Harley's, and he was a pretty happy guy, despite circumstances of living on the street and being so skinny he looked like a skeleton sometimes. He joked with her, too. He was a real fiery guy. His dark hair was a little bit on the short side, and his eyes had an innocence to them Harley couldn't help but notice. Jason Todd was about as different from Tim as a person could get. Jason was hard. He was mean, and cold, and he wouldn't hesitate to knock a few teeth out of a person. Harley had seen him use a switch on someone, and it wasn't pretty. He was full of anger, and nothing else. He had long, dark hair, and some fell into his eyes. His eyes were unforgiving and sometimes sent a chill down Harley's spine.

"Hi! How are ya?" Harley asked, voice chipper as always, and she wondered if Jason noticed her glance at his cheek. There was a burn scar there; puffy, white scar tissue and a little bit pink, and in the shape of a 'J'. Jack had done that, but with Jason, he burnt the letter into his flesh. Harley could feel his and Tim's eyes on her forehead. In response to her question, Jason shrugged and shoved his hands into his pockets, while Tim smiled in that nice way at her, "We're fine. We heard your friend got arrested... The big guy, you know?"

"Waylon," Harley nodded, "Yeah."

"That sucks." Tim frowned a little. "Anyway... Penguin told us to tell you that you 'better not bloody forget ya owe 'im.'" He put on a sad, sad attempt at Oswald's accent, and Harley laughed while Jason just rolled his eyes. It was pretty accurate, almost as good as Harley's impression of him. "You ought to watch yourself," Jason supplied, "He might get you involved in some deep shit. You remember when I got arrested for a year? That was because I owed him one."

"I know," Harley shrugged. She knew Oswald was a dangerous guy, but she could hold her own when she needed to. She was plenty tough. Tim bit his lip, before saying, "We saw you hanging around Bruce Wayne. And y'all were acting like buds."

"He's a stud," Harley winked and both boys crinkled their noses in disgust, "But really, he's nice."

"Richest guy in this part of the country, nice?" Jason laughed sarcastically at that. "No, really, he is," Harley argued, frowning, "Don't tell Mistah J I'm hanging around him."

He would never do that, she knew. "God, no," Jason glared. Harley watched him tug at a hole in his jeans, she was sure he was going to rip it even more, and his other hand was at his side clenching and unclenching again and again. He was trying to distract himself and keep his anger in check, that she knew. Harley had no doubt if Jason saw Jack again, the boy would try to kill him. Harley knew Jason couldn't beat Jack no matter how hard he tried, though. No one could stand up to the Clown, except maybe Bruce Wayne himself. "Where are you headed?" Tim asked Harley.

"Kitty's. I'm staying there again," Again. Harley felt really bad for constantly having to rely on Selina. "Ya wanna come?" Selina didn't care if she brought Jason and Tim home. While Harley wasn't particularly best friends with the two boys, they were almost like family to Selina. Harley didn't question it. Jason and Tim looked at each other, and Tim said, "Sure. We don't have anything else going on."

Harley stepped up to the door with Jason and Tim at her heels. She practically flung the door open and stepped inside, saying loudly and jokingly, "Honey, I'm home!" The two boys followed her in and shut the door. Selina appeared from the kitchen, and waved at Jason and Tim. Harley grabbed both of them, putting her arms around both of them, and looked at Selina with a childish grin, "Can we keep 'em?"

"Good to see you two," Selina said to them. "We're having a party, apparently," She then said, and Harley started to ask what she meant, when two girls came from the kitchen where Selina had been. One was wearing glasses over her blue eyes, and she had red hair—more of a copper color than red like Pamela's—and she looked a little nervous or shy. The other she recognized; she was the Amazon of a woman who had been there when she met Bruce and Pamela. She looked a million times more 'out there' than the first girl, she looked confident. She had wavy, dark hair, and muscles, and... She was pretty hot, in Harley's opinion. "Who're they?" Jason asked Selina, and Harley was sure the bite in his voice alone could probably scare someone off.

"Barbara Gordon," The redhead answered, and the Amazon answered, too, "Diana Prince." Selina added, "They're Bruce's friends. I met Barbara yesterday." She walked for the living room, beckoning for everyone to follow her, "They were playing baseball at Bruce's. She's a good batter." She winked at Barbara as she sat on the couch, and Barbara's cheeks went pink. Harley couldn't help a smile; Barbara was kind of adorable. "Diana and I met today."

Jason and Tim both looked at each other and neither of them sat down like the four girls did, and Harley knew they weren't going to introduce themselves to the two Socs. So she did it for them, "This is Jason and Tim," They'd probably thank her for not saying their last names, "And I'm Harley Quinn."

Diana nodded and Barbara smiled gently at her, but then silence fell over the group. It was far from comfortable silence, too. Jason was practically glaring daggers through Selina for having Socs over at her house, Tim kept his eyes on the floor, Barbara was looking at Selina with an odd look on her face, Diana just looked bored, and Harley was tapping her foot on the floorboards in an annoying way. Silence never was Harley's favorite thing.

"Wait," Harley said, looking at Barbara, who in turn looked at her with such a deer-in-headlights way, Harley couldn't help but grin. "Barbara Gordon. You're the commish's daughter, ain't ya?"

"Well, yeah." Barbara said.

Harley knew Jim Gordon. Hell, everyone in her gang knew Gordon pretty well at this point. These days, whenever she did get sent to the station, the police all seemed pretty used to her presence. They didn't like her at all, of course, but they were used to it. "Bet that's real fun," She grimaced a little sarcastically, "Havin' old Jimbo breathing down your neck all'a time. He really needs to lighten up."

"Even when he's at home he's working," Barbara shook her head, but there was a small smile on her lips at the thought of her dad, "He really does need to lighten up, I'll give you that. I love him, though. He's a good dad." Harley wished she could say the same about her father.

Jason cut in, question directed toward Selina as he shoved his hands in his pockets, "Why are they here?"

"Don't act like they're the literal antichrist, Jason." Selina politely raised her hand and flipped him off, "My having friends won't kill you."

"They're just rich white trash."

"And we're just poor white trash, kid. Get over it."

Jason laughed dryly, "They're Wayne's friends. Joker's gonna kick your ass, Selina."

"Who's going to tell him?" She challenged, and Jason looked at her for a moment, before storming out. They heard the front door creak open, then slam, not a second later. Tim bit his lip as he scratched the back of his head, "I should... Probably go." He started out, and Harley wanted to tell him to stay, but he kept talking, "Make sure he doesn't do something dumb or get jumped. Since he's alone. Bye, Harley."

"Bye bye," Harley waved, and he was gone almost as quick as Jason was. "Shoot," She said, looking apologetically at Diana and Barbara, "Sorry 'bout those two. If it makes ya feel better, they don't like me too much, either."

Diana and Barbara were gone not long after Jason and Tim left. Barbara and Harley were beginning to be friends, Harley thought. The commissioner's girl was nice, and smart, and really, really adorable. She seemed to like Harley, too. As for Diana, Harley couldn't decide whether she was scared of Diana or liked her. Diana didn't seem to be too fond of Harley, though.

Harley was laying on the couch, blowing bubbles with her gum, when a knock sounded on Selina's door. It was frantic and loud, loud, loud. "Selina," She started, but Selina was already standing, "I'm already on it, Harley." A second later, Harley heard the door open, and she could hear Selina and someone else talking, though she was drowning out the voices and wasn't paying attention. She was more focused on how big she could make a bubble. She saw Selina run away from the front door and to her bedroom, then she came running back and stopped to throw a jacket and a switch at Harley, "Time for a field trip," She said, then went back to the door.

Blinking, Harley stood up and pulled the denim jacket on, and shoved the switchblade in a pocket. She went for the door, and saw Tim standing on the porch with Selina, waiting for her. She shoved her feet in her boots, then jumped outside into the darkness of the night. Tim looked wide-eyed and spooked. It wasn't a fun sight to see him looking like that. "Whats the deal?" She asked him and Kitty. Selina started down the porch, walking quickly, and Tim and Harley followed. "Tim and Jason were headed home," Also known as an old, falling apart building no one ever went to, "and someone grabbed Jason, pulled him into an alley. Then a car came flying out of the alley and drove away."

"What? Who?"

"Dunno, I couldn't see them." Tim said, shaking his head and he grabbed Harley's sleeve to hold onto her, "The car was black, and the guy who grabbed Jason was behind us." He was shaking, Harley could feel it. Tim was tough, Harley knew that, but Jason was about the closest family Tim had, and knowing how bad the people around here were, it wasn't surprising he was shook up. Harley wanted to tell Tim Jason would be just fine, but they'd all seen the results of fights and jumps and God knows what else. And the cops wouldn't even blink an eye about Jason's kidnapping. She'd seen cops steal money from people like her who'd been found dead. To most of the cops here, they didn't matter at all. 'Hoods' weren't actual people in their eyes. There were a couple of officers that were good, like Gordon and a detective Renee Montoya, but generally? Scum.

"Shit," Selina said out loud, directed towards Tim, "You guys piss anyone off lately? Penguin?"

Tim shook his head, "We've been doing jobs for him. And doing the jobs really well. I can't see any reason he'd be pissed."

"Uh... How 'bout Bane?" Harley offered. Bane was a real big, tough guy, and Harley would definitely not want to be on his bad side. He was easily taller than anyone she knew and ten times as buff as anyone she knew. She was sure he was on steroids or something. "Anyone?"

"Haven't seen Bane in years." Tim informed, "And I can't think of anyone else who might be mad at us."

"Ya ain't got any clue— shit!" Harley tripped over something, foot catching on the object and she fell forward and nearly knocked over Tim as she grabbed onto him to catch herself. Tim blinked down at her, "You okay, Harley?" Harley nodded, straightening up, and grinning to assure she was okay. Voice filled with concern, realization, Selina pointed to the ground where Harley tripped, and said, "I don't think we need to search anymore." Harley's eyes followed Selina's finger, and her breath slowly caught in her throat as she made out the figure in the dark. An arm, covered with the red and black sleeve that was on Jason's usual hoodie, and the hand sticking out limply from the end of the sleeve unmoving, was sticking out from a thin alleyway between two buildings. Harley bit her lip. A dull beam of yellow light shone from the flashlight Selina brought, and she held it on Jason. He was laying there, it was undeniably him, but his face was smeared with his fresh blood and the red was visible even in his dark hair. His facial features were hardly recognizable, smashed and crooked and bruised, and the offending weapon lay next to him. A wooden bat, Jason's blood drying on it.

Tim's voice cracked, "Shit. Jason, man..." Harley's heart twisted as Tim got to his knees by his friend, getting the crimson blood on his dirty jeans and hands as he tried to wipe the blood away from Jason's eyes like it would help. "Jason." He shook Jason's shoulders. "Jason, don't be an asshole..."

Harley looked at Selina desperately, and Selina just shrugged helplessly. Jason was dead, that was obvious the second they saw him. Whoever grabbed him drove away and immediately killed him. Harley stared back down at Tim, as she could hear it. She could hear he was crying now, she could hear it in his voice and see his body shaking. Tim was just a kid. He was a kid who lost his parents very few years ago, and had been living on the street since then. Here he was now, kneeling next to Jason—who had become the closest thing to a family he had—and searching his battered face for any sign of life.

"Tim, let's go." Selina knelt behind Tim to try and get him away from Jason's body. Harley let her eyes scan the scene as Selina talked to Tim. Her gaze landed on the bat, and she looked closely at it. The spatter of red and brown across it, the diamond scratched deeply into the end of the handle. "Bitch," She muttered out loud. That was her bat. She remembered scratching the diamond into it with her switchblade when Jack gave it to her. Diamonds were her thing, after all.

Her bat was used to murder Jason.

"This isn't fair," Tim grabbed Selina and held onto her, and she just said, "I know."

"Do we get the cops?" Harley asked suddenly, and Selina looked at her with furrowed eyebrows. "No, we get someone to clean this shit up and, you know," She glanced pointedly at the body. "Jason has a record," Tim added, voice shaking, "The cops beat him one time. They don't care. Get... Get Penguin to do it. He'll know what he's doing, and I'll do whatever he wants in return, so don't worry about that."

Clearly, Selina was skeptical. "You sure, kid?"

Tim nodded, before continuing. "I'm gonna find out who did this, okay?" Harley knew Tim always wanted to be the greatest detective in the world. In fact, he was so good at it, he impressed Jim Gordon. Once a while ago he helped out a case with information he dug up all on his own. She had no doubt he could find whoever murdered Jason. "I'll talk ta Ozzy," Harley spoke up. Selina nodded at her, then said to Tim firmly, "You're staying with me for a while, at least."

"But—"

"Not hearing it, buddy. Harley, go."

Harley didn't have to hear it twice. She headed out of the alley, and started running. They were ultimately fucked if they didn't get this cleaned up before the sun rose and people started about their day. The quicker she could get to Penguin, the better.

The Iceberg Lounge was Penguin's usual meeting place. One of his lackeys, a tall, muscular man who kept his gun cocked the entire time, led her inside through a back door and started for Oswald. She was lucky to have gotten in so short notice. Oswald only allowed it because he'd been trying to get her to work for him for years. But she was loyal to her Puddin', always.

The Penguin was sitting in an isolated room, with a pile of raw fish on the table in front of him and he bit through one as Harley entered. Her nose crinkled in disgust. That man was disgusting, through and through. "Harley Quinn," Oswald greeted, a tad sourly, as he munched on his bite of raw fish and looked at her over his sharp nose. "I'm surprised to see you again so soon."

