(I can't remember everyone else's handles right now, I'm forgetful, SUE ME)
“Okay. What do we know?” Riddler stood in front of a massive blackboard that he had, supposedly, pulled out of his hat. Heaven knew Selina didn’t keep one in the apartment. On the billboard were a few crudely drawn images: Joker, the Red Hood, and the group of Penguin, Two-Face, and Deadshot.
“Well, you’re here, and Kitty, and me. We make a great team!” Harley exclaimed quickly.
“Allow me to rephrase, you insufferable simpleton. What do we know that’s in any way important?” Eddie rapped the blackboard harshly with the silver tip of his cane. His leg seemed to be doing a bit better, and he was much more animated with the little accessory, as opposed to using it like an actual cane.
“The Red Hood is trying to take down a trio of high-profile villains.” Selina said helpfully. She was laying on the bed with Isis on her lap, still in her black silk pajamas – a sharp contrast from Harley’s red cotton nightdress.
“Aaaaaaand why is he trying to prevent the death of one of the world’s most despised and reviled villains?”
“Hey!” Harley yelped, looking up from her bowl of Cookie Crisp, accidentally dropping the spoon and immediately coating it in cat-hair.
“I stand by it,” Riddler said firmly.
Catwoman took a deep breath before screwing up her face, picking a small burr off of the scrawny black cat’s neck. “I don’t know. It doesn’t make any sense to me – didn’t Harley say that the Red Hood is an old Robin that was murdered by Joker?”
“He has such a way with kids…” the clowngirl sighed dreamily, wiping the spoon off on one bare, chalk-white thigh and squeaking at the cold metal against her skin.
“Oooh, you’re getting warmer… why would someone who should hate the Joker try to save the Joker?” Edward Nigma twirled his cane around his fingertip, leaning against the blackboard with a bored expression. “Come now, we haven’t got all day.”
Selina took a deep breath. She hadn’t told the others about her meeting with Bruce last night – hadn’t mentioned his warning. When it came down to Batman, and specifically, his meetings with her, she had a tendency to be decidedly… private. But Bruce had been concerned, even worried about a group of three convicts and psychotics (well, Harley and Riddler were psychotics, anyway).
“He wants to kill the Joker himself.” Catwoman finally said, her voice low and quiet.
Harley’s head whipped around, her face disbelieving. “Huh?”
“He wants to kill Joker, the Red Hood does. It’s always been about Joker. He wants to stop Two-Face and his gang, and maybe scavenge whatever plans they’ve made. If he had his hands on Oswald and that wretch Sionis, then who knows how far he may have already come?”
“Bravo!” Riddler cried out, leaning his cane against the wall and clapping his hands snobbishly. “You’ve finally come up with the answer that I figured out as soon as Dent revealed his plan. You should be proud.”
“Go sit and spin, Ed!” Harley snarled. “I’ve worked on plans with a man who’s far smarter’n you!”
The cocky grimace never left Riddler’s face. “Oh? And who might that be, Harley?”
“The only man Bat-brain could never figure out!”
“Harley…” Selina said softly, sitting up on the bed.
“Harley what? We’re supposed to be a team! Teammates are nice to other teammates!”
“You call the way Joker treated you “nice”, then?” Catwoman could control this, if she was careful. She knew Harley after the time spent with her – she could be manipulated, as long as you remembered that she wasn’t as innocent as she seemed.
The pigtailed villainess opened her mouth to retort, letting out a long, strained grunt before relenting, her mind drifting to a very different place. “Yeah… I guess we weren’t much of a team, huh?”
Riddler rolled his eyes. “If you two are through sorting out Harley’s ex-love life with a psychopath who’s soon to be killed by another psychopath who’s back from the dead, maybe we should make some kind of plan regarding the situation at hand.”
“Why are we even getting involved at this at all? This is a group of extremely dangerous and extremely volatile people that we’re trying to get involved with for no good reason.” Selina finally hopped up off of the bed, pointedly not looking at Harley Quinn, who was now silent and staring into her cereal bowl, pushing the miniature cookies around with her spoon.
“Either way we win. If the team kill Joker, Joker’s dead. If the Hood kills Joker, Joker’s dead.” She dragged one bare finger over the blackboard, smearing a lazy white X over Joker’s crudely-chalked face. “And with Joker dead, Gotham becomes a better place. So why in the world would we take any sort of action to save his life?”
Riddler let out an exasperated sigh. “Dear, sweet, whimsical Selina. You aren’t much of a chess player, are you? You can’t look at the obvious moves to make. Letting Joker die is like pushing a pawn forward to take a knight, ignoring a chance to get rid of the queen and inadvertently putting ourselves in checkmate.”
“Explain yourself,” Selina retorted.
“This Hood fellow… he’s driven. Motivated in a psychological fashion. He was wronged, and he wants revenge – but he’s proven that simply having the Joker die is insufficient. He wants to do the deed himself.”
“If he can be prevented from reaching his goal, his ruined ambitions could cripple his mind, make him a wreck. More importantly, make him leave Gotham. The Joker is a menace, and he’s a thorn in everyone’s side. But he doesn’t hunt villains. The Red Hood was able to take down Clayface, one of Batman’s more physically challenging foes, in a matter of seconds. He almost killed me. What do you think he’ll do to you and Harley, especially when he’s seeking you out?”
Selina slumped down, sitting on the edge of the bed and staring at Riddler. He had a good point. Joker was violent, but Red Hood was violent against villains. A new, more vicious brand of vigilante that she really didn’t need as part of her night life.
“Then you’re right. We have to make a plan. And that means we have to know what the Hood knows… which means we need to pay a visit to the Iceberg Casino.”