Diner Date

March 01, 2017:

Joker lures Harleen into a talk and diner date. Things are made confusing.

Amusement Mile

Amusement Mile is Gotham's version of Coney Island only more… Gotham.
The place could almost be a set or an inspiration for the archetypal creepy
carnival. The shops look ever so slightly more run down than expected, the
rides and entertainment ever so slightly more suspect than usual and the
help ever so slightly too sinister and criminal. All of that is impressive
considering the place just opened this year, after recovering from the huge
earthquake of '09. Gothamites just shrug it off. It's Gotham, after all and
this is what passes for harmless fun here.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: None


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

When one owns a pair of hungry killing machines, one needs to take good care of them. Harleen is nothing if not a devoted pet owner, though her local vet likely wishes she really wasn't. Their yearly check up with the vet and Harleen is walking along with Bud and Lou on their leashes, the hyenas straining at the leather to get to wherever the smell that has their current attention is. Harleen, on roller skates, lets herself be dragged along.

She might hardly be recognizable to those that know her as Harley. Blonde hair, no make-up, and the only concession to her old outfit being the t-shirt she wears with the short shorts and silk disco jacket.


Surely by now she's read on the attack during the parade the night before. The gas. The Batgirl. The poisionings, panic, and transformations of people into cocoon pods. General mayhem.

Joker's back in town.

As Harleen pulls along Bud and Lou, there comes a new smell. One that is getting the attention of the killing puppies. Fresh meat on a grill, flame broiled steak, that sizzles and sings, calling out with it's siren's song. And for the two hyenas, a more familiar smell under the steak that gets their tails wagging and even more excited. Daddy.

Joker's back in town.

The smell wafts from a darkened building, a long abandoned restaurant on the strip near the amusement park that couldn't keep up with the fast and cheap eats along the carnie route.


Bud and Lou never could resist a steak, as Harleen herself could attest to. Her babies start to follow the smell, initially thinking that they could just steal the choice cuts of meat from whatever schmuck is cooking them. But as the familiar scent of their initial owner tickles at their noses, they get increasingly excited and begin to giggle manically. Mommy may be good, but she hasn't been very mayhemmy lately, whereas Daddy was always good with the mayhem.

Harleen has indeed read the paper and had a long time in the tub with her bubbles while she thought about her feelings about her ex being back in town. So when she sees who is at the source of the smell when the hyenas push their way into the abandoned restaurant, she's not really all that surprised. She releases the leashes and lets her boys go visit, the two hyenas bounding and laughing and rubbing up against their Daddy.


"Hello, babies!" Joker greets with a laugh, dropping down to his knees to rub and pet the pair of them. For a moment, the affectionate, caring man is right there, so close that Harleen can taste it. He moves to pull the rack of ribs off of the fire and tosses it to a corner. "Fetch! Bon appetite~" he sings out before he straightens up and smiles.

Not a cruel smile. But not one that exactly speaks of the warm man that was there just a second ago. "Hello, Harley." he greets as he gestures to one of the tables that has been set up. A torn up checkerboard style tablecloth has been put on it. Plastic flowers in a vase. Even a candle.

That's when she may notice that other tables have been set up, but in their seats are coccoons, or standups of different celebrities. It gives most people a creepy vibe.

For Joker, it's date night. "Can I get your seat?"


Harleen would be lying if she tried to say that there wasn't a part of her that was happy to see him. She still loved him, probably always would, even if her love was based on her own psychosis. The way he is with her boys, well… it tugs at her heart strings. But then she reminds herself that she's not that person anymore. Sure she dresses up from time to time for a little bit of fun, but she is more often Harleen these days then Harley.

Looking around the room as she reaches down and unlocks her skates, Harleen sees the pods and takes a deep breath. Yep, up to his old tricks. She's not actually all that surprised.

"Hello again, Joseph," she says. It's probably not even his real name, but Joseph Kerr was the one she always used when trying to think of him as a person with a mental illness rather then thinking of the mental illness as a person. "We can talk a while if you like."


"Joseph. Heh. Oh, this is just like our first date!" Joker offers once she takes a seat as he moves to go prepare the two meals, setting the rare steaks on the plates and adds a bit of salad as he brings it back to set down before her.

"Sure, it's a bit different, I was flat on my back in a straight jacket and you were wearing your lab coat and this oh so cute glasses and pigtails of yours!" he grins as he sets down the plates, takes off the 'Kiss the Cook' apron and drops down into the seat across from her.

"Sooooooooooooo." he coos and looks up into her eyes as the hyena's yip happily and chow down. "How you been?"


Harleen still rocks the pigtails look, but tends to only wear her glasses when she needs them for reading. Ivy thinks the glasses are cute too. She places the old style skates, the ones that are attached to ones shoes with straps and tightened with an allen key, on the floor beside her. Watching as he mads something for them to eat, her blue eyes linger over his form. The way he moves, the way he hums when he cooks.

Harleen keeps herself leaned back in her chair, not wanting to get too engaged with her old paramour but to still be polite. "I've been well. Have a nice place with Ivy these days," she tells him and then wishes she hadn't. She reminds herself not to give him any more information then she needs to.


"And how is Pamela? Still making her gardens grow?" Joker asks with a grin as he starts to cut into the steak. The smell of garlic and butter rises into the air as he digs in. "I outdid myself!" There's a laugh at that as the lithe and tall crazed Clown Prince finishes off his bite of steak and starts to cut some more.