'I don't wanna be here, jackass', Harley thought bitterly, but she smiled and replied,"Well, ya are my favorite crime boss."

"What do want this time?" He asked in boredom, and he waved his lackey away. "Ya... Ya know Jason Todd?"

Oswald's eyes crinkled and his monocle dug under his eyebrow. He took another bite of the silver fish. "That kid? Yes, I know him. Bloody brat."

"He's been killed. I need your help, y'know... Hiding the evidence. Wipe his existence from the planet." She stood a little straighter. Harley Quinn wasn't scared of any of the criminals around here, especially not four foot tall, waddling Oswald Cobblepott. "Don't got cash ta give ya, so I'll be owin' a favor, and that's fine. Can ya do it, Ozzy?" Harley wasn't letting Tim take the heat for it. She figured he would be going through every bough and stressing himself out far too much by trying to figure out who murdered Jason. He didn't need the added complications.

"The question's not 'can', it's 'will '." Oswald said, and Harley offered a laugh. "This favor doesn't cancel out your other favor, you're aware?" Harley nodded, and asked, "I assume ya will contact me what the favor'll be when it comes up?"

"Mhmm." Oswald said, thinking. "Alrigh'. Give me the details."

"What's wrong with you, Harley?"

The voice snapped Harley out of her state of half-sleep and she looked up at to see Jason, with his red and black jacket, dark jeans, and long hair. "Jason?" She asked, blinking.

"Jason?" The voice repeated, confused, and Harley realized it was Pamela standing over her, her car parked on the side of the road behind her. She had that look of concentration on her face as she stared down at Harley. "Sorry," Harley immediately said, and Pamela repeated her question, "What's going on? And who's Jason?"

Harley was blaming herself for Jason's murder. She didn't have a clue as to what she did or why she could be the cause, but it was her bat and the bat was left so she'd see it. She didn't want to think about Jack being the murderer. The bat was with him, yes, but he wouldn't do that to Jason, would he? Jack knew she and Jason were friends. Or, at least that she liked him plenty. She still was sure he didn't see her as a friend. "Nothing and nobody," She answered. It wasn't like she could tell Pamela she helped get rid of Jason's body. And that her baseball bat killed him.

"Then would you care to explain why you're sitting on the street about to pass out?"

She hadn't even realized where she was falling asleep. It was a good thing Pamela found her. Falling asleep in the street was not a good idea in her neighborhood, unless you fancied getting mugged and killed. "It's really nothin'. Can," Harley sniffed a little, since she'd been crying before she started falling asleep and her nose was a little runny. "Can we go to that diner y'all showed me? I'm real hungry."

Sighing, Pamela held her hand out. Harley grabbed the offered hand, and Pamela pulled her to her feet, and looked around quickly to make sure no one was around. Once satisfied they were somewhat alone, Pamela placed a gentle kiss on Harley's forehead. The gesture filled Harley with warmth. She followed Pamela to her car and she got in the passenger seat, the smell of flowers hitting her. It was comforting. Pamela started up the car and started driving, and Harley just stared out the window. She was sad about Jason, and her guilt wasn't helping her. She could feel Pamela continuously glance at her worriedly.

"Did Joker do something," Pamela asked, "Again?"

"No. Haven't seen 'im."

"Did someone else hurt you?" She asked, and Harley saw from the corner of her eye Pamela's grip tighten on the steering wheel. "No," Harley said. "Someone... Died."

Pamela's body loosened, and her tone softened, "I'm sorry."

"And I think it might be my fault he's dead, but I don't really know what I did." Her mind drifted to Tim, and how he was crying as he sat there on the ground by Jason's blood. "I don't know what I did. I didn't— Jack couldn't have— I've seen people die before, but, I dunno..."

"How would it be your fault someone died?" Pamela scoffed, "Harley, you can't blame yourself for someone's death."

"You," Harley emphasized this as she looked at Pamela pointedly, "Don't know shit about what goes on around here." Harley had seen the part of the city where Pamela lived. The most thrilling thing going on around there was, at best, the croquet set up in her neighbors lawn. "I could'a pissed off any number of people somehow, and believe me, we don't play nice. Frankly, all I know is someone murdered my friend with my baseball bat. And left the bat there so I'd find it."

Pamela glanced at her, eyebrows raised, "Murdered?"

"I ain't ever killed anyone," Harley said quickly. "I've hurt people but I ain't killed anyone." She'd gotten into plenty of fights, she'd hurt people with just about everything; bottles, switches, chains. But she hadn't ever had a reason to kill anyone, and she never had. Jack had killed plenty of people. He killed for laughs. Waylon had killed people and Floyd had been hired to kill people. Selina and Chato never killed anyone, though. Selina was a thief, not a murderer, and Chato had this pacifist thing going on that pissed off Jack to no end. Jason had never killed anyone, either. He was got into fights, like she did, but he didn't deserve to be murdered. "I haven't, Red."

Pamela shook her head, telling Harley to stop defending herself to her, "I believe you, darling."

"I dunno what ta do about anything," Harley wiped her eyes with the palm of her hand, "I don't wanna go back to Selina's. I don't wanna see Tim sad."

Pamela let go of the wheel with one hand and took Harley's hand gently, intertwining their hands and laying them on the center console. "I don't know who Tim is or who died, but I'll buy you breakfast, and we can talk about this, okay? There's a lot you've got to fill me in on. Hopefully, I can help you."

Harley nodded, "Thank ya, Pammy."

Chapter Text

September 6th, 1963

Pamela kissed Harley's neck, and her teeth came down gently on her collarbone every now and then. "Shit, Red," Harley laughed, the sound shaky from her heart pounding away relentlessly at her chest. She still wasn't sure how this gorgeous girl would want to be anywhere near a greasy, messed up kid like her, let alone why she would want to be straddling her in the back of Selina's car in the parking lot of a bowling alley and kissing her senseless. Harley  could feel Pamela smile and chuckle against her skin, and God, if Harley didn't love it. "You're beautiful, Harls." Pamela mumbled against Harleys neck as she slid her hands under Harley's white t-shirt and simply ran them gently up and down her sides and stomach. Her hands were warm, and soft, and harley was sure she must have died and gone to heaven, because Pamela was more than amazing. This Soc was the most perfect person Harley had ever seen. She wasn't sure she would ever get over how beautiful she was.

Suddenly Pamela jumped up, hitting her head on the ceiling of the car, as a Coke can was thrown against the front window with a loud 'clank', and a boy outside yelled, 'greaser!'. "Are ya okay?" Harley asked, as Pamela rubbed the top of her head with an annoyed expression on her face. "Mhmm," She answered, moving so Harley could sit up, "I don't think the can scratched the window or anything." Selina wouldn't have cared if it had scratched up her car, anyway. It was already a wreck. Still, Harley said, "That's good." She couldn't help but let her gaze drift to Pamela's chest as the Soc started to pull her shirt back over her head. A wink was sent Harley's way when Pamela realized she was staring. Then, her face went pretty dull and she looked back to the front window, "Men are assholes."

"Eh, some of 'em are pretty hot though. Like Bruce Wayne," Harley supplied. Bruce had some pretty nice abs...

A grimace replaced her dull expression, and she shrugged, "I politely disagree."

Harley laughed, grinning at Pamela. Pamela pulled her in for another kiss, holding Harley's head to hers with one hand placed behind her neck, and her other hand came to a rest on Harley's thigh. Harley was still smiling like a dork when Pamela stopped, although Pamela herself looked rather serious.

"School started six days ago," She scolded, and Harley wanted to point out how much of a mom Pamela was sometimes, "And you haven't come once." Her silence made it clear she wanted an explanation as to why, and that she probably was going to lose her shit if it had anything to do with a certain man. Harley bit her lip, feeling a little guilty. She didn't want Pamela to be disappointed with her, or mad at her. She didn't want to upset her, or Jack, or anybody. "I been doing school stuff," Harley assured, as she hadn't told Pamela about going to see Dr. Leland every night she could since their chat. Unbelieving, Pamela raised one of those perfect eyebrows. "I have. When... When ya told me I should go ta school, I went ta see Dr. Leland and I've been goin' over to her house a lot. She's teachin' me new stuff."

"I think going to school is a better idea than going to a teacher's house," Pamela objected quickly, and Harley shook her head. "Jack is gonna find out if I go."

Pamela muttered, "It always goes back to that asshole, doesn't it."

Harley didn't say anything. Jack basically owned her, of course everything went right back to him. When they weren't split, he made it his business to know what she was doing and who she was with, and he told her what she can and can't do, and he punished her whenever she did something wrong or upset him. Harley could see how sweet a guy he was on the inside though, so it was all okay. He was just protective. She wanted to get the topic off of Jack, and she asked, "Hey, Red? Why did ya move outta Seattle?"

"My father's work." Pamela said just as Harley finished the question. The way she said it was stiff, and it was too quick, like it wasn't the whole truth. "How come your folks ain't ever around?" Harley continued to prod. "He has to go back often, for meetings and such." Pamela answered again. "My mother goes with him." Harley really felt like Pamela wasn't saying something, but before she could further her interrogation, Pamela turned the tables, "Have you ever thought about breaking up with Joker?"

"Guess so," Harley admitted, "couple'a times. He, uh, kinda sorta pushed me outta window and I was gonna, but I didn't. He tried ta hurt my friend Floyd real bad 'cause he thought Floyd and I fucked or something, and I almost broke up with him then, because Floyd is a good guy and didn't do anything wrong... Do you trust me?"

"I trust you well enough I was just making out with you in the back of this car."

Harley pouted at her, "Funny gal. But ya aint telling me a lot about ya."

Pamela said, "Trust takes a lot of time, no?"

"I trust you. Wholly and with my life." Harley countered, and it was true. "Yes,  well, I think you're a little too trusting," Pamela replied, looking at Harley with a hint of sadness in her eyes, "I really think so." Harley just scoffed and rolled her eyes, "Aw, come on."

The only response was Pamela's head shaking. Harley shrugged, " I should probably head over ta Selina's... I haven't talked to her or Tim since Jason died." She didn't want to see them. What happened to Jason was horrible, and she didn't want to think about how Tim was handling it. She saw him sitting on the ground by the body, and she didn't want to see how he was reacting now that he must have gotten it through his head that Jason was dead, gone, he wasn't coming back in Tim was more alone then he had been in a long time.

"This is Selina's car, though," Pamela raised her eyebrow, and Harley smiled innocently, "Never said I asked ta borrow it. Also, it's her fault for teaching me how ta hot wire a car if she didn't want me ta." To this, Pamela rolled her eyes in an affectionate manner, and she leaned towards Harley, a she cupped her cheek in her hand. She kissed Harley in that gentle manner of hers, a way of goodbye, and whispered, "I wish you the best, daffodil."

"Daffodil," Harley repeated, and Pamela smiled, though it was small, and if Harley didn't know better, almost shy, "Yes. They remind me of you... maybe I'll get you some. Good night."

"Bye," Harley breathed out as Pamela opened the car door and stepped out, giving her a final smile, before shutting the door again, and walking off to find her car. Harley climbed into the front of the car, into the drivers seat, and she watched her hands shake as she set them on the steering wheel. Pamela's presence made it so easy to forget she was cheating on Jack with a woman, so when she was gone it kind of hit Harley full force.

--

Sitting the brakes when she was in Selina's driveway, Harley through the door open and hopped out into the open air, and she stretched her arm above her head. Unfortunately for her, the scent of smoke hit her nostrils, and she looked up to see Selina standing in the shadows of her porch, a lit cigarette in her hand with more than a couple lying stomped out at her feet. She looked tired, annoyed, and a little mad. She was wearing a tattered, faded shirt, capris, and she was barefoot. Her green eyes were cat like and the thing that stood out most in the dark, and they were squinted at Harley in an expression that meant she wanted an explanation. Of, you know, why she had stolen her car, and hadn't seen them since Jason, and all that.

She joined Selina on the porch, and asked, "How much did ya smoke today, girl?" To which Selina tossed an empty box at her, hitting her in the face, and said, "Today was tame. You owe me a few packs." Harley shrugged, took a full pack out of her pocket and held it out to her friend, who snatched it away unceremoniously. Selina muttered, "Would have been nice for you to stop by." Her tired eyes glanced towards the house, "Tim has been a real charm. Won't eat, and I had to sneak sleep meds into his water to get him to sleep."

"I'm sorry." Harley said, and it was the truth.

"You were with your girlfriend, huh?"

As much as Harley would enjoy it... "I don't think we're really girlfriends. And how'dya guess?"

Dryly, Selina chuckled and smirked, "Its obvious, sweerheart..." How in the hell is it obvious? Harley asked herself, eyes trained on the ground. "Did Penguin take care of the shit?" The cat asked, suddenly, her smug smirk dissipating. "The closest I've been to being away from the house is the end of the driveway. Babysitting Tim takes up time, apparently. But you wouldn't know that." Ignoring that, Harley nodded, "Yeah. Don't worry about Tim having ta do anything for him, either. I'm covering it for him."

Selina stared at her, as she dropped her cigarette and stamped it out, and though she didn't say it, she thought Harley was stupid for doing that. "Harley," She said, and she still looked at the girl, but she didn't finish the sentence. Instead she shook her head, sighed, and slid her arms around Harleys shoulders. She pulled her close, and Harley appreciated it more than she could say. Selina was a funny person. She was smooth, and charming, and tuff, but there really wasn't a sweeter person walking this planet. Harley knew Selina cared for her, and she knew the cat would quite literally put a person in the hospital if they messed with Harley. Harley held onto Selina tightly.

