#1 Edited by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

New post for a new set of chapters, starting with the first. Sorry I've been slow. ^_^

Find the entire story here!

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“Get down!”

Harley could barely hear the Riddler’s shouts as the pool hall started to collapse around them, chunks of debris falling down as the very foundation was shaken. Only seconds after Two-Face’s confession, there had been a massive blast, some kind of bomb that had liquefied the beams that held the place together, causing the entire structure to begin crumbling.

“Harvey, what the hell?!” Selina screamed as she nimbly dodged another chunk of falling rock, rolling away and trying to crawl for the exit. It all sounded very… fuzzy, to Harley. Riddler holding his cane above his head like it might deflect something, Two-Face savagely shoving a fallen pool table off of himself. It was all like a haze around her.

“Where’s Harley?” she heard Eddie ask… just barely, but she could hear it. The sound of crumbling rock, the pain in her head, it all made it hard to tell if she was actually hearing what she heard, or just pretending that someone she considered a friend cared enough about her to look for her.

Hah, you know they aren’t looking for you, she said to herself, that smart part of her that she tried to ignore, the psychiatrist that came out to play from time to time. They don’t even consider you a proper part of the team, Harley. You’re a liability.

Harley Quinn sniffled, salty tears streaking down her face and mixing with blood. She was right, Harleen was right. They wouldn’t come looking for her.

“Where the hell is Harley?!” Selina shouted. At least, that’s what Harley thought she heard. “Two-Face, do you see her?”

“Maybe I do… maybe I don’t….”

“No damn games, Dent!”

Riddler’s voice again. “Selina, I think I see her!”

How far you’ve fallen. Hallucinating that your friends would care enough to come and find you. Even that clown you considered your true love wouldn’t come looking for you buried under all this rock, you think a couple of felons who don’t even know your last name will come?

“Oh jeez… Eddie, there’s a lot of blood… Harvey, get the hell over here and help us dig her out!”

“Is that brain?”

“Let’s hope not… Harvey!

“Got better things to do, toots,” Two-Face’s voice, followed by a low chuckle as he reached beneath an insofar un-destroyed pool table, withdrawing what appeared to Harley’s watery eyes to be a… bazooka…?

“Come on, put that damn thing down! What’s wrong with you?” Riddler.

“Plenty,” came the returned growl, followed by a quiet whir of the machine powering up. A second later, and a bright streak raced through the pool hall, blasting away the jammed, steel double-doors.

“Oh God… oh God, she’s hurt bad, Ed….”

“I can see that, Selina.” Eddie’s voice sounded a bit edgy, Harley could feel hands all around her, prying away the chunks of rock and wood and trying to lift her.

“Has she been working out? Don’t remember her being this heavy.”

“She’s stuck! Look, her ankle!”

Do these fantasies entertain you, Harley? Thinking that they would go through so much to save you, risk their own lives?

“They’re… they’re my friends… they’d nevah leave me behind… they wouldn’t….” Harley whimpered.

“Of course we’re your friends, kiddo,” Riddler said, his voice rushed as he tried to dig her ankle out from the rock it was buried in. “This will hurt a little.”

It didn’t hurt, not much. The darkness behind her eyes seemed to spiral, twisting imperceptibly and pulling her into oblivion. Maybe she’d go to heaven… maybe Mr. J would be there… though that was doubtful.

Maybe Ivy, instead. That would be nice. Harley had always liked clouds.

____________________

Harley’s eyes flittered slightly, seeing light. Comforting light – the yellowish-white luminescence of a ceiling light that hasn’t been replaced in a few years. The kind of light she was used to seeing. “What’s… what happened…?” she whimpered, closing her eyes for a moment to let her mind adjust to consciousness.

“You got hurt pretty bad,” Selina’s voice. Selina was with her… they hadn’t abandoned her. “The first beam that fell landed right on your head… you bled out quite a bit.”

