... With Bells On

January 09, 2018:

Owen asks Harley to help him ask an illegal weapons dealer for a refund. It goes reasonably well until an opposing gang (The Shanghai Syndicate) starts murdering everyone to claim new territory.

Gotham's East End

The shadier part of the shady part of Gotham.


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: S.O.B. by Nathianel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Fade In…

For years Owen Mercer has used tech 'that fell off the back of a truck' purchased in allies or in other disreputable manners, and it worked just fine. Until recently he was completely satisfied with this, that was until he broke into Stark labs and found to his horror the vast difference between the real stuff and what he had been using. For the most part what he has been using is a sad knock off of a knock off of the real thing. This knowledge has been eating at him, particularly the last deal he made in Gotham with a fellow named Shooky where he had paid a premium for genuine Stark hover disks, which it turns out were very pale imitations of the real deal. But how does one ask for a refund in such a situation? You bring some muscle.

Text to Harley Quinn: "Sweetness! Put on your bells, it's date night! Need to teach some locals about false advertising. Bring something good for hitting idiots in the face."

With that done, Owen goes about making his preparations. It is date night after all, he needs to get dressed up. Considering his past with the Bat family, he never operates in Gotham. Well, at least not as Captain Boomerang. So his preparation includes nary a single boomerang. Instead he straps a large sword on his back, a small dagger to the outside of his leg and pulls on a pair of sleek black gloves. And one can't go out without their face on so he busts out the makeup, well eye black anyway. He pulls a black bandana with eye holes to complete the look. It's very Dread Pirate Roberts, hard to say if that's intentional or not. The bandana is loaded with tech actually to blur his face from any electronic surveillance.


Owen asked for the bells. He gets them.

When Harley Quinn arrives, she's got all of those nuances of being that make most normal people more than a little nervous. She's got her skin paled out a deathly arsenic white, lips painted a red so dark that they're nearly black, and her eyes framed in a ring of smoke. It's combat boots with red and black leather pants. A red and black bustier, halved the other way. And it's diamonds painted in reverse.

But Owen asked for bells. And so, with a lovely messenger bag slung over one mostly bare shoulder, she comes swaying with a tinkling of tiny bells that hang off a belt strung through her pants and larger ones hung off her boot laces. And in her hands? One comically huge mallet with a smiley face on one side and a frowney face on the other… both with X's for eyes.

"Ya' rang?" she asks sweetly, between pops of grape bubblegum.

And then she looks at her host for the evening. "I swear," she continues, twirling her mallet with a deceptive ease as it lies over the same shoulder as that messenger bag, "you know all the right things to tell a girl to get her skippin' in yer direction like it's a sudden death hopscotch tournament, doncha?"


Having just finished washing a handful of questionable pills down with a shot of something, Owen is standing facing the door for Harley's big entrance. He drops the shot glass.

"You look AMAZING."

Getting a hold of himself he shakes his head a bit and says pointing a finger "Sudden death hopscotch tournament. With tequila shots. That needs to get added to our list." He makes his way over to greet her with a kiss on the cheek. "And thanks for coming. I'm bout to ask for a refund and something tells me it's not going to go well. Should be fun." There is a flash of a grin as he wraps and arm around her waist and makes his way down to a beat up old jeep. Way too cold for the motorcycle in Gotham nowadays.

And.. travel travel travel … To the East End, the shadier side of it no less.

When Owen praises her, Harley lights up like a show on Broadway. "Awww! I betcha say that to all the clowns ya' run with." But the kiss to her cheek brings a downright giddy smile onto her lips as she giggles contentedly. "I'm just glad to be able to help!" Then, with a very matter-of-fact tone, she explains as though Boomerang didn't already know. "I like hitting things! So, this is all win as far as I'm concerned. This is gonna be fiiiiiine." As long as she gets to hit things. Or shoot things. Or blow things up.