Her breath warm on Harley's neck, Selina said quietly, "You're a psycho." Harley smiled, "I love ya, kitty." Selina scoffed, "You, too. Let's go inside, okay?" Nodding, Harley pulled apart from Selina and the two of them headed inside. Harley walked in, and kicked off her dirty, beat up shoes, and started further in. The first thing she saw was the couch, occupied by Tim. He was lying there, looking at the ceiling with his wife eyes. He heard Harley, though, and his eyes went to her. They were filled with emotion, but not with his normal happiness, not with his normal flair, his confidence, his spark. The kind of spark that really shows a person's motivation, their dedication. There was just sadness and anger.

Voice blank, he asked Harley, "Please tell me where Jason is." His only response was silence, and he continued, eyebrows furrowing, "He isn't gone. Tell Selina to stop lying to me."

"OH, of course," Selina drawled as she joined Harley, "there's that. He's basically deemed me public enemy number one. Tim, for the last time, sweetheart, you gotta let go." She started for the kitchen, sighing loudly and heavily, "You denying it isn't bringing Jason magically back." She sounded truly distressed with the situation, though she was acting like it a was a pointless thing. Harley was worried for both of them, really. Harley was going to sit down with Tim, but he stood suddenly from the couch, and went for the kitchen, something in his eyes flashing, and Harley really didn't like where this was going. She knew that look well. It was the look Jack had when he was mad at her.

Harley followed him and Selina into the kitchen.

Voice angry, Tim demanded, "Stop lying." Selina threw the fridge door shut, a loud 'bang' sounding from it, and she stared at him. Running her hand over her beautiful dark, short hair, tapping her other hand on the counter, she seemed like she was trying not to be mad at him. "Tim, look, I'm as upset as you are, but you've got to accept it," She tried to explain, "You've got to face your shit before you can try to get past it, you know. And you've got to eat and sleep. I can't babysit you forever, Tim, you-"

The next thing Harley knew, Tim picked up the nearest thing to him-a drinking glass- and threw it. It barely missed Selina's head, just barely touching her ear, and it flew until it met the wall behind her, and shattered into a dozen or more shards of clear glass that flew out from the point of impact. "Kitty, don't step back, alrighty?" Harley said past her shock. She could see the kitchen's dim light reflecting off shards of glass behind Selina's bare feet. The cat nodded at her briefly, before turning her gaze to Tim.

"I understand you're grieving, Tim," She said, voice firm and eyes hard, "and we're trying to help you, but keep in mind if you try to harm me, or Harley, I will kick you out."

"Come on, kitty," Harley said gently, seeing the look on Tim's face. Selina looked at him a moment longer, before she sighed and her face melted into a much kinder expression. "Try to sleep." He nodded, mumbled 'I'm sorry` in such a lost voice it hurt Harley to hear, and he retreated back into the living room. Then, Selina looked to Harley, "Hey-"

A loud ring came from the other side of the kitchen, where the phone was. Harley and Selina both looked at it. "Give me a sec," Selina said, and went for the phone. Harley shrugged, and went to the bathroom to clean herself up. She always looked like a mess, but even more so after spending time with Pamela Isley. As she looked in the mirror, She realized quite quickly why Selina said it was obvious she was with Pamela. "Damn it, Red," Harley laughed to herself, staring at the reflection of the small, purple bruises dotting her neck and collarbone. Rolling her eyes at it, Harley grabbed Selina's small, scratchy hairbrush and ran it through her blonde hair, and untangled it as much as she could.

Selina's voice came from the kitchen, and it said, "Hey, Harl, your boyfriend's just been an almighty bitch. Big surprise." Setting down the brush, Harley groaned as she headed back for Selina, "Don't talk about 'im like that. What happened?"

"Well, Mr. Playboy Billionaire just called to cancel him coming over tomorrow," then she sighed, "You remember Barbara Gordon?"

"Cute redhead. Commish's daughter," Harley smiled sweetly, "Yeah, I remember her. She was a real sweetheart."

"Yeah, well, she's in the hospital." Harley felt her heart drop. "She was shot, and paralyzed, in her own home and your 'Puddin' is the prime suspect. Unfortunately the fuzz is having a hard time finding him." If Harley's heart could possibly break further, it did. "Why'd he shoot her?" She asked.

Selina shook her head, "Babe, Joker is a psychopath. Why does he do anything he does?" For fun, was the answer Harley knew. He beat people up for fun, he killed for fun, he hurt Harley... for fun.

Harley stared down at her feet, intent on ending the conversation. Selina just stared at her silently, before walking past her and out of the kitchen, "I'm going to Wayne Manor to hopefully prevent Bruce from breaking his hands. That punching bag of his," She informed, and Harley heard her car keys jangling, "Alfred says he's got a bad habit of punching that thing until he does just that. You good looking after Tim?"

"Yeah."

"You sure?"

"Yeah, kitty." Harley said again, getting slightly annoyed. "If... If ya see Pamela can ya tell her that I'm sorry? I think I might have gotten into some no-no territory with her." Selina shrugged. After watching Selina go out the door, Harley went into the living room, and saw Tim snoozing away on the couch, his limbs all hanging off the sides and his face pressed into the back cushion. It didn't look very comfortable, but each to their own. Harley turned away from him, and went to the window. The crimson curtains were dirty and moth-eaten, and the glass was scratched and smudged, but Harley didn't mind much. She moved the curtains to the side and gazed outside just as Selina's headlights turned on and the car started down the street. She turned attention back to Tim, "Hey, Timmy, if ya don't tell kitty I left ya, there's a five dollar bill in your future. Sound peachy?" Tim snored. Harley stared a minute before she shrugged, "Taking that as yes. Thanks, doll."

As she was about to head out the door, she stopped and frowned, as she remembered the bruises on her neck. She went to Selina's room, and dug a scarf from the back of her closet, and curled it around her neck. She smiled in satisfaction with herself. "Take that, Puddin'." She put on Selina's jean jacket and her own shoes when she got back to the door. "Bye, Tim," She whispered, before stepping outside and looking around as she went down the porch.

If there was anything she knew how to do, it was how to find Jack. Cops might have a hard time finding the Joker, but she knew where he liked to play his games. She knew him. And if the cops ever got have a brain amongst the lot of them, they would know where to look, too.

Harley needed to find him, right now. She was used to his games, jokes, crimes, whatever people call them. But he paralyzed Barbara Gordon, and possibly was the murderer of Jason Todd, and there was no way she was going to let that fly. Barbara and Jason didn't do anything to provoke him and didn't do anything to deserve what happened to them. "Fucking clown," She muttered to the night sky.

--

Harley hummed to herself as she walked up to the party store. It was like just about every other place in this part of the city; shut down, bug infested, dirty, and forgot about. This particular shop was basically it in a way, and barely used street, and it was a small building tucked in between two others. Harley blinked in surprise as something hissed at her, and she look down next to her. A skinny cat was sitting at her feet.  It's ribs showed, and it's white fur was so filthy it looked almost brown. She smiled down at it, "Hi, kitty cat," the cat flicked it's tail at her. Then  Harley frowned again, as she remembered something, and she warned the cat like it could understand her, "Ya should go away, kitty." She remembered Jack making a joke while talking to Bruce Wayne about him beating a dog to death with a cat until they both died, and Harley never was sure if he was really joking or not.

The cat didn't move, and Harley just shook her head, and started again for the party store entrance. She could feel the cat following her.

Harley grabbed the door handle, and jumped about four feet as a massive bug touch her fingertips, but she quickly recovered and yanked the door open with a little force. She went in as quickly as she could. "Mistah J?" She called out, as she walked in further, unable to help a little sneeze at the amount of dust in the air. "It's Harley. I'm sorry for runnin' out on ya the other night." If Pamela was here, Harley knew she would be furious that she apologized for leaving him that night. But, Pamela wasn't here, and Harley could ignore that fact easily. Anyway, the building was as quiet as a corpse, and Harley was getting a bit spooked. It was nighttime, so there wasn't any light at all streaming in through the windows. She could just feel the cold, and the cats whiskers on her ankles. "Jack, are ya--"

"Harley!" The voice said from right behind Harley, straight into her ear, and she jumped out of her skin, her heart leaping into her throat before he laughed, and she knew it was him. Recovering from her mild shock, Harley turned and stared, wide eyed, "Gee, Mistah J, ya nearly gave me a heart attack." In the dark, all she could see was the whites of his eyes and she could just make out the shape of his signature maniacal smile. Unnerving, as it always was, but there was something about that smile that she was stuck on. The clown melted her heart. She couldn't prevent her own smile from showing, the kind of goo-goo eyes smile the guys in the gang always said she had around Jack.

"Its good to see you, dear," His gloved hand slid around  her waist and he kissed her lips. He assured, "Daddy's sorry for hurting you, really. Can you forgive me?"

Harley was having a hard time remembering why she was angry at him, or why she tracked him down. "Of course, Puddin'," She stood on her tip toes to kiss him, too, and her heart throbbed in joy. It had been a while since it was just her and Jack. As perfect as Pamela was, as much as Harley loved being around Selina, they just didn't have Jack's certain something that made Harley love him so. And he apologized! It would be different.

...Still, HARLEEN had to ask, "Did you kill Jason? Did you paralyze Ba... Gordon's girl?"

Jack laughed in that high, hyena way of his, "Oh, Harley, don't act like you really care about those two!" He ran his gloved fingertips down her cheek in a pattern, staring at her wide, blue eyes carefully. "The kid was a brat, you know that, he was asking to be killed. And really, why give a fuck about the girl! Her Daddy's paycheck and reputation should cover her little... predicament."

Harley frowned, thinking hard. Barbara wasn't exactly rich, but... Jim Gordon did make some decent pay. "...I guess you're right." Jason was rude. Barbara... would be fine. "Okay, Mistah J, gotcha." She could feel the cat rubbing it's head on her leg, and without much though she leaned down and picked the skinny thing up, and grinned as she held him. She liked kitties.

Jack blinked at the animal, but looked back at Harley a moment, before waving his hand. "Now, no more silly questions?" Jack asked, and she shook her head, hugging the cat to her chest happily. He grinned impossibly wider "Fantastic! Let's get going then; it's you and me, baby! First, let's drop by the house and get your shit, because you look worse than usual." He motioned to her borrowed clothes. "Okay, Puddin'." She said, and she was more than happy to be getting back in her red diamond leather jacket.

Jack held out his hand to her, and she took it gratefully. She followed him back outside, and with the dim street lights she could finally actually see him. The typical red on his lips was smeared, how long with the black paint around his eyes. He was just as tall as always, towering over Harley, though he did look up it skinnier, even though he always was lanky and thin. His green hair was losing its color, and looking more brown than the bright green is was supposed to be. He looked pretty rough. Even the flower pinned on his jacket looked droopy.

"You okay, Puddin'?" Harley asked, frowning in worry at his appearance. "Just dandy, Harley, just been busy lately," he answered, laughing, "It will be much easier now that you're back on the team!"

And then he grabbed the cat from her hold, rather forcefully, and threw poor thing on the concrete. "Hey!" Harley made a move to get the cat again and see if he was okay, but she jerked back as a gunshot fired and the cat was... She looked at Jack, holding the pistol and looking at Harley with an expression that showed more than hatred, and he said in a voice so calm it was scary, "Keep in that crazy head of yours, that," He motioned at the unmoving animal with the gun, "Is what will happen to her if you go near her again."

Her.

Chapter Text

September 10th, 1963

Here she was, wearing the same sheer nightgown she was wearing the last time he hurt her. His lips were on hers, kissing hard and rough and it was mostly teeth knocking together, he was scratching at her back under her nightgown, not caring how deep he dug his dirty fingernails into her skin or if it hurt her. Surely, She thought, she was happy. Happy to be with him again, happy to be all his again. To have the rare love he would sometimes give her.

Treat me like a fool.

There was pressure behind her eyes, tears threatening to come spilling through, her breathing felt just slightly off and almost forced, and her hands shook where they were sitting on his waist, her stomach was curling at the feeling of him all over her. But she was supposed to be happy. This mad love had been going so long. So much was given up and ruined just to be with him. She didn’t know what to do if that was all for nothing. She hadn’t gone to school like a normal kid in so many years, her family and her hadn’t spoken since she met him. She missed them, no matter how messed up they were and could be. She missed being smart and she hated having to act like a stupid blonde. She was smart.

Treat me mean and cruel.

He was an adult, and she was a kid. She wasn’t even sure how old he was now. She was seventeen, she was supposed to be in school, she was supposed to be with her family, and she wasn’t supposed to have bruises and scars from this man. She was a kid, and she’d seen him beat, and kill, and torture, and laugh about it all. The ability to just laugh about all the bad stuff was something she found charming in him, but it was starting to make her a little sick. That hyena laugh only ever meant something bad was going to happen.

But love me.

She didn’t know if she ever could leave him.

--

“Harley,” Lewis set his hand on her shoulder, “You doing okay, kid?” Lewis was one of Jack's guys he sometimes hired. One of his lackeys, for lack of a better word. He was a good man, Harley really did like him. A lot of the men who worked for Jack were utter assholes, and a few of them tried to make moves on her, and she didn’t enjoy it. But Lewis was nice, She really did like him.

Harley nodded and smiled at him, “Yeah, all good.” He didn’t seem entirely convinced, but he shrugged it off and fixed his beanie . She couldn’t help but feel bad; she knew she was acting off and entirely unhappy, and she knew it was really putting the whole gang in a funk, but she couldn’t help it. There was just too much happening lately. Jack killed Jason, hurt Barbara, to threaten her, and that really, really sucked. She didn’t even entirely know if he knew that she and Pamela were… whatever they were, or if he just knew they were hanging around each other, and that added stress to her.