Harley slowly opened her eyes all the way, her vision was a bit blurry but clearing, and her head ached pretty distinctly. Like an ice cream headache that’s just starting to come on without hitting its peak, but staying steady at that point. “Ya came and got me,” she whispered.

“Of course I did,” Catwoman said, arching a brow. She was sitting in a little folding chair beside the bed, she noticed, leaning forward slightly. They were in her apartment again. “I wasn’t going to just leave you to die, you know me better than that.”

Looks like you didn’t.

The clowngirl bit her bottom lip and turned her head away, looking away from Selina. Her eyes welled up, just a little, enough that she could ignore it, maybe hide it. “Thanks,” she said anyway. “It… it means a lot.”

Selina frowned and leaned in, placing one soft hand on Harley’s forehead and feeling her for a fever before gently caressing Harley’s face like a mother would to a sick daughter. “Don’t worry about it. You’ll be okay.”

“Odds are.” Harley said softly, closing her eyes again. “I’m just tired of having bandages around my head.”

#2 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

OMG. I thought Harley was gonna die. No joke. My eyes are teary as i type this.

#3 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: *bows* Then my work is done. I figured that the story had been kinda going in the wrong direction, following the plotrails of a traditional comic instead of deep and personal, like I had planned. This chapter was to turn all that on its head and take Gotham Hearts back to its roots.

#4 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

well, i was always more into your characters then the plot really. They all seem so real.

#5 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Aww... I kinda liked my plot... and it's still gonna continue, but not as quickly as it was.

#6 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

@wildvine: Aww... I kinda liked my plot... and it's still gonna continue, but not as quickly as it was.

I'm sorry. Your plot is awesome. It just takes a back seat to the characters. Hate to hear about a delay but it will be alright.

#7 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: Oh, the story won't be delayed, the plot will just move more carefully while I make room for internal character musing and such. I'm gonna keep working on Gotham Hearts until I feel I'm done with it. :P

#8 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

Yes, awesome. This really is my favorite series on here. : )

#9 Posted by The Poet (8195 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: very awesome!

Moderator
#10 Posted by Rusty_Irons (627 posts) - - Show Bio

Cool chapter, as always.

#11 Posted by batkevin74 (9728 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

“Got better things to do, toots,” Two-Face’s voice, followed by a low chuckle as he reached beneath an insofar un-destroyed pool table, withdrawing what appeared to Harley’s watery eyes to be a… bazooka…?

“Come on, put that damn thing down! What’s wrong with you?” Riddler.

“Plenty,” came the returned growl, followed by a quiet whir of the machine powering up. A second later, and a bright streak raced through the pool hall, blasting away the jammed, steel double-doors.

That's my favourite bit! Good job, another exciting chapter.

#12 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Yay! Glad you guys are liking it.

#13 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Burmp.

#14 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

Had to read it again. Best issue yet.

#15 Posted by SyIar (405 posts) - - Show Bio

Great read!

#16 Edited by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: @SyIar: @batkevin74: @tmacximas: @The Poet:

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“I must say, I’m impressed.” Selina clucked, standing over the bed with the bloody bandages draped over her arms. Harley’s erratic, red-and-black locks were matted, sticky, and overall totally repulsive. But the lack of the wound that had nearly killed her was clear – it had healed completely in just over a day. “What exactly did that potion do to you again?”

“Oh, y’know…” Harley smirked, trailing off into a playful giggle. “Just some vitamins and minerals, makes a big girl strong.”

“You never mentioned exactly how… um… much, it worked.” Selina tossed the old bandages into the laundry hamper and inspected the wound-mark a bit more closely. There was a very small scar, not even a scab. “And there’s no way I can get my hands on some of that?”

“Aw, like you need it!” Harley chirped. “I need a little edge to stay in the game, eh? What would the other villains say if I couldn’t even hang with the likes of Penguin?”

“I thought you were some kind of world-class gymnast?”

“I was! But being able to do flips doesn’t make me a world class fighter. It just keeps me… supple.” She grins and runs her fingers over her own abs, the action seeming almost lewd, considering the clowngirl’s childish demeanor.