The arm that settles round her waist as she's led down to the car is met with a be-pigtailed head being set down on his shoulder. "An' I'm holdin' ya' to the hopscotch."


The ride over is without incident, unless you count Owen yelling along to Nathaniel Ratliffe and the Night Sweats S.O.B. It's not really singing, it's most Owen yelling "Son of bitch! Get me a drink!" with the chorus, and enjoying himself very, very much.

Parking the jeep a few blocks away, Owen takes Harley's hand and says "C'mon toots." and leads her through some back alleyways. He's not super concerned with being seen, especially since he already called Shooky to tell him he was coming for him. No, he's just trying to stay out of the streetlights. He's more worried about being spotted by a vigilante than a criminal.

The weapons dealer's operation is pretty basic. It's a white utility van loaded up with the latest knock offs of the latest technology. Shooky himself is a scruffy, weasley looking dude with yellow teeth and some truly terrible face tattoos. He is currently dealing with a customer, who is trying to haggle down the price.

Owen walks up with a broad smile, grabs the would be customer by the face and pushes him back. "You're done. My turn." And turning to Shooky, he grins and says "I told you. I want my money back." Owen seems unperturbed by both Shooky pulling a gun on him and the two men stepping out from the front of the van, who are easily twice his size.


As Quinn's brought along by hand, she's less concerned about the vigilante spotting. But still, it seems to be important to Mercer, and so she plays along.

Until there are new people in the mix. People she doesn't know. …Right? Maybe she does.

Her head cocks nearly ninety degrees as she takes in the scene and switches her mallet to her left hand. And then her hand smoothly slides into her bag and a large pistol shows up to point in Shooky's direction. "Now, now! No shooting' my ride! It's way too cold to have to walk back to my place." To the other two, there's just an intimidating swing, low and even, of her mallet as she lets it sway down by her ankles.

But otherwise, she lets the man who brought her here talk to the people who owe him.


"And I told you. No receipt. No refund. And I don't give receipts." Shooky thinking himself might clever fires a round off at Owen to punctuate the statement. Owen despite being only a mere foot or two in front of the man is somehow, suddenly just to the side of the bullet's path.

Drawing the large sword from his back Owen says "I don't have a receipt. But I have this sword…" And with a flick of a button the sword bursts into flames. "Ha!!" Owen is momentarily distracted by his own pyrotechnics but quickly recovers the slash the gun out of Shooky's hand. "And a flaming sword is like a receipt. Right? I want my money." It should be noted that Owen is not super great with the sword. He's a little clumsy with the large weapon and has to use two hands to swing it easily. But still, flaming sword.

Of course in his focus on Shooky, Owen failed to notice that the two brutes have drawn some sort of energy weapons. They fire at both Owen and Harley and manage to knock Owen to the ground and send the flaming sword scittering across the pavement.


Harley, meanwhile, looks entirely offended when the energy weapons get drawn. It overwhelms even the jokes that could come of calling Owen an archangel. No, now is the time to express her offense, and she shouts a shrill "HEY! RUDE." to convey it.

This was an entirely civil conversation! ….okay, it was a MOSTLY civil convers— Okay, FINE. It started out as a really angry sort of accusing thing, but hey. At least they didn't start by trying to blow each other up.

Her offense doesn't last long because they're starting to fire, and she simply begins running and trying to stay ahead. Her revolver remains unfired, clumsily tucked into her bag as she runs so that she can get her giant mallet settled squarely in her two hands.

Combat boots pound heavily against the pavement as Quinn beats feet to one side, charging at one of the pair with pale eyes narrowed into furious little slits. "Time to teach you some manners, slimeballs!"


Thankfully the leather jacket Owen is wearing is meant to help save your life in a motorcycle accident. Getting shot with an energy weapon and sliding across the pavement is surprisingly similar. He grunts a bit and seems more disappointed that he barely got to use his new weapon than the fact that he let himself get hit.

"Aww, flame sword, no."