"Leaving the life behind? Didn't read much on you while you were away. Heard this insanity that you were trying to go legit. Tell me it isn't so, Harley? You add such a … je ne sais quoi .. to my life, and then just as quickly, you were gone again. You made a clown cry. But I'll get over it. Eventually."

"After all, you know what they say about true love.. it makes you crazy. But I'm already there, hoo!" he says as he takes another bite of the steak.


Harleen tries to keep herself distant while at the same time engaging in a friendly manner. Break ups are never easy and well, it's not like she and Joker ever actually "broke up". It was more of a case of she was being nursed back to health by Pamela and when she was finally better, Joker had disappeared. She looks down at the steak, so pink in the middle that it looks like it's bleeding and reflects that not once had Joker ever asked her how she liked her steak done, had always just made hers the same way he ate his.

"She's well. Our place is covered in plants. And… I'm not so much leaving it behind as getting back to the life I had before we met. I can't get a real job as a doctor any more, but I have a part time thing going at an old folks home." /Why did you tell him that! He doesn't need to know that! You're just handing out information like it's candy, woman!!/

"I'm sure you do just fine without me. You have your insane clown posse and all your… " She looks around the room again at all the pods. "All your toys."


"Sure. One can have all the toys and posse.. I'm even making my own metas!" Joker says with a grin as he considers her as he takes another bite of steak. She was gone when he came back, and she never bothered to tell him why.

The mention of her working in the old folks home and he gives a nod of his head in thought at it.

"But all the toys in the world are no fun if you don't have someone that understands to share them with." he says, a touch of sincerity in his voice that may speak volumes about his current thoughts as he takes another bite.


Making metas. Of course. Considering the Joker's genius with chemicals and pharmecuticals, experimenting with this was really only a matter of time. "To what ends? Once they become metas, then what? More villians for the Bat to deal with?" It should be noted that her voice doesn't quite have the Jersey twang that she effects when in costume. Once again, as when they first met, her voice is warmer, softer. It's her doctor's voice. Rising herself above her roots.

When the mention of not having someone to share the toys with occurs, Harleen closes her eyes to take a deep breath. She knew it was coming. Stay strong, Harleen. Stay strong. "It's true that having someone to share the good times and the bad makes things more pleasant, Joseph. But a person needs to be able to find the joy from within, bringing themselves as a whole person into a relationship. Otherwise, they are just going to force themselves into a co-dependent relationship."


Joker chuckles a little between bites. And then he finishes the steak, setting it aside. "Physician heal thyself." he says with a small hoot of laughter as he stands up and moves towards the door. "The joy within? I look at you now - I don't see joy. I see a girl that used to smile. Laugh. That knew how to have fun. And now? She's trapped herself in this shell of what.. normalcy?" he asks her with a lift of his brow.

"Why, because they say it's normal? You asked why.." he grins. "Because, Harley.." he says, a gesture towards the coccoons as he moves to start loading them up. "…when the whole world has changed to capes and tights and embraces what's on the inside?"

"Then maybe you won't see me as crazy, and remember who you are." he says as he gives her a wink and a weak smile. "Because being normal?"

"That's for people that have nothing to live for."


Harleen watches as Joker heads to the door, wary that this could be a trap. "Joseph,


Harleen watches as Joker heads to the door, wary that this could be a trap. "Joseph, what you see as a lack of joy is actually a normal response of a woman trying to talk to an ex when tensions are a little high. You haven't seen me taking the babies for a walk, talking with Ivy, at work with the seniors. You are looking at this one conversation and trying to boil down my entire existance to this one moment."

Even as she tries to talk and stay calm, there is a certain tilt to her head as if trying to shake out voices from within. Harley is never too far from the surface and is closer right now then usual. She rises up, picking up her skates. "I never saw you as crazy, Joseph. I've always seen you more as… broken. But there can be beauty in broken things. Like kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending the broken with gold to show off the cracks."


"Broken? Oh Harley, I was never broken." Joker says with a laugh. "The whole damned world is broken. They've lost their joy, their fun. I'm just a clown trying to get a laugh. And the girl that I tried to make laugh the most? She doesn't want to smile for me anymore." he says with a small, sad smile that counteracts with that painted on grin.

"So go on. To your seinors, your Ivy, Bud and Lou. Even they are depressed at what you have decided to become." he says, a shake of his head as he tosses the last cocoon onto the table as he pushes it towards the back to load up and drive off.

"But I never held a gun to your head. I never forced you. You made the choice. So I hope, somewhere inside, you know that girl, my fun loving happy time girl? I can't ever replace her."

"No matter how hard I tried." Punchline. Harley will have to meet her.


Harleen has to smile at the sentiment. It was Joker's core belief and Harleen really can't say that he's wrong. The world really is broken. Gotham more so then most. In some ways, the Joker provided a service to the city, shining a light in the darkness.

Harleen has to arch a brow as Joker claims to have never held a gun to her head. Has he forgotten? Is he being metaphorical? Or is he just saying that to twist Harleen's brain. Really, it could be any of the three, though most likely it's a fourth option that she hasn't figured out yet.

"She comes out from time to time. Usually to beat up the losers that have been claiming they were part of your gang when you weren't around. I guess I should probably stop now that they aren't lying about you being around."


"You know who I have more than who I don't. And if they're bragging, they ain't mine." Joker says with a smile towards her and then steps out of the door, pushing the large laundry container filled with people destined to be Joker metas and humming a song.

Twisted like wire in your arms
A dangerous place for my heart
But you know I love getting off on the thrill
You turn me from water to wine
I'm wasted all of the time
So do it, baby, go in for the kill.

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