“Well that was a mental image I really didn’t need.” Selina sits down by the Joker’s former henchgirl’s side, tucking the blankets around her a bit more firmly, despite the fact that Harley seemed to be in perfect health. “So… Harley… how are you holding up? Besides the head thing?”

“Whatcha mean, Kitty?”

“I’m talking about what Two-Face said. His plan, the thing he’s in on with Penguin and Deadshot.”

“Oh.” Harley lowered her vibrant blue eyes slightly, picking at her fingernails idly. It was obvious that she had already put some thought into it during her time of bedrest. “I’m not actually worried about it. It isn’t like Mistah J hasn’t gone up against chumps like that before.”

“He hasn’t gone up against Deadshot,” Catwoman warned. “He seems to be their ace in the hole. He never misses.”

“If he never missed, the Bat wouldn't still be alive, would he?” Harley snapped. Her eyes glistened with something, some emotion that was rare for her, but in no way unknown – rage. The flare-up died down almost immediately, however, and she looked back at her hands. “Joker’ll be fine. He’s always been fine. It ain’t like he hasn’t taken a little lead before. My puddin’s tougher than he looks.”

“If you say so.” Selina said quietly. “I’ll go put these in the wash, and bring you some new clothes, okay? I think Riddler said he was coming over to see you in a few.” She leaned down and gave Harley another little kiss on the forehead – it was nurturing, more motherly than romantic, but Harley thrived off of them. Just the attention, the thought that she still had a companion in this world. That Catwoman cared about her in some way.

When the other villainess left the room, Harley let out a deep breath, pouting. She was worried about the Joker, she was always worried about him. Without her there to keep him safe, and remind him about who he was fighting? He might use the wrong gas, or accidentally load the bombs with confetti. It was always Batman with him – Batman Batman Batman. He didn’t seem to remember that other people wanted him dead, and when he was thinking about Batsy his head wasn’t in the game. Well, it was. But it was a different game he wanted to play. Someone like Deadshot wouldn’t want to play that game.

A quiet rapping came at the door, the kind of rapping caused not by a fist, but by a cane.

“C’mon in, Ed,” Harley sighed. “It’s open.”

Riddler opened the door and limped inside, his leg still bandaged from the hit he’d taken from that Red Hood fella. He’d shaven since she’d last seen him, but it looked haphazard, like he’d used electric clippers.

Harley felt sorry for him, in a way. Whenever she considered her own problems, her constant, driving need for attention or a sense of accomplishment, she found herself thinking about Riddler. Riddler was constantly alone with his psychosis, drowning in it, second best at a game that only one other person played. And now what little fortune he had had been squandered in his wild schemes and deathtraps, and he was forced to resort to the kind of shabby old warehouse that wasn’t good enough for someone like Boneblaster.

She wondered how Boneblaster was doing these days, actually. Where did she see him last…?

Oh, right.

“How are you holding up, Harle—“

“What ever happened to that Boneblaster mook?”

“…Who?”

“He blasted bones.”

“Oh, him.”

There was a short silence.

“So… what happened to him?”

“You know how people like to joke that the Joker dresses random people up as Batman, then slowly tortures them for hours on end, both psychologically and physically?”

Harley snorted and giggled. “Yeah. I like those ones.”

“Well, they may have the wrong target.”

The theme song from Jeopardy! looped a few times in Harley’s head as she stared blankly at Eddie Nigma. “Oooooh. Hardcore.”

“Yeah.”

#17 Posted by The Poet (8195 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: very cool!

love the reference to Boneblaster

Moderator
#18 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Poet: Many many thanks. I was wondering what ever happened with him, and as a one-shot villain I figured DC would never acknowledge him again, so I took the responsibility upon myself. ^_^

#19 Posted by batkevin74 (9728 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl said:

“I thought you were some kind of world-class gymnast?”

“I was! But being able to do flips doesn’t make me a world class fighter. It just keeps me… supple.”