He pops back up though in time to dodge any more fire. Jumping on the table to confront Shooky drawing the dagger from his ankle sheath mid jump. He shakes his head and says "Really? What kind of business treats their customers like this? Time for a bidniss lesson." He kicks Shooky square in the face, certainly shattering his nose. The dagger is flung at the creep with the energy weapon that Harley is not currently smashing. It plunges into the man's shoulder and then with a gesture from Owen is recalled to his hand. It comes back. Like a boomerang.

Harley's thug meanwhile is slow enough to not be able to swing his weapon around before she successfully smashes him sideways into the side of the van. There is much crunching and yelling.

So yay? Right? Well… things were just about to get under control when the machine gun bullets start raining down. From up on roofs and from around corners come at least fifteen men armed with guns and seriously intent on shutting Shooky down. Permanently.


As her mallet hits home and crunches her little slime ball target, Harley squeals with joy. Like, really. Loud squealing. Then a quick check-in: "Y'still alright, B?" she calls, though he sounds kinda busy. She'd probably give her goon another love tap, except that her joy dissipates nearly immediately, melting in the sea of bullets from overhead.

The blonde feels a familiar burn high along her waist as one grazes there, shearing the leather and passing in and out a shallow course. She doesn't seem to even notice with the adrenaline rush, but she does cringe against the van's side and fumbles for the car door so that she can hide inside it's and start loading up her cork pop gun with one of her favoritest canisters to fire at the rooftop. The canister that likes to go BOOM.


"I'm goo-" Yea Boomer was good. Until there were more people shooting at him. Lots more people. He dives into the van that thankfully seems to be capable of stopping the bullets. Seems Shooky paid for the upgraded van… or stole one at least. Owen rolls inside and pulls Shooky in too and closes the back swinging doors.

*BOOM* Harley's canisters thankfully take care of at least some of the rain of bullets. It reduces the chance of getting shot, but there are still plenty of gang members out to claim this turf.

And while the sides of the van might be at least bullet resistant, the glass is certainly not. Most of it is badly cracked and bullets are still coming in.

"Harley?! You good? I'm gonna try and drive us the hell out of here."

Jumping into the front seat, and starting up the van Owen slams on the gas, taking the van in reverse first, trying to use the shattered mirrors to aim for as many of the gang members currently trying to puncture them with projectiles. Of course this being Owen he has to take a moment to flash Harley a smile and says "Hi." in his best flirtatious voice. Right before hitting a wall with the van. Oops. His head bounces off the steering wheel and he slams it into drive, now going forward.

Reaching over his shoulder he yells "Shooky! Gun!" It's really hard to throw things when driving, even for him.


Hi, he says. And the clown offers him an electric smile and coquettishly batting eyelashes for his efforts, even though her makeup's smudged and she's bleeding on the van's interior. "Hi!" she chirps back, already rummaging through her bag for another canister. Except that he hits the van, and she nearly fumbles the ordinance in her hands. She catches it against her ribs and holds it tight before being told something new. Guns are traded and Harley's grin turns wolfishly feral as she turns her attention towards Shooky in the back and her revolver comes back out to point at him. "Lookie, lookie, lookie!" she sings as she starts to slink further back into the van. "A new activity toooooooy."


Owen maintains eye contact for way too long with her, smiling dopily at Harley for someone being shot at. A bullet hitting the seat behind his head snaps him back to reality. He crouches down lower, still driving forward, and takes the pro-offered gun. His aim is surprisingly good for driving a van with a blown out windshield, while under heavy fire. It's like he's had training at this or something.

Shooky is a mess, unsurprisingly. Between the busted nose, the two rapidly succession sudden attacks on his crew and of course a sing-song Harley Quinn, he's basically just sobbing. "Don't kill me! Take all the money!" He indicates the cashbox in the back and then everything else "Take it all! Don't kill me!"

Irritably Owen explains from the front seat. "Kill you? I'm trying to keep you alive idiot. Why would I waste my