He greets her with flowers in his hand, which puzzles her until she realizes what they're for."Oh Eddie, how nice of you to bring something for Pammie! Although..." She looks at the bouquet dubiously, "...she doesn't really like cut flowers, you know what I mean? Oh, it's the thought that counts," she says hastily at his chagrined expression. "But...maybe I'd better just tuck them in my room and not let her see them."
She bustles off to hide them in her closet--really, what was Eddie thinking? When she comes back out he's looking around the apartment avidly, like he's memorizing every detail. One of the hyenas is sniffing at his cuffs curiously, but he ignores it and turns his attention to her, taking in her jeans, sneakers, Wonder Woman t-shirt and pigtails as if they were all very important clues. "And how are you this evening, Harleen?"
He always calls her Harleen, not Harley. Sometimes "Miss Quinzel" when he's making fun of her a little. It's kind of weird, but no weirder than his penchant for green bowlers and purple ties.
"Ready for some fun!" she announces, bouncing a little.
He raises an eyebrow. "Your definition of 'fun,' Miss Quinzel, often encompasses a dramatic amount of violence and bloodshed. I fear that I am referring only to getting a hamburger." He looks, for a moment, chagrined again. "I had hoped for a more elegant meal, but a brief reconnaissance of my wallet--and subsequently my couch cushions--revealed that my options were limited."
She puts her hands on her hips and tilts her head at him. "Edward Nigma, I am perfectly capable of having non-violent fun, and don't you forget it." Then she laughs. "'Sides, what have you got against violence?"
He tucks his cane under one arm and offers her the other; she takes it with exaggerated delicacy. "My lady, I have no problem at all with violence, except that it so often ends up recoiling on my own fragile person."
"Oh Eddie. I'll keep you safe if any real fun breaks out."
He laughs and shakes his head. "Harleen. You never cease to amaze me."
: : :
She finishes up her hamburger and wipes ketchup off her mouth. Eddie is feeling frustrated about a case and is talking about all the details of it, his narrow hands waving madly. She can't get a word in edgewise, but that seems only fair since usually it's her who does most of the talking when they get together. It's got something to do with Jerry Lee Lewis's third wife, pole vaulting, and superconductors, but damned if she can figure out what he's talking about. Even more than Mr. J, his mind skips about and makes connections she can't follow. She's a simple girl, after all: she likes to hit things with a giant hammer and take care of her hyenas.
The brief thought of Mr. J makes a pang go through her, but she pastes on a smile and listens to Eddie intently, her chin propped in her hands. It's funny, she thinks: usually when she goes on and on and Eddie listens intently, she assumes he's not listening to her at all. Mr. J never did, and she never really expected him to. Why should a genius like him listen to her? But sometimes...sometimes Eddie will do something later that makes her think he actually was listening to everything she said. Like the time she was telling him about her babies and their favorite toys and what they liked to eat, and a few days later he showed up with a chew toy for them that she had mentioned they might like (it was a Robin doll, and they did like it quite a lot). So maybe he really is paying attention to everything she says. Like she's a riddle he wants to figure out.
The thought almost makes her laugh. The Joker always treated her like a joke, and now Eddie's treating her like a riddle. That's pretty funny.
Eddie stops talking and tilts his head to this side inquisitively. "I had no idea liquid nitrogen was so amusing, my dear Harleen." He knows she hasn't really been listening closely, but he doesn't seem to mind. "Care to share the humor?"
She covers her smile. "No, a girl's gotta have some secrets," she says.
"I don't believe I shall ever figure you out," he says. He sounds pleased by this.
Harleen thinks maybe she likes being a riddle better than she liked being a joke.
A riddle wrapped in an enigma, she thinks, and then gets laughing and can't stop even after they're thrown out of the diner and have to walk home though the cold night air together.
She doesn't tell Eddie why she's laughing.
She'll let him figure it out himself.