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Laughing Because it hurts to cry

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Chapter One

It was over.

Harley watched in barely concealed jealously as Flag embraced his girlfriend, her heart aching painfully in her chest as he kissed her.

She looked away.

That should be her and her Mistah J.

Her puddin' was gone, gone and he wasn't coming back this time. She was all alone…again.

"You're never alone." Rumbled a low voice and she shivered. That voice, so eerily familiar, she knew it almost as well as she knew her own. It had been her constant companion for over a decade, and only her puddin' knew the extent of the pain that voice put her through.

Tears welled in her eyes and she blinked them back, stiffening as a large gentle hand landed on her shoulder.

Deadshot.

Floyd.

He looked worried, his dark eyes soft in a way she remembered from that life, one man in particular. She fought not to snarl, forcing her gaze away from his.

"You alright, dollface?"

She smiled, a small broken thing full of pain and anger.

"I'm fine." The words were a lie, they nearly always were.

He nodded, taking them for what they were but kind enough not to ask about it. Instead he turned to Flag, who was watching them with gratitude lining his features.

"What now?"

"Now? I've been offered presidential pardons for all of you for your services. Waller is dead, though, so we'll need to head back to base to go over the details."

The criminals stared at him, stunned. They hadn't thought it would actually happen but Flag's expression was nothing but sincere.

They were being released.

"Puddin' too?" Flag sent her a soft look, not unlike Deadshot's and she wanted to kill him.

"…yea. Him too."

A weight lifted in her chest, if only for a moment. She'd helped her puddin' even if he wasn't there to see it.

Following the man out of the trashed station as a plane dropped to pick them up the group climbed into the aircraft and tried to plan out what they would do with their lives now that they were officially free.

All the while each of them tried to ignore the tiny spark of warmth in their chests that had appeared upon completing their heroic deeds. After all they were bad guys…right?


 

Freedom.

She had longed for it since being thrown in Belle Reve two years previous and it was finally in her grasp, with only the stipulation that in case of another metahuman attack she return to fight. It was a stipulation she'd had no problem agreeing with, especially since she'd regained a family in her teammates.

Deadshot smiled at her, pulling her into a hug.

"Got any plans, doll?"

She shook her head. She couldn't go back to Gotham, not without her lover. There were too many memories, too much pain, and if she went back without him, she'd lose the slight dredges of sanity she had left.

Without her Joker, she would burn Gotham to the ground and laugh in the ashes. He was her anchor and he was gone.

"Why not return home?" Fla- no, Rick asked her and she frowned at him, curiously. He held up a thin folder with the words "Top Secret" printed on it.

"Waller, had you under surveillance long before you became the Queen of Gotham, Harls. She saw you as a threat, especially after you continued to show up at nearly every strange crime scene in your hometown. She put you on the list while you were in Eichen House, but she didn't find out you were Harleen Quintzel until after you were imprisoned here."

Harley stared at him, at the file in his hands, and for once the voices in her head were silent.

She missed her hometown fiercely, always had, but she didn't want to leave her new friends, not so soon after her lover' death. On the other hand, Gotham was the most interesting town in the country outside of her own, and she knew she'd be restless and bored anywhere else.

An idea hit her and she smiled.

"What do you guys think about moving to Beacon Hills? I hear the weather is great, there's a lot of death and maiming, oh and animal attacks. The animal attacks are important."

They all looked at her, then at each other, contemplating the decision and her heart pounded violently in her chest. Maybe they didn't feel the pull like she did. Maybe they wouldn't come.

She didn't want to be alone.

Deadshot smiled first and the others followed his lead.

"Well, I'm game."

Captain Boomerang, and she was so not going to call him that all the time, shrugged.

"Got nothin' better to do. Plus, there's a nice little jewelry store in Los Angeles, I've been meaning to hit."

"I will go." Katana agreed nodding.

Croc frowned and Harley smiled. "There's a large lake on the preserve that you can live in."

He grinned. "Alright."

Rick chuckled, his arm wrapped firmly around his fiancée. "I'm retiring in two weeks. Y'all look for a place."

They nodded, and Deadshot smirked.

"Wanna meet my Baby?"

Harley giggled, nodding wildly. "Can I? Pretty please?!"

"C'mon."

She waved bye to the others and Rick waved back.

"See y'all in two weeks."

She smiled, and excitement pumped in her blood.

She was going home, her smile sharpened into the deadly grin that her puddin' had loved. The Pack wouldn't know what hit it.

TBC…