The next thing she knew, the back of the car was thrown open. Jack and a couple other of his men all piled in, Jack grinning like a hyena. Jack cranked the window open as quickly as he possibly could, and leaned out the window, looking behind them, at a couple security guards that were running out of the building they robbed. “Catch!” He yelled at them, and threw something Harley couldn’t see at them. “Step on it!” He barked at Lewis, and Lewis listened, pressing his foot down hard on the gas. The car stuttered for a second, but jerked forward. Not three seconds later, there was a noise from where they just were, and Harley realized whatever he threw at the guards exploded. “Wow, Mistah J,” She twisted in the passenger seat to try and get a look at the guards, but couldn’t see. “Like that, Punkin Pie?” Jack laughed, “Some new things I picked up while you were gone!”

“Pretty tuff,” She provided, and she heard Lewis scoff. Thankfully, Jack didn’t hear it. Harley was pretty sure Lewis liked her way more than he liked Jack. It was pretty funny, in her opinion.

--

After they got back to Jack's party store that was serving as his current hideout, Harley kept hanging out with Lewis. They walked down the street, and Lewis asked her, “What’s the deal?”

Confused, Harley pouted at him, “What do ya mean?”

Scratching the back of his head, Lewis looked back towards the party store, “Joker kept talking about you ‘n some girl, I guess. He was really pissed off. He shot Martin.” Harley never liked that guy, anyway. He was a pig. She shrugged. “Dunno what you’re talking about, Lewis.” Lewis punched her gently on the shoulder, “Don’t lie, Harley. Pamela, or something. What’s the deal?” Harley felt sad, again. “Ya wouldn’t get it,” She smiled a bit sarcastically at him, and he stared at her, so she added, “She’s just my friend, ‘kay?” She was bothered that, apparently, Jack hadn’t been very private about his rage over her and Pamela.

“Did Joker hurt her or something?” Lewis asked, “You sound like you miss her.”

Harley laughed, the sound hollow, “He said he would if I was around her anymore. It was only a few days ago I saw her, but I still miss her. Izzat weird?” Lewis scratched the back of his head, “No. I got a girl, and we got a baby, and I would still be missing them even if I saw them an hour ago.” He set his arm around Harley's shoulders as they walked, as way of comforting her, and Harley smiled at him. Lewis was really a good guy. “I know I’m not going to get anywhere by telling you to end things with him, so… Look, if you want to see her, go see her. I can keep the Almighty Prick off your ass for a while.”

She stopped walking, stopping Lewis , too, and she wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug, “Aw, Lewis,” She practically exclaimed. “You’re so nice. I really wish ya didn’t have ta keep working for Mistah J.”

“I’m taking this as you want me to keep him busy for a while?” Lewis laughed, patting her on the back as return for the hug. “I… might have ta take ya up on the offer, yes.”

--

Harley knocked on Pamela's door so loudly she was almost positive it was going to make the girl annoyed, but she couldn’t find herself caring. She just wanted to see Pamela, even if it was the last time she could see her. She couldn’t make a habit of going behind Jack's back. The more she did it, the more likely he would find out. And, he would, sooner rather than later. But right now, all she wanted was at least one more night with Pamela.

Pamela opened the door, and the second it was open, Harley jumped on her. She threw her arms around Pamela's neck, and peppered her face with kisses, and Pamela took a step or two back, a little startled, but kept Harley with her. “Harley!” Pamela was laughing as Harley kissed all over her face, and the sound was like gold to Harley. Pamela's laugh wasn’t scary to her like Jack's sometimes was. Hers was soft and smooth and so real. “What's up with you?” She prodded, and Harley finally let off the kisses, but still held tight to her. “I missed ya,” Harley said, and Pamela rolled her eyes playfully, “I see that. Come inside so I can shut the door, though, okay?”

Deciding this was probably a good idea, Harley let go of Pamela and moved so she could close and lock the front door. Then, Pamela turned to her, and Harley pushed her back against the door, and kissed her on the lips. Pamela cupped Harley’s cheeks as she kissed her, and Harley was so, so thankful for Lewis being as kind as he was. She slipped her hands under Pamela's shirt and set them on her waist, absolutely enjoying how warm Pamela was against her. Everything about being with Pamela was just so much nicer than with Jack, Harley knew that in her head, somewhere.

“But, really,” Pamela tried, as Harley moved from her lips to just under her chin, Pamela raising her head up a little to give her room, “What’s up? You seem very… Excited, right now.”

“You have no clue how happy I am ta see ya, sweet pea,” Harley told her, between kisses, and she couldn’t help but grin when Pamela gasped a little as Harley sucked on the spot below her ear. If her blushing was any indication, Pamela seemed a little embarrassed by the noise. And Pamela was the kind of girl who blushed everywhere; her cheeks, her ears, her neck, were all red. It looked adorable, especially with her freckles. She put her hand on the back of Harleys head and kept her face down by her neck, trying to hide how flushed she was.

Harley giggled at her, “What’re ya trying to hide?” Harley kissed her as punctuation. “You're cute, Pamela.”

Pamela scoffed, but let go of Harley’s head. Harley moved her face up and smiled at Pamela, “I like seeing how cute ya are. You’re so perfect, ya know.” She rolled her eyes, “I know.”

“There's my egotistical babe.”

“Glory, Harley,” Pamela laughed again, and gently pushed Harley away from her. Seeing Harleys pout, Pamela explained, “I was baking. Unless you want my house to burn down, I should go back to that.” Shrugging, Harley followed her to the kitchen, “That's fair, I guess. But I’d rather smooch ya more.” Shaking her head, Pamela went back to what she was doing, opening the oven to look at whatever was inside. It made sense why Harley had thought she smelled cookies when she came inside. Harley sat on the counter and watched Pamela.

Harley really, really, really loved Pamela. She could fall for someone quick, and if she did, she fell hard.

If she had to stop seeing her, Harley wasn’t sure she’d be okay for a long time. She felt different around Jack now that she knew Pamela. She couldn’t even bring herself to care as much that they were both girls now. She loved her. “Pamela,” She said a bit too quietly for comfort, and Pamela looked at her with that worried expression on her face. It was sad, to Harley, how Pamela got worried that quickly. If that was all it took for her to get worried, that… was a little eye opening to how shitty of a place Harley had been in for so long. “I don’t mean to worry ya, but if this is the last time we see each other, it really ain’t your fault at all, okay?”

“Okay,” Pamela said, as the oven dinged and she put on oven mitts with a rather adorable flower pattern on them, “This is sounding unnervingly like your suicide note,” She pulled out a tray of, Harley was right, cookies and set them to the side on a cooling rack, “So, do tell me what the hell is going on with you.” She pulled off the oven mitts, crossed her arms, and looked at Harley expectantly. Huffing, Harley shook her head roughly, “Nothing like that, I promise.” She sighed. “Can we please, please, please just have a good time? I might explain later, but right now, please just…”

Pamela moved so she was standing in front of Harley where she sat on the counter, and she took both of Harley's hands in her own and she stood on her toes to place a brief kiss on her forehead. “I’m holding you to that, mkay?”

--

Selina pushed open the door to the room Alfred said Bruce was in, and walked in to see him shirtless and throwing punch after punch with his bare fists at that punching bag Alfred didn’t like at all.

“Really, Bruce?” Selina asked, and he stopped swinging punches at the white punching bag in front of him when he heard her voice. “Your knuckles are already torn up. Calm the fuck down.” He turned as she came close to him, and he had his fists at his side, curling and uncurling his fingers, “I'm not hurting myself, Selina.”

Pointing at the bag, Selina countered, “If you want anyone to believe that, get a darker colored punching bag. He looked back at the thing, and at the smeared blood from his knuckles standing vividly against the white fabric. He actually laughed a little bit, reaching up and scratching the back of his head, “You’ve got me there.” She hummed in agreement, before holding her hand out in front of her. He looked at it and raised one of his thick eyebrows. “Let me see your hands, genius.” She clarified, and he held one of his out to her. She held it with her thin fingers, and looked at his knuckles with an annoyed look on her face. They were bloody, and bruised, and overall just not the most pleasant things to look at. “You think any girl wants to hold your hands when they look like this? How are you Gotham's most desirable man?”

“Last I checked, you kissed me first,” Bruce smiled in that charming way of his, “Why don’t you ask yourself why I’m so ‘desirable'?”

“It's your money.” She said, sarcastically, placing a kiss on his knuckles. She did like Bruce, really. He… was an alright guy. “Your abs are pretty decent, too,” She placed her fingertip on his stomach to Your make her point, “I’m certainly not complaining about them.”

“I’m so glad you’re interested in my personality,” He said just as sarcastically as her, and he leaned in to kiss her, but she stepped out of his reach. “Mhmm, no. I don’t want your blood on my clothes, bats. Go clean your damn knuckles off.” Bruce raised his hands in defeat, “You’re right. My apologies, Miss Kyle.”

“What’s new?” She followed him to the bathroom, and made a comment, “You realize this one bathroom is like the size of my house?”

Bruce shrugged, turning the sink on and putting his hands under the running water. “I didn’t build the place. I don’t know who thought it was necessary to have a bathroom this big.”

Scoffing as he turned the sink off and dried his hands off with a towel, Selina muttered, “You rich people are unbelievable.” Then, she grabbed his bicep to get his attention, and she pointed to the edge of the bathtub, “Sit down.” He started over there, and Selina reached for the medicine cabinet. She opened the glass door, and reached her hand into the back of it to grab the bandages she knew Bruce had in there. Then she joined Bruce and knelt in front of him, taking one of his hands. With the bandages, She started to wrap around his palm and knuckles, and she knew he was smiling at her, so she said, “Don’t get used to this, babe, I’m not going to be your housewife or whatever.”

“Wouldn’t expect you to,” Bruce offered, and Selina asked him if the bandages were tight enough, so he nodded. She taped it off, and grabbed his other hand to do the same to. “I'm used to taking care of Harley,” Selina mused, “It sucks.” Bruce raised an eyebrow and asked, “Why?”

Selina looked up at him, “Seeing what that clown does to her isn’t fun.” She taped off these bandages, and stood up, “There you go. I don’t even know why I should bandage those up for you, you’re just going to go punch that thing when I leave.”
“I can’t say that’s untrue. How's Harley doing?” Bruce asked, offering Selina his hand and she took it, and he started to lead them to his room. “Oh, I love the girl, but she’s a bitch through and through,” Selina was pissed at Harley. Really, truly, she was. “She said she would watch Tim, and then I get home? She’s gone. Haven’t seen her since. I swear to god…” Bruce shrugged, “Maybe something happened to her, Sel. You’re not worried?”

Selina shook her head, “Honestly, she’s probably screwing around with Pamela. Fucking honestly, Harley doesn’t talk about anything else.”

“They're happy, let them be,” Bruce smiled a little, and Selina smiled mockingly at him, “I’m happy Harleys happy, but they act so in love it’s gross, Bruce.”

Bruce shrugged. “I think it’s nice.”

“Of course you would,” She stood on her toes to kiss him, and he gladly started to kiss her back, but she pulled away when he tried. She was smirking, and Bruce just shook his head. “I could get Commissioner Gordon to get some officers to protect Harley if she tried to leave the Joker,” Bruce offered suddenly. “You’re nice,” Selina said, “But I don’t know if she ever will leave him. Until, you know, he kills her.”

“Maybe now that she has Pamela, she will.”

“We can hope. But… I don’t know.”

--

“That’s… Actually very cute,” Pamela told Harley, rather in shock. Harley put her blonde hair into pigtails, and it really was cute. Pigtails look wretched on everybody. Harley laughed, as she tightened one of them, “I like them lots. It’s weird. You look really cute with your glasses, Pam. And your hair in a bun. Like… damn.” Pamela raised her eyebrow, “Is that so?” Harley nodded, practically throwing herself across Pamela to reach her glasses that sat on her nightstand. She straightened up again and held them out, wiggling her eyebrows.

Pamela rolled her eyes, but slid them on her face, and then grabbed one of the hair ties she had lying on the bed and got her hair up into a messy bun. “Are you happy?” Harley placed her hand over her heart, and proceeded to fall backwards off the bed, on purpose.

“Harley!” Pamela scolded her, “What the hell?”

“Ya know ya love me, Red,” She laughed as she got back on the bed.

“You’re right,” Pamela shrugged, and pulled Harley into a kiss. Harley snuggled against Pamela's chest and wrapped her arms around her waist, smiling more than she could handle. “You’re perfect,” She told Pamela, and Pamela chuckled in her alluring way. “Tell yourself that, Daffodil.”

And… Harley had made a choice.

“Pamela,” She asked, “Will you drive me to the police department in the morning?”

Chapter Text

September 11th, 1963

When Harley woke up, it was because she felt the weight of Pamela getting on the bed (When did she leave? Harley wondered in the back of her mind), and she kissed Harley softly on the lips. Harley gave a short whine in protest and pouted, still tired and not really willing to leave the comfort of Pamela’s bed, but it wasn’t exactly the worst way to be woken up. Especially not when Pamela’s fiery hair was still messy and frizzy from sleeping, and she wasn’t wearing any makeup while she normally did, so her freckles were a lot more obvious, and… Not a bad way to be waken up at all. “I called Selina,” Pamela told her, snapping Harley’s attention away from her thoughts, “She said she is going to break into my house and claw my eyes out if I was lying.” Selina’s response made Harley laugh. She had asked Pamela to call Selina and tell her she was going to go to the police and rat out Jack, since Selina happened to be her best friend for a very, very long time and had been waiting for this day for most of that time. “Then she said she’s going to steal all of the Wayne’s expensive wine and make us celebrate.”

“She’s a charming gal, ain’t she?” Harley grinned, knowing Selina really would steal all the wine in that mansion.

Unsure of what kind of response Harley was looking for, Pamela hummed for a moment, slowly and thoughtful. “She’s… Something,” Pamela offered, before asking with a hint of worry in her smooth, charming voice, “You’re not going to change your mind, are you? I’m sorry to question you, but I can’t help but think you might go back--“

“Hey,” Harley stopped her, and held her arm out in silent invitation for Pamela. Visibly hesitating for a moment, Pamela chewed on her bottom lip, but quickly took the offer and moved so she was laying against Harley, her head on Harley’s chest and her arm around Harley’s waist. Harley held onto Pamela pretty tightly, straining her neck for a brief instant just to press a kiss to the top of Pamela’s head. Which, for the record was pretty much a win for Harley since Pamela was taller than her and she never could have done that if they were standing up. “I get I ain’t got the best track record of making the right decision when it comes to Mistah— him, ya haven’t seen the half of it, but I’m for real. This time, for sure… Plus, Selina said she’d claw your eyes out if ya weren’t right, and we can’t have that, can we?”

A little huff of laughter came from Pamela’s lips, and Harley smiled softly, “So don’t worry yourself, pretty lady.”

Humming in response, Pamela went on to ask, “Are you scared?”

“Want me ta give it ta ya straight? I’m worried probably the most I’ve been in a long time, Red.” In fact, she was almost entirely sure she’d be dead by the end of the next month if she went through with it. Considering she had often gotten him angry with her for trying to help him, who knows what he’d do when he figured out she got him arrested. On purpose. “I’m proud of you,” Pamela held her a little tighter, then asked, “Do you want to get ready to go?”

“I’d rather stay like this… But, okay.” Better to get it over with, right?

Pamela lingered, not seeming like she was so eager to move either, but sooner rather than later she did move, and Harley followed. “I washed the clothes you were wearing yesterday,” Pamela told her, pointing to the nightstand where her clothes were folded neatly, “Your jacket is still downstairs.” Harley grabbed her bra, shirt, and jeans from the nightstand, ruining how nicely they had been folded, and thanked Pamela. Pamela had already gotten the big, baggy shirt she had worn to bed unbuttoned and off, and was standing at her big closet to get her clean clothes to wear out. She was standing with her back to Harley, wearing absolutely nothing but green panties, and Harley was well aware she was staring, but… Really, who could blame her? The redhead glanced back at her and Harley hurriedly grabbed the shirt she was wearing and pulled it over her face, in a horrible attempt to pretend she hadn’t been staring. She heard Pamela laugh.

“Shut up,” Harley said with absolutely too much tease in her tone to sound even a little bit serious.

When the two of them were ready, as they headed outside Pamela said as reassurance, “Believe me, daffodil, if that clown tries anything, I’ll personally kill him.” It was said with such seriousness and monotony Harley couldn’t be entirely sure if she was exaggerating or not. “You have me, and Selina, and surely Bruce, too. And… Who were those men you were talking about? The beanie guy and the gun guy and the one with the awful tattoos— They’re with you, yes?”

“Lewis, Floyd, and Chato,” Harley informed, then smiled at her, “Thanks, Pammy.”

Harley’s stomach decided to start doing somersaults when Pamela pulled her pretty car into the GCPD’s parking lot. She didn’t enjoy being anywhere near the police and, given her record, she could assume they didn’t enjoy being around her, either. But, as she said before, there were some nice people in the police, really good people.

The instant they walking into the building, Pamela grabbed Harley’s hand and held it tight, but just loose enough it wasn’t hurting her. She seemed stiff, too, like she thought something bad was going to happen right then, right there, to Harley, someway somehow. Hey, it was Gotham, anything could happen. For all they knew, some man using ketchup as a weapon could bust in. Either way, Harley couldn’t get enough of Pamela acting protective. It was cute— Pamela was cute.

‘Hey,” She stopped Pamela, eyes catching a certain police officer. Renee Montoya, who was usually one of the ones who ended up arresting Harley. Montoya was one of the good cops. She was nice, and Harley knew she was really, truly, proud of her job, and proud to work for Jim Gordon. Despite her being in so much conflict with the woman, she did like the woman. At least, she respected her. “Her, she’s a good lady,” Harley explained to Pamela, pulling her Montoya’s way.

“Montoya, hiya!” Harley greeted with all the cheer and vigor a girl could possibly have as they came up behind the cop. Montoya turned, seeing Harley, and said with the exact opposite amount of cheerfulness Harley had, “Harleen Quinzel.” Her eyes fell conspicuously to Harley and Pamela’s intertwined hands, her expression almost a little too… Knowing? Harley thought it was pretty weird, and Pamela must have gotten the odd vibe, too, because she let go of Harley’s hand and instead locked elbows with her. Internally shrugging Montoya’s look off, Harley corrected her, “It’s just Harley Quinn.”

Montoya gave a sour sort of smile, “Legally, your name is Harleen Quinzel, is it not? …I’m not one of your gang members, I don’t need to call you that nickname.”

Grinning despite herself, Harley asked, “Who spit in your coffee?”

“Bullock.” Montoya answered with the same dead voice. Having met Harvey Bullock, Harley didn’t doubt he was the reason Montoya seemed extra pissy.

“Harley,” Pamela cut in, and both Harley and Montoya looked at her, “We’re here for a reason…”

Snapping her fingers together sharply Harley said, “Right.” And turned attention back to Montoya. “So, uh…” She trailed, eyes falling down to her dirty shoes. What if this ended up being a really bad idea? In the long run, at least. Her anxieties were causing her to be just on the brink of bailing, calling it quits and just heading home to Jack, ready for another run of abuse, humiliation, and regret, but she felt Pamela’s lips brushing her ear, and the Soc whispered, “That man is dictating your life and ruining countless more lives. Do the right thing, Harleen.”

Do the right thing.

He scared her too much. He was going to know, but… Pamela wanted her to. Pamela had taken care of her. And, Barbara was a good kid. She didn’t deserve what Jack did to her. Barbara deserved to have justice for what he did.

Looking back up at Montoya, Harley went on, “I need ta tell ya some things about Mistah J. The Joker, I mean…” For Pamela, she thought. Montoya seemed very curious now, and she raised her dark eyebrow, “What sort of things?”

Harley jumpy stomach had become plain sick by now, “I, uh… Know where he stashed the gun he used to paralyze Gordon’s daughter. He’s got a camera, too, full of pictures of her when he shot her. And that’s just the beginning of it.” She rattled this out a little quicker than she intended, but she just wanted to get it over with. “As long as ya don’t tell no one I’m how ya found out. I don’t want no one knowin’”.

“Dios, I…” Montoya looked blank for a second, before giving a wave of her hand, ushering the two girls to follow her, “I’ll take you to Commissioner Gordon.”

-

Montoya knocked very briefly on the door to Gordon’s office. After a moment, the commissioner himself was standing in front of them, holding a mug of coffee—one of those ones that kids made for father’s day or something, the mug itself was white but had painted on writing on it, clearly by a child, and all Harley could actually see from this angle was ‘Dad’, and immediately she felt even more guilty about Barbara. The fact he still had something like that, and used it at work nonetheless, was above all sweet. He looked really… Bad, was all Harley could think about it. His eyes looked sad, and he was slouching a bit, and… Yeah, Harley felt guilty.

Sad eyes immediately leaving Montoya and looking at Harley and Pamela, Gordon looked a little absolutely pissed. Cliche as the phrase is, if looks could kill Harley would probably be dead. “Sir,” Montoya said quickly, drawing his attention back to her, “She says she can give us proof the Joker… Is guilty.” Her voice was hesitant, trying not to explicitly bring up what happened to his daughter. He understood, it was clear. “Are you sure it’s not a trick?” Gordon asked, voice rough, and Harley couldn’t blame him for thinking it was a trick.

“No tricks,” Pamela spoke up, “Sir.” Harley wanted to laugh at how Pamela could make everything sound so mean and cold, even when the words were nice.

Gordon looked at her. “Who are you?”

“Pamela Lillian Isley.” Full name. Harley stopped herself from rolling her eyes (in a good-natured way, but still.)

“You’re one of Barbara’s friends, aren’t you,” Gordon sounded like he didn’t entirely like Pamela, but she had never explicitly done anything to give him reason to, so he couldn’t really not like her. He stayed still for a beat, before stepping back from the doorway and inviting them in. He shut the door behind them, and waved to the chairs in front of his desk. Harley and Pamela both sat down, and Montoya remained by the door, and Harley couldn’t help but notice her hand lingered awfully close to the gun on her hip. She rolled her eyes.

Clearing her throat, Harley watched Gordon sit down in his cushy chair on the opposite side of the desk, and then she looked at Pamela. For reassurance. Pamela nodded at her, “Go on.”

“Jack, he’s got these two places he hides stuff in. Do you, uh, got some paper?” Unceremoniously, Commissioner Gordon slid a pad of yellow paper across the desk and set a black pen on top of it. Then he sat back in his chair and looked at it rather expectantly. He was usually a bit more friendly with her, Harley noticed, but then again, her boyfriend—ex boyfriend—did shoot his kid, so… Yeah, okay, his hatred was justified. She picked up the pen and paper, and wrote down the two addresses. One was near the bay, and the other all the way on the other side of Gotham— just outside the city, actually. She also wrote down six certain numbers.

After handing the paper back to Gordon, who started looking at it a bit carefully, Harley added, “Forewarning… The first’s ones got a lotta Jack’s men who hang out there. And they ain’t nice— just a bunch’a big assholes with a lotta weapons. Second ones’ empty s’long as Jack ain’t there, and he ain’t there now. He hides stuff in a cellar ‘round the back of that one.” Gordon hummed in response, then asked, “What’s this?” He pointed at this six digits below the addresses. “Code to a safe in the cellar.” She told him.

Looking behind Harley and Pamela, he gave a brief nod to Montoya, and he stood from his desk. “I’d appreciate it if you two remained in the station until we check out these addresses.” He said this to Harley and Pamela, and it was a demand, not a request. “I trust you’ll keep her out of trouble, Ms. Isley.” Harley really did roll her eyes at this, and Pamela just looked at him blankly. Shrugging, Gordon and Montoya left the room, Montoya grabbing her walkie talkie and talking into it as the door shut.

“Guess we’re stuck here for how long.” Harley huffed, swinging her feet up onto the desk.

“Manners,” Pamela stated, looking pointedly at Harley’s dirty shoes on Gordon’s shiny wood desk. Complying, Harley put her feet back on the floor, but still she stuck her tongue out like a little kid at Pamela. Then, chewing her lip absentmindedly, Harley watched Pamela, whose eyes kept glancing to the clock behind Gordon’s desk. “Pammy, can I tell ya somethin’? The thing ya wanted me ta tell ya last night, actually.”

Eyes shifting from the clock to Harley, Pamela looked intrigued as she encouraged her, “You can tell me anything, you should know this.”

Okay, uh… How exactly do you tell your girlfriend(?) that your boyfriend paralyzed a girl and murdered a boy because you were with her? Harley questioned to herself, her brain going a mile a minute. It’s not a typical conversation to have. “Of course, ya know what he did to Babs, and that boy,” Harley started, and Pamela nodded in a manner that showed that it was obvious she knew, and Harley went on, a little awkwardly, “He… Did that stuff to threaten me because he found out about you and me?”

“Excuse me?”

“He— He told me that he’d kill ya, too, if he saw me with ya again,” Harley further explained, “Last night, I said I might not see ya again. That’s why, but… If this works out, I don’t gotta worry about that.” Hopefully, Harley added in her mind. To Harley’s surprise, (or, maybe not to her surprise. She knew Pamela was tougher than pretty much everyone she could think of) Pamela just shook her head, sighed, and asked like it was really funny, “He thinks he can kill me?” She smiled smugly, “He wouldn’t have a chance in hell.”

Before Harley could answer, an all-too familiar voice called from behind the office door, “Put your pants on before we come in there, ‘kay?” And in the next second Selina was walking in arm-in-arm with Bruce Wayne, such a wide smile on her face her nose and the corner’s of her eyes were crinkled. Harley, honestly, was sure that smile on Selina made her heart melt.

“Not very much time to ‘put our pants on’,” Pamela acknowledged, and, not missing a beat, Selina responded to her with, “You think I would’ve been opposed to seeing your ass, Pamela?” And Pamela winked at her. Bruce looked a bit uncomfortable standing there, and Harley felt kind of bad for him. Poor guy. Focusing back on Selina, Harley grinned at her and asked what she was doing here. Tilting her head and detaching herself from Bruce so she could sit herself up on Gordon’s desk, Selina scoffed loudly, “You really think I’m gonna miss this? Helllll no. Harley, sweetie, I’ve been waiting how long for this?” A long while, that’s about the best Harley could think of. Too long, in fact.

Bruce cleared his throat, gaining their attention, and he informed them, “I spoke to Commissioner Gordon when he was about to leave… If you told the truth, Harley, he’s willing to provide you police protection should the Joker come after you.”

“Bruce is buddies with the Commish,” Selina added, right as Harley saw a couple of diamond rings on her fingers, glinting in the office light, and she rolled her eyes. She supposed it was pretty convenient this thief’s boyfriend happened to be able to pull some strings with the local police.

“Thank you, Bruce,” Pamela nodded at him.

Gordon came walking into his office hours later, and the first thing he did was tell the group that Jack was arrested. He was being driven to Arkham, Gotham’s insane asylum, as they spoke, and (as long as he didn’t escape) he probably wouldn’t be going free anytime soon. Harley couldn’t help the lump in her throat. Of course, she did know he’d be hauled into Arkham Asylum, but now she knew he really was there again, she felt bad. Since she’d met Jack, she’d been a patient there more than once, and it wasn’t fun. But this was a good thing! She had to remind herself.

Lips pursing like he was opposed to saying it to her, Gordon held his hand out in an offered shake, and said, “Thank you for your help.” Harley had taken his hand, shook it, and nodded.

After they dropped the shake, Gordon cleared his throat and motioned to the office door, “You kids should go home, rest up.” He suggested, “Tomorrow’s a school day.” Today was a school day, Harley wanted to point out. She was honestly surprised Pamela and Bruce skipped to be here with her. Especially Pamela, who made such a big deal about going to school.

The four exited the GCPD—Montoya nodded in a brief thanks in Harley’s direction and Harley smiled—and stood outside together. Selina hadn’t waited a second to pull out a cigarette and light it, and after taking a long drag and blowing the smoke out her nose, she asked, “Bruce, Pamela, do you mind giving us a minute?” Bruce didn’t question it, he just said okay and headed for his car. Pamela looked to Harley, silently asking if she should, so Harley nodded, and Pamela reluctantly went to her car.

“What’s going on, Kitty?” Harley questioned, leaning against the wall of the GCPD’s building. “Look, I don’t want to shit on your parade,” Selina started, even though Harley was pretty sure that wasn’t the real phrase, “But, unfortunately, I have to.”

Harley raised her eyebrows, urging Selina to continue.

“Penguin called me earlier today.” Selina said as she lifted her cig back to her lips, and Harley small smile faded at that, “He said he wants you to go to the Lounge in 6 days, 11:30 P.M.”

“Fuck,” Harley muttered, and then reached her hand out to Selina. Selina looked at it, blankly, so Harley pointed at the lit cig in her hand, so Selina got out another cigarette and tossed Harley it and a match. She could see Pamela looked at her with annoyance, but she didn’t particularly care. She took a drag, and coughed roughly, still not used to it like Selina was, but Selina smoked a ton, so… “He say anything else?” Harley asked, still coughing a little.

“No. Said that, then hung up.” Selina dropped her cigarette onto the ground, crushed it into the ground with her shoe, then asked as she glanced at Pamela’s car, “You gonna tell her?” Quickly, Harley shook her head. It wasn’t that important as long as she didn’t fuck up whatever Penguin had in mind and didn’t, like, die or get arrested or something.

“Good idea,” Selina agreed. “Come see me sometime before then, okay?”

“Alright, Kitty,” Harley said, and right after she threw her cig down, Selina pulled her into a hug. Harley hugged her back, smiling into Selina’s shoulder, as Selina muttered, “Good going today. I love you, kid.”

“I love ya, too.”

Selina kissed her on the cheek, before she pulled away and winked at her, “Have a good time with Pamela.” Harley stuck her tongue out at her as she headed for Bruce’s car.

September 12th, 1963

Taking one of Pamela’s combs, Harley tried to force her bangs into a spot where they would cover the big, ragged ‘J’ that was scarring in the middle of her forehead. It wouldn’t stay, it wouldn’t cover the obviousness of the scar, and she was close to throwing the comb at the bathroom mirror. He just had to put his damn ‘J’ right in plain sight. “You stupid, useless fucking piece of—“ She dropped the comb as there was a knock on the door. It was Pamela, and she asked, “Harley, are you alright?”

“Yeah,” Harley bit, immediately regretting how angry she sounded, but she was angry. With him. And she regretted having him arrested when she wished she would have instead showed up and stuck a heater between his eyes. Pull the trigger. Pamela said her name again, voice careful, and Harley inhaled slowly before smiling into the mirror and answering like normal, “All good, Red. Gimme a sec.”

She listened to Pamela’s footsteps fade down the hall.

The fight with her bangs continued for a minute more, before she, a little aggressively, shoved the comb back with the others and left the bathroom. She found Pamela, who was sitting in the kitchen reading a book (Harley thought she was a major nerd), and she was wearing her glasses and had her eyebrows furrowed in that way that showed she was thinking. When Harley walked in, though, she shut her book and set it down on the counter and stood up. Over to Harley she walked.

Cupping Harley’s cheeks, Pamela kissed her so, so softly Harley’s heart skipped a beat and she wished even more she had met Pamela first instead of him. She took her hands away from Harley’s face, and ran them down the —slightly too big—white blouse she lent Harley, smoothing it out, then down her pale red skirt. Pamela had promised she’d take Harley clothes shopping soon. The school’s dress code was strict as hell. Girls weren’t allowed to wear any kind of pants, just skirts and dresses that went to their knees, and they were pretty much limited to wearing blouses or sweaters. “You look nice,” Pamela told her, and she huffed a little, unintentionally.

A frown came on Pamela’s lips, “Today’s a good day, Daffodil,” She assured, “He… Is gone, and you can live your life normally again, okay?”

Hesitantly, and mostly just to satisfy Pamela, Harley gave a short nod.

“Are you ready to go, then?” Another nod.

After getting her schedule from the (not very kind) secretaries in the office, Harley found herself at Dr. Leland’s science classroom about fifteen minutes late. The secretaries weren’t in any particular rush to help her out. She couldn’t say she blamed them for having such a grudge against her, she couldn’t honestly say she didn’t think she deserved to have most people hate her. Against her will more than anything, Harley turned the doorknob and walked in, getting twenty student’s eyes on her along with Dr. Leland. Why do people gotta stare when someone walks in a room? Harley asked herself.

You know the feeling when you just know someone is talking about you, even though you can’t hear what they’re saying? That’s how Harley was feeling right then, about twenty people. Harley wasn’t bothered by people talking bad about her— no, she couldn’t care less. She’d been with him, someone she loved, who could and had done and said things that made her feel a million times worse than any immature comment made by a bunch of school kids she hardly knew could make her feel. But she didn’t enjoy it. She didn’t enjoy the eyes on the ‘J’ scar she couldn’t hide, she didn’t enjoy their eyes on her at all.

Honestly, it took all her will to refrain from stopping them— violently.

“Harleen,” Dr. Leland said, drawing Harley’s attention from those eyes, and she sounded surprised, and maybe even happy, “I’m glad to see you. Don’t worry about being late… Take a seat.”

Harley sat herself in an empty desk near the back of the classroom, in between a blonde girl and a blonde guy who had this funny blonde beard thing going on. And, you know what was bothering Harley the most about the student’s staring? It was the fact they weren’t even trying to be subtle. They were turned blatantly around in their seats and looking right at her.

Dr. Leland turned around to the chalkboard, and Harley wasted no time in giving them the bird.

The next thing she knew, the blonde guy was leaning over the side of his desk. “Just ignore them,” he said quietly, and then he smiled at her. Harley appreciated it, she really did. “I’m Oliver.” He introduced, then he nodded to the girl, who had apparently leaned in, too, to join the conversation, “This is Dinah.” Harley realized she knew Dinah— Dinah Lance, she was in a band, which was actually good, and she was really, really cool. Oliver was her boyfriend, Harley was pretty sure, and she was sure both of them were friends with Bruce. Dinah gave a small smirk, as well, “If it makes you feel better, all of these kids are total squares.”

A grin grew on Harley’s lips, “Thanks, girl.”

Harley found herself around the back of the school after a couple classes, found herself smoking a cigarette, near a couple other guys who were smoking, too. Even if Dinah and Ollie were really nice to her, she still couldn’t help not feeling very peachy. Her chest felt tight and hurt and her head ached, everything sounded too loud and everyone was too much. She liked school, she did, but that was before she was highly associated to the country’s worst criminal. Now was different. Back then, all she had to think about were her grades, and her gymnastics. And she hadn’t seen Pamela since the morning, and she really, really needed to see her, but she didn’t know where she was. She didn’t feel so bad when she was with Pamela, or Selina.

“Your boyfriend put my little brother in a coma,” One of the guys who was smoking said, and Harley looked at him. “‘M sorry.” She said, and she was. He stared at her, cold, and threatened her, “I should kick your ass, slut.”

This, this is what made her really angry. She’d been beaten. By her dad. By her boyfriend. Countless times. “No one’s laying a hand on me ever again,” Harley snapped at him, throwing her cigarette straight at his face, “Fuck off, before I put ya in a hospital.”

Surprisingly, he did.

As happy as Harley was for the people being nice to her, like Dr. Leland and Dinah and Ollie and Kara and Ms. Kane, people like the boy who was smoking outnumbered those people and made Harley feel infinitely more shitty. She didn’t ever actually think about how much Jack—Joker—had hurt people. As far as she had been aware, when he hurt other people it was just a game, a joke, a laugh, and when he hurt her, it was her deserving it and he needed something to take out stress and anger on. She didn’t see it like that now, and truth hurts.

All she wanted was the day to end.

Eventually it did. The final bell rang at 3:55 P.M., and Harley was sure she ran to Pamela’s car faster than the school’s track star, Barry Allen, could have ran. It took several more minutes for Pamela to finally appear outside the building, Harley easily finding her red fire of hair amongst the students still leaving, and Harley was so relieved to see her, she was about to run up to her and jump on her and kiss her like she did the other night. But she couldn’t do that, not in public. When Pamela did get over to her, though, she and Harley hugged. People were watching them, Harley knew, probably wondering what in the hell this rich, beautiful, stone fox of a girl was doing hanging around… Her. But Harley really did not give a shit.

“Daffodil,” Pamela squeezed her, before drawing back, “How was your day?”

Harley shrugged, laughing a little quietly, “It was okay.”

Red lips pouting a little, Pamela told her, “It’ll be a process,” And she really didn’t seem so surprised that Harley had a pretty shitty day. “Mmm… Let’s go, I’m going to cheer you up, sweetie.” They both got in Pamela’s nice car then, and Pamela started driving to her house. Harley loved her so much. Truly, she did.

When they got to Pamela’s home, Pamela insisted Harley sit on the sofa in the living room, and she disappeared further into the house. Harley sat there, in the quiet, and waited for Pamela to come back.

It took a few minutes, but Pamela did return, and when she did she was holding in one arm a big, fluffy blanket, and in her other hand she had a big bowl of ice cream, pretty much drowned in rainbow sprinkles and caramel, and she gave that to Harley before sitting with her. Harley couldn’t help the smile that grew on her face as Pamela wrapped the big green blanket around both of them and encouraged Harley to lean on her. “Pammy,” Harley giggled a little as she cuddled into Pamela, who rolled her eyes. “I don’t know how you can stand to eat that much sugar,” She said, “But if it cheers you up… Who am I to argue?”

Jack wouldn’t have given a single fuck if she had a crummy day, Harley knew that.

Pamela pressed a kiss to Harley’s temple as Harley ate a spoonful of the ice cream, and said so quietly Harley almost didn’t hear her, “I love you, Harls.”

“You’re such a doll,” Harley felt her face was heating up, even despite the chill of the ice cream, and she made sure to tell her, “I love ya so much.”

Jack was arrested. He was in Arkham Asylum, where he couldn’t hurt her or Pamela or anyone she knew. Quickly, without much thought, she leaned forward and set her bowl down on the coffee table, before twisting where she sat and kissing Pamela. Gently, at first, but she deepened the kiss soon after starting it. Kissing the Soc made her stomach feel off, but not in a bad way at all, no. Pamela’s fingers ran through Harley’s blonde hair, in a consistent pattern, softly and carefully, as she kissed the greaser back.

She couldn’t help how emotional she was. She could feel the tears coming down her cheeks before Pamela realized they were there and stopped kissing Harley. “What’s wrong?” Pamela asked, worry clear in her tone, but Harley just shook her head, “Nothing’s wrong. Ya make me really happy, Pamela Isley.”

She was okay. Pamela was okay. She was so happy with Pamela.

Nothing could ruin that, she was sure.

Chapter Text

September 14th, 1963

“Fucking told you, Bruce!” Selina didn’t hesitate even a second to turn around and flip Bruce the bird after she got a strike, first try. Unfazed, Bruce took his wallet from his pocket and pulled a crisp hundred-dollar-fucking-bill (rich people, Harley thought a bit sourly) from it. He gave it to Selina as some kid went to go set up the pins again. Satisfied with herself, Selina stuffed the bill in her front pocket (making it no longer crisp and neat), and turned to look at Harley and Pamela as she clapped her hands together, “Okay! Stop exchanging lipstick colors, ladies,” She said and then pointed at Pamela, “It’s your turn.”

Harley wasn’t gonna lie; the best thing about this particular bowling alley was that the lights were absolute shit and if you sat in the right place, no one could see you making out (A.K.A., where Harley had pointedly sat with Pamela). She’d figured that out a while ago and was, currently, not disappointed that she had. She kissed Pamela softly on the lips one last time. For luck, right? And then Pamela got up and ran her hands down her wavy skirt to flatten out the wrinkles, and Selina took where she was sitting.

“So,” Selina drawled, as they both watched Pamela, “You worried any?”

For a moment she was confused, but then she remembered. Two days. Two days, then she had to do Penguin’s… Thing. “I guess so,” Harley admitted, “Haven’t done anything for him in a couple’a years.”

“Shouldn’t be too bad,” Selina tried, “…Well, maybe. Probably just just don’t get caught, or shot, and you’ll be golden.”

Pamela knocked about half the pins down, and Selina called out to her, “In your face, bitch!” And Pamela turned to glare at her, before going back to what she was doing as the kid brought her back the ball. “Thanks for the solid advice, Kitty.” Harley said rather sarcastically. Of course she knew not to get killed or caught. Just how dumb did she act for Mistah J?

“You get laid yet?” Selina asked abruptly, and Harley stared at her. “What?” Selina asked, shrugging her shoulders and waved at Pamela’s backside, “Do you not see her ass?”

“Have you gotten laid?” Harley turned, and Selina winked, “It’s not hard to give Bruce Wayne a woody.”

She stuck her finger in her mouth and gagged exaggeratedly, while Selina laughed. Harley didn’t need to know that, really. “Please keep your knowledge of your boy’s boners ta yourself.”

“It’s pretty big,” Selina continued, and Harley smashed her hands over her ears and half-yelled, “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck—“ Over and over to drown her friend out. Look, Bruce might be hot, but Harley didn’t want to think about Selina and Bruce’s sex lives, thank you very much. Once she was pretty sure Selina was done, she took her hands away and stopped talking and caught the last word of Selina’s speech, “—Hard.”

Harley looked at Bruce with such disgust, and the poor guy had no idea why she was looking at him so.

“I sleep in your bed,” She realized with horror, “I actually hate you, girl,” Harley told Selina rather truthfully currently, and Selina was laughing as Pamela began to walk over to them. “What are we discussing?”

“Bruce’s dick,” Selina supplied, and Pamela stopped walking for a moment, mouth open like she was going to say something, but then she just turned right back around and walked away, glaring at Bruce as she passed him. He looked so confused, Harley almost felt bad, but then again, she was stuck with the image of him and Selina in her head, so she didn’t feel bad at all. The cat started laughing and said loudly so he could hear, “Sorry, Brucie,” Although Harley was 100% sure she wasn’t sorry at all.

“Ya ruined the game, Kitty,” Harley pouted at her, before standing up, and continuing, “I’m gonna go find Pammy and try ta forget everything ya just said.”

After rolling her eyes, Selina nodded, “Whatever, kid. Be careful with Penguin.”

“Course.” With that, she left.

September 15th, 1963

As Harley glanced around the diner, this one much fancier than the usual one she and her Soc-y friends went to, she swirled the straw in her milkshake around incessantly. When she felt off, she got fidgety. And she really didn’t like smoking around Pamela, or at all, but it did calm her nerves. It was still school hours, the school had open campus during lunch, and this nice diner was less than a block away. A lot of the students came here during lunch, and pretty much all of them (except Johnathon Crane, who was probably high and couldn’t care less) were looking their way and chatting a little too quietly for her to think they were talking about the weather or some shit, rather than her and Pamela. Hanging with the Joker’s girl—let alone making out with the Joker’s girl—probably wasn’t going to score you good points.

Pamela sat across from her at the table. She was getting a start on her history homework, writing away quickly, and yet still somehow her writing was so, so neat, and her tongue stuck out her lips a little as she thought. “Pammy,” Harley caught her attention away, and the Soc set down her yellow pencil and met Harley’s eyes, “Yes, dear?”

“Don’t it bother you,” Harley’s eyes darted around the diner as a kind of gesture, “How everyone’s looking at us funny… Like, all the time?”

After a second, Pamela smirked a little bit, and Harley could see her lipstick was a little messed up from her biting her lip, “We’re hot, can you blame them for staring?” This made Harley grin— Pamela did know how to cheer her up. She liked humor plenty. “But, in all seriousness, I don’t care about what they think of me,” She pointed at herself, and then at Harley, “Or of my girlfriend, who happens to be better than them in every aspect I can think of.”

Pamela was a goddamn sweetheart, Harley thought, as she sipped her milkshake, smiling as she did. And she was pretty sure that was the first time either of them had actually called the other girlfriend— any other implication of that had been on Selina’s behalf. And yeah, she wasn’t against it at all. It took her a moment to realize Pamela hadn’t returned to her homework, and was smiling softly at her— so softly, in fact, Harley could barely tell she was smiling. The corners of her lips were tilted just so, and her eyes were so soft. And, you know what? “Yeah, you’re right,” Harley agreed, “Fuck ‘em.”

“That’s the spirit, Daffodil.” Pamela’s fingernails tapped rhythmically on the tabletop, and she wondered aloud, “I can’t help but be worried about you. Are you doing alright? You’ve seemed a bit shaky the past few days.”

“Just tryna get used to shit, that’s all,” Harley grinned, “Ya know, I actually forgot how entertaining it is to watch some asshole kid get whacked with a ruler.” She had witnessed Damian Wayne, who was indeed a dick, as he had proven himself to be on the night she met Pamela, get hit with a ruler by one of the teachers today, and it really was the highlight of her school days so far. “Yes, that happens fairly often,” Pamela shook her head in good nature, and then she lowered her voice a little, “I wish I could kiss you right now, Harleen.”

Harley grinned, absolutely entertained by the suggestion. Who wouldn’t want to kiss Pamela Isley if she offered? “Hmm,” Harley looked around the diner in exaggeration, “Lets see… There’s a bathroom right over there, girl. You wanna grant that wish?”

Scoffing, Pamela tossed her crinkled up straw wrapper at Harley, “Really?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time we made out in a diner bathroom,” Harley pointed out, as she swiped the white paper from her greasy hair and onto the table. “Hey, ya know you’re the one who suggested it.”

“I think I’ll wait, until we’re at home, and I can kiss you all I want.” Pamela stated, “Less chance of anyone hearing you, isn’t that so?”

A laugh came from Harley, sharp and beyond entertained, “Did Pamela Isley just make a sex joke? Are ya suggesting I’m loud?” Pamela nodded unabashedly, her expression teasing, “I don’t think you know how to stay quiet, sweetie.” Trying to stop herself from laughing so much at the fact she made a joke about that, Harley tested her, “You wanna prove your theory, Dr. Isley?”

Without missing a beat, Pamela told her, “I would gladly do so.” She took a sip of her water, smiling with the straw still between her lips, and added, “For science, of course.”

“Oh, of course,” Drinking away at her melting milkshake almost relentlessly like it was going to chill the fire in her cheeks, Harley suggested in only half seriousness, “Ya sure we can’t skip the rest of school, then?” Pamela gave her a look that said ‘absolutely not’, so she shrugged, “Worth a shot. For the record, babe… I’m one million percent sure you’d be the loud one, not me.”

A scoff came from Pamela, seemingly on accident. There was such amusement in her eyes, and she stated like it was simple fact, “That’s bullshit, Daffodil.”

As they headed back to the school, they held each other’s hands, and Harley didn’t think twice about anyone’s bothered stares.

September 16th, 1963

The front door of Pamela’s house creaked a little as she opened it, making her cringe and glance up the staircase like the sleeping beauty would come walking down the stairs. As if she could hear a little squeak from her bedroom… The house was huge. Think, Harls. Harley mentally smacked herself. She stepped outside, shut the squeaky door behind her, and started down the street. She felt guilty that she didn’t exactly tell Pamela she was leaving, but… Pamela had fallen asleep way earlier than she had expected as she and Harley lay together, talking, and she had looked so lovely and peaceful while she was asleep. It seemed a sin to disturb her.

On a slip of paper she wrote in pen she’d gone to Selina’s to help deal with Tim, and she stuck it on the fridge with this cute daisy magnet. So, hopefully that would cut her some slack. And, hopefully she didn’t question Selina on it, but if she did hopefully Selina would get the lie.

If there was anything she could possibly hate more than watching Oswald Cobblepot eat raw fish, she would be surprised. There was this disgusting slurping noise as the man swallowed them down, and they were bloody usually, and they had the eyeballs still, and— ugh. Harley truly didn’t appreciate being a viewer of it. “Ms. Quinn,” Oswald greeted, slurping down another one of the silver bodies, and standing from his chair as she entered the room, followed by the man who’d led her here. Oswald took hold of his cane, and waddled over to her, his sharp nose nearly straight up in the air because of how he had to look up at her. “Ozzy,” She smiled in her dumb-blonde manner, “How’re ya?”

He grunted as he downed another half of a fish, then wiped his hand on his suit pants. “I’ve gotta tell ya,” He sounded amused, and he laughed a little in a dry, wheezing way, “When I heard ya got the Joker arrested, I could hardly believe it. Who would’ve thought?”

Harley paled, “You know it was my fault?” Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Harley didn’t need anyone knowing it was her— she didn’t need that information getting back to Jack—

“I’m the only one who knows, love,” He informed, as if reading her mind, “And as long as you’re planning on doing’ the work, I ain’t got a reason to tell anybody anything. Understand?” Oh, good. Blackmail. That was really the cherry on top. But, sure, that was good blackmail on his behalf. She nodded quickly, “Yeah, of course.”

Oswald chuckled a little, dryly, and started to press, “ You’re young, but you’ve got a lotta potential. Ya sure ya don’t wanna work for me? Ya got that clown away, ain’t nothin’ else for ya is there?”

“After this, I think I’m taking a little break from all this shit,” Harley informed, shuffling her foot against the polished white floor, “Lot has happened lately.” Walking along the dark streets of Gotham gave her time to think. As fun as crime was (because really, it was fun), she wanted this to be the last thing she did, crime-wise, for a while. As long as Pamela didn’t change her mind about her, she wanted to keep this thing going. She’d known Pamela, what? Just over a month? And yet somehow Pamela loved her more and she loved Pamela more than Jack had loved her in all the years they’d been with each other. She wanted to keep that for as long as she could.

Oswald didn’t seem empathetic, he only shrugged his shoulders as he waddled around the room some more, “Our area of work tends to be overwhelming,” He said, “Shouldn’t be anything ya can’t handle.” Unknowing how to respond exactly, Harley stood there with her silly, dumb blonde grin plastered on her pretty face, and to her relief he just kept on talking. “Back to business… Now, don’t worry, it’s an easy job. A few of these gentlemen,” He pointed with his cane to the armed man standing at the door, “are going to help you.”

“What’s the job, Ozzy?”

Oswald nodded at the man at the door, who held out a pistol towards Harley. She eyed it, eyebrows raised, and Oswald seemed to be waiting, so… She took the pistol, the metal cold in her hands. It felt unfamiliar; she hadn’t really used guns much before. Maybe… Once, or twice, while working with Jack. Even then, she wasn’t sure she had actually shot anyone. A person. She shot a couple car tires while Jack sped away from the cops. Then, the man gave her a holster, which she took and worked on putting it on. Penguin spoke up, “As you know, I deal mostly with weapons shipments. You, girl, just have to shoot a few heavily armed guards, try not ta get shot yourself, and steal the things. Understand?” Tim once got shot in the knee and was in the hospital for weeks after he helped Penguin with something like this, Harley remembered, and she cussed silently.

“That ain’t a problem, is it?” Oswald asked, though it wasn’t really a question. Harley answered quickly, “No.” Fact is, you don’t argue with crime bosses, especially not when they’re armed and you really aren’t in comparison. Or when they have as much information as the Penguin happens to have… Not an option. Harley was tough, way tough, but frankly she wasn’t looking forward to being Gotham’s #1 crime boss’s #1 most wanted.

Satisfied, Oswald made his way back over to his desk and he sat. “Good. Go on, then.”

The man with the gun pushed the door open, and held it for Harley. She exited, and he followed.

She took a deep breath, her fingertips lingering on the holster that felt off on her hip—an extra weight—and she tried to not worry so much. She was just going to get this shit done, and then she could be back at home with Pamela. No big deal.

Chapter Text

September 16th, 1963

When she awoke, something felt off. She had her eyes shut still, groggy for some reason, but something was different. At first, she couldn’t place it, the idea nagging at her sleep-eaten mind and bothering her, until she realized. There was no one asleep next to her, no one she was cuddled up against as she had been waking up to the past while, there were no tiny snores and sounds of breathing coming from next to her, the bed was cold rather than warm. Finally, she opened up her eyes, to investigate, and Harley, indeed, wasn’t there. “Harls?” She said aloud, even though it was obvious Harley wasn’t in the vicinity to be able to hear her, and wondered how she had gotten so used to someone else next to her when she woke up every morning. It was domestic, and almost intimate, and odd. Now that it wasn’t here, she missed it.

Pushing the blankets off of herself, Pamela got to her feet, the wood floors freezing. She quickly made the bed as neat as she could, wondering all the while. She knew Harley was here when she fell asleep. They had been talking, here, and they were comfortably cuddled together as usual. Had she said something to chase her off? She had been rather tired, and God knows what odd things people say when they’re half-asleep. “Ugh,” Pamela mumbled, shaking her head at her own silly thoughts. She made her way out her bedroom, hoping to find Harley downstairs with her eyes glued to the T.V. or somewhere. Anywhere. “Harley, are you here?” She called, louder now, as she descended the stairs. There was no answer, just the dead silence that comes with living alone, though as she walked into the kitchen the fridge caught her eye. No, not the fridge, but the note there that certainly wasn’t there last night.

Once she unstuck the magnet from it, Pamela held the blue paper up close to her eyes so she could read Harley’s scribble without getting her glasses from upstairs.

‘Went to Kitty’s to help her with Tim.
I love you Red xoxoxoxo’

A sigh of relief came from Pamela, as she smiled at the ‘I love you’ part and set the note on the counter. Harley was with Selina, not trying to go see The Joker. Pamela actually hadn’t realized she was thinking that she might have, until there was relief she didn’t.

Pamela got down a box of cereal from the cabinet, and seeing the box of the sugary kind (which Harley had forced her to buy because she refused to eat the healthy kind) beside this one made her weirdly miss Harley more. She’d gotten used to how greatly Harley contrasted her own personality, she’d gotten used to Harley’s in-your-face mood. Even when the girl was grumpy and tired in the mornings she was still a radiant ball of sunshine, and now she wasn’t here, it was back to the cold, quietness Pamela had been used to until recently. Now, it felt foreign.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Pamela,” She told herself, out loud to the quiet house. Stupid, to think she’d gotten so used to it.

When Pamela pulled up to Wayne Manor, she immediately saw Selina standing outside, looking oddly tired as usual. It was one of the first things Pamela noticed about Selina— she seemed to be looking worse every week that passed, which was unfortunate. Either she was the only one who noticed, or nobody else seemed to find it important to say anything about it, but she never did find herself saying anything. To Selina or to anyone else.

Spending the day with Selina Kyle wasn’t her initial plan, but she… Admittedly didn’t have much else to do. She’d gotten every bit of homework she had gotten done in school, she was finished with essays and projects that weren’t even due for a long time, and, she didn’t usually do a lot. She could spend time with her plants, she supposed, but she could survive a day with Selina.

“That’s going to kill you, you know,” Pamela observed, finally seeing the white stick in Selina’s fingers and the smoke blowing out her nose. In truth, Pamela really did like Selina. She wasn’t horrible, at the least. She was nice enough, and she took care of Harley, and she wasn’t bad looking, either. Selina raised her finger and flipped Pamela off. Scratch nice off the list. “You tell me that, Bruce tells me that. Clearly… I don’t give a fuck, babe.” Maybe ‘asshole’ was a better description of Selina, after all.

Choosing to ignore this, Pamela decided she’d ask, “Did Harley get to your house alright last night?”

Selina didn’t answer right away as she got rid of her smoke. In fact, she looked downright confused more than anything, her eyebrows furrowed and she just looked at Pamela funny, like Pamela had two-heads or was talking in riddles. After a second, her eyes went just slightly wide like she suddenly knew what Pamela was talking about, and she answered, “Yeah. She left this morning to visit her family.”

“I see,” Pamela said, a little annoyed Harley hadn’t said bye to her at all, but continued on anyway, deciding it was petty to dwell on the matter. Good for Harley. Erasing the thoughts from her mind, she smiled slightly, and asked, “Well, shall we?”

“Why, of course,” Selina purred, and Pamela nodded shortly, and they both went to her car. “I’m actually scared to touch these seats,” Selina admitted, although it was clearly at least a little jokingly, “I hear you and Harley are fans of making out in here.” As Pamela started the car, she looked at Selina and smiled sweetly, “We did that in your car, a couple times.” Looking downright offended, Selina turned her head to stare at her beat-up car in Bruce’s driveway, and said in seriousness, “You absolute bitch.” A laugh escaped Pamela’s lips, rather satisfied with herself for that.

Selina continued to mutter as she pulled a pack of mint gum from her jacket and peeled the shiny paper off a stick, “You a Elvis or a Beatles girl?” She asked, sticking the gum in her mouth and chewing. That was an easy question, “Beatles, no doubt.” She answered, “And you?” Selina raised her thumbs-up so Pamela could see it from her peripheral, and confirmed, “Me too, hot stuff. Elvis is tuff, don’t get me wrong, but the Beatles…”She trailed, and Pamela agreed to this without missing a beat.

“You’re not half as unbearable as I thought, Miss Isley,” Selina clapped her hands together, “Great music taste, nice car, phenomenal ass.” Raising her eyebrow, Pamela glanced over at her, “Phenomenal, you say?” Really, Selina Kyle could not possibly be 100% straight. That seemed to be as impossible as Lena Lesbian Luthor being straight. Selina scoffed, like it was clear, “Duh, babe. Bruce, he has a really nice ass— He wears really nice fitting dress pants, sometimes—but yours is like, Number One. Wear tighter skirts, you’d be doing the whole world a favor.”

“Mmm… Thank you, Selina.” Really, what else could she say?

“Also,” Selina started up, apparently having multiple suggestions for Pamela, “Buy better lipstick, something that doesn’t smudge as easy. Every time I see your makeup stained all over my best friend’s body, a piece of me dies.”

“Every time I hear you say anything about Bruce’s downstairs bits, a piece of me dies. The torture is not one-sided.” She countered. Selina considered this, and told her with a laugh, “You raise a good point.” Even so, she knew well Selina wasn’t going to stop being utterly disgusting when she felt like it, and she herself damn well wasn’t going to stop kissing her girlfriend, so… “What a productive conversation,” She muttered, and Selina scoffed.

For a while they sat in silence. Not uncomfortably or awkwardly, just silence.

Pamela was actually enjoying Selina’s company, surprisingly. She wasn’t very social, she didn’t like most people, and in fact, she wouldn’t hesitate to feed half the people she knew to a man-eating plant or something of the sort.But Selina wasn’t all that—

Looking over at Selina just as the cat pulled a silver flask out of her jacket’s deep pocket, Pamela let out a long sigh. “Are you fucking serious?” Selina stopped mid-sip, and raised an eyebrow like she wasn’t sure why Pamela was annoyed. After a second, she held the flask over the center console, and offered, “Do you want some or something?”

With one hand, Pamela swatted at the flask, and side-eyed Selina, “While, no, I’m not opposed to a good time— I’m driving, Selina, and I’m annoyed because you’ve just decided to start drinking in my car out of no where.”

“Whatever, babe,” Selina laughed, drinking from the flask probably faster than she should, in Pamela’s opinion. “I know who to call if I need a designated driver.”

Pamela just shook her head. “Yes, I would gladly do so. Look… Just finish before we get to the store, okay?” Selina wiped her lips, “Not a problem, hon,” Pamela focused on the road, then, trying to ignore Selina.

“You do like her,” Selina suddenly spoke up, “Right?” Pamela blinked, unsure how they’re previous conversation of how well a pair of pants would look on the Cat or not had suddenly gone to this, and she asked, “Please clarify, Selina.” She continued to pick up clothes she thought Selina might look nice in, and drape them over her forearm. Selina scratched the back of her head, and nudged Pamela’s ankle with her toe, “Harley.” She clarified, as she took the clothing Pamela was handing her. This clarification seemed to be what really got Pamela’s attention, and she stood straight, from where she had been leaning down to look at the lowest shelf. “Try those on,” Pamela informed, pointing at the clothes in Selina’s hands, and then answered the question, “Yes, Selina, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be spending so much time with her.”

Not entirely satisfied, Selina shook her head as she and Pamela went back for the dressing room, “Jack spent the last several years with her and, well, he wasn’t that big a fan.” Pamela wanted to sneer at his name. It was his name, sure, but it just felt so weird for him to be called something so… Human. “You think I’m anything like him, dear?” Pamela questioned, as Selina locked herself in the dressing room. That would be insulting, really.

Pamela sat outside the room, on a tiny metal bench, and tapped her foot. “No.” Selina replied, over the shuffling of clothes, “But I really don’t know you that well, Pamela, this is the first time we’ve been around each other without Harls, or Bruce. Harley’s my best friend, I just want—“

“To be sure. I know.” Pamela acknowledged, eyes dropping to the floor like it were extravagant and not a dull, grey clutter of cold tile. “I like her, a lot.” Selina hummed at this, long and just a single-note, before she questioned further, “How many girls have you been with?”

Pamela raised her eyebrow. Selina pushed, “Gotta make sure you’re not a player, babe.”

Pamela still didn’t answer, just stared still at the dressing room door. Pamela was fine with questions, just, she wasn’t a fan of them when they started to get in her personal life. And, admittedly, while she had been with a few ladies in Seattle, she couldn’t honestly say that she liked any of them nearly as much as she liked Harley. But that was cheesy, and dumb.

Selina seemed to give up. “You’ve done nothing to say that you suck, so, congrats.” Pamela heard her clap. “But if you so much as lay a finger on her, I’ll kill you.”

“That so?”

Selina laughed, “Someone’s got to give you the Dad speech.”

Unable to help a smile, Pamela assured, “Well, there won’t be any reason for you to commit murder anytime soon, then.” Selina nodded as she stepped out of the dressing room, wearing a different top and pants than what she’d came in with. Pamela looked at her, hummed, then waved her hand dismissively, “Try the other pants with that shirt.”

“Wow, okay.” Selina retreated back into the dressing room, and although she sounded annoyed, she was smiling like Pamela was. Pamela tapped her foot a little, as she waited. After a moment, Selina came back out with the different shirt on, and Pamela rather exaggeratedly looked her up and down. “There you go.” She said. Selina tugged on the hem, looking down on it, and rolled her eyes, “Since when do you get to make my fashion choices?”

“Since I realized how needed my help was.” Selina actually had very nice taste in fashion, Pamela had to admit that much. Surprising, given she was in the same social group as, say, Jonathon Crane, who’s hat he always wore looked more like the kind of dull, brown, itchy sack used as a scarecrow head. “Also,” Pamela smirked, as Selina started back for the dressing room, “I saw you bag that necklace.”

Green eyes flitted down to her neckline, where the silver chain and diamonds rested, where they certainly hadn’t been before they came to this store. The Cat grinned, pulling a bracelet off her wrist and tossing it at Pamela, “Don’t worry, got you something pretty, too.”

“Aren’t you generous.”

Selina winked.

The drive home was rather nice. Pamela was in a surprisingly good mood after spending time with Selina, who really was much more bearable than she imagined, even despite her… Flaws. It was nighttime now, but it was Gotham, so the streets and city were bright as hell. There were kids walking about the alleys and sidewalks, couples coming out of the diners holding hands (including, Pamela couldn’t help but notice, Lena Luthor and Kara Danvers. Those two were really something special, Pamela thought).

She pulled into her driveway, and as she reached into the passenger seat, she remembered the silver bracelet on her wrist, and rolled her eyes to herself. Getting out of the car, she locked it, fiddled with her purse for a moment to retrieve her house key, and started for the porch.

It wasn’t until she was at the porch steps she noticed the person sitting in front of the door, and he was looking at her as she approached. Immediately, she stopped, stood straighter, and spoke, “Who the hell are you?” She couldn’t see— the porch lights were off, and it was dark out. For the record— she wasn’t hesitant to stab the mystery man to his death with her house key if he tried shit.

He stood, then, and he must have noticed her stiffen up, because he raised his hands above his head, and said, “Chill.”

Pamela waited for him to talk. Her eyes were starting to adjust to the dark more, and she could just make out that he was a shady-looking guy— And, sure, Pamela normally wasn’t one to assume based off looks, but this guy was waiting for her on her porch in the middle of the night, so… She had rights.

“I’m Floyd,” He said, “Harley’s friend.”

Harley had talked about him. He was in Joker’s little gang. Speciality? Guns. According to Harley, he could shoot anything, perfectly. 20 headshots in a row, all right in the center of their foreheads? No problem. He was a hired killer.

Not really the kind of guy you’d want knowing your home address.

Once she cleared her throat, she interrogated, “Why are you here, exactly, Floyd?” His name rolled off her tongue with disgust, and he clearly noticed it.

In annoyance, he dug around in his pocket. “Look, you seem like a b—“ Pamela raised her eyebrow in warning, and he switched to a different dialogue, “You don’t seem like someone I’d help normally, but, apparently you helped Harley out big time, so I figured I’d pay you back.” He pulled whatever he was looking for from his pocket and tossed it down the steps to her. Pamela caught it, and blinked at the cold metal she was now holding. It was a key. She looked back at Floyd.

“Joker’s not a happy dude right now, specifically with you and Harley, I’m sure you know that,” He explained, “And I’m a killer-for-hire.” He pointed at the key she was now holding, “I’m sure you can figure out the rest.”

It clicked in her brain, and Pamela held up that key along with her house key up side-by-side, and… Yeah. Clearing her throat again, she put both in her purse, and turned her attention back to Floyd. “Might wanna watch your back for a while,” Floyd told her.

“Thank you.” She said.

He gave a short nod, starting down the porch steps. He stopped right before her, and muttered, “I care about Harley, that’s the only reason you don’t have a bullet in your head right now.”

Entertained, Pamela rebutted, “You might be ‘Deadshot’, darling, but you’d be dead in a heartbeat if you tried.”

Floyd didn’t say anything for a moment, he just looked her in the eye. Then, he chuckled a little, and raised his hand in goodbye as he walked into her front lawn and started his way away.

Pamela took a deep breath as she went to the door, and took one of her house keys out. On the bright side, she had a spare key to give Harley when she came back. She went inside, took her shoes off by the door, and set her purse down.

The knowledge her girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend was trying to send men into her home to kill her was a pretty peaceful thought. Muttering to herself, Pamela went and made herself tea. Tea was soothing, and really, she needed something to ease her mind right about now.

At the dining table she sat, and sipped her tea slowly, the hot drink easing her stress away. She really wasn’t sure how she’d managed to end up in this mess, but, she got Harley out of it, right? It was so stupid to think she’d known the golden retriever of a girl for, what? A month or so? And she was more willing to risk murderers breaking in her home than breaking off her relations with Harley. “How stupid are you, Pamela,” She sighed to herself.

Then the phone rang, loud and sudden, and immediately robbing Pamela of her moment of relaxation.

She set down her cup of tea, and stood, going to the phone in the kitchen. She took it off the wall and held it to her ear, “Hello?” She was sure she sounded pissy, but she had a right to be pissy.

There was just silence.

Exasperated, Pamela put the phone back a little roughly, and went back to her tea. She sat down, and rested her face in her hands.

“Fuck me.”