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a few bombs and bad weather

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Harley's pictured playtime more like sunny beaches and touristic hubs than sweltering deserts and terrorist hideouts. The main difference? Too much sand. It's everywhere, it creeps into her boots, obscures tracks, gnaws away villages, buries contact mines—wait... contact mines?


She tackles Carrie faster than she could have warned her. The resulting explosion triggers a chain reaction that brings an entire block of houses down on them. Harley's been hoping for rain, yes – as in water, not minced meat or chunks of walls.

"You all right?" she asks and hacks up the swirling dust that burns in her eyes, her throat, her lungs, that scrunches between her teeth and makes her nose itch. She sneezes, and every movement shakes another shower of debris from her hair. "Nothing broken or anything?"

"You saved my life," Carrie groans, as if she were disgruntled about it. Then again, she just landed none too gently on a ground littered with sharp rocks and smithereens. They dig into Harley's hands and knees, cover her clothes with fine powder. It's like that one baking adventure that ended with her flying into broken jars of flour, sugar, and chocolate sprinkles.

"Don't mention it," she rasps, throat drier than the Atacama. Some refreshments would be nice. "I didn't wanna travel alone."

Carrie's thanks get lost in Harley's ringing ears, but the kiss that follows is like gravity: understanding is not necessary to experience attraction. Harley may be an acrobat, but even she's never learned to defy it.