Exactly! Just because you can flip, don't mean you can fight! :) Good work. I had to look up Boneblaster, I remember him now but he was one onf the many, many one-shot villians never to be seen again

#20 Edited by SyIar (405 posts) - - Show Bio
“What ever happened to that Boneblaster mook?”
“…Who?”
“He blasted bones.”
“Oh, him.”

Very witty and smart as usual. Great job!

#21 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks guys. ^_^ I keep forgetting how easy this is to write so expect it faster from meow on.

#22 Posted by Irishlad (544 posts) - - Show Bio

Great as always I'm convinced you've Paul Dini held at gunpoint writing this. xD

#23 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh no! My secret! Nobody was supposed to knoooow. D:

#24 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

(Squeal) Awesome. I love it.

#25 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

Expect a new chapter sometime today, folkz.

#26 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@wildvine: @SyIar: @batkevin74: @The Poet: @tmacximas:

New shorty to finish this chapter off, may have some more later on today if I feel froggy.

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“…Bruce,” she whispered, dropping the bundle of Harley’s old bandages onto the ground.

The dark knight stood silently in front of Selina Kyle, his broad, stubble-coated jaw set firmly, his powerful, armored body still. She hadn’t even seen him enter her home. The feeling was too familiar, even if she’d done the same to him on more than one occasion. The sensation that she was dealing with someone beyond her abilities, someone she could barely stand… and someone she could never get enough of.

“Why are you here?” was all Catwoman could force herself to say, staring up at him.

“To warn you,” he whispered. His deep, rumbling voice carried that hint of kindness – of emotion – that he only used with her. “I’ve been following you and Quinn, I know what you’re into. Don’t get involved with this.”

“What? What are we into that’s so damned scary, Bruce?” Selina’s eyes flared up, the fiery green orbs mirroring the feline… no, predatory… frenzy that suddenly filled her heart. She stepped close to him, her teeth gritted as she stared up at Gotham’s dark protector.

Batman.

She leaned closer, her lips parting slightly as she felt the heat from his body, then snarled and bashed her small fists uselessly against his armored chest. She wasn’t trying to hurt him. If she had, she would have attacked differently. She was just taking out her frustrations on the shadowy avenger, the man who only came at these times, the man who was too damned stoic to talk to her when he wanted to be close to her. Who only came to talk about business.

Bruce closed his arms around her gently, firmly, letting her beat at him and lean into his shoulder. It was unlike her, he recognized that. He had been gone for too long. But that was his lot in life – he was Batman. He had to make certain sacrifices for Gotham’s sake, and if that hurt someone he cared about… then it wouldn’t be the first time.

“The new Red Hood, the man you’re trying to track down,” he said darkly. “He was one of my partners… a long time ago. He’s dangerous, and he has training. More importantly… he’s out of his mind.”

“He’d have to be to be trying to take down a triumvirate of dangerous villains that are trying to kill the Joker,” Selina growled, pushing him away and turning so that she didn’t have to look at him, folding her arms across her chest. “If we leave him to his plans we won’t have to worry about him for much longer. That sniper will take him down before he can interfere with Two-Face’s plan.”

“You’re wrong.”

“And what do you kn—“ she turned to face him, teeth bared. But he was gone. The window was slightly ajar, a light breeze blowing the curtains.

“Damn him.”

#27 Posted by Ravager4 (1625 posts) - - Show Bio

Argh, why have I been putting off reading this? Story, characters, everything wonderful as always <3 great work.

#28 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio

@Ravager4: <3 I'm honored.

#29 Posted by The Poet (8195 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: very cool! can't wait to read more...

Moderator
#30 Posted by batkevin74 (9728 posts) - - Show Bio

@Joygirl: Reminds me of Hush, when Tommy does the bandage reveal. Nice writing, well done

#31 Posted by wildvine (7140 posts) - - Show Bio

@joygirl Great chapter.

#32 Posted by Joygirl (15330 posts) - - Show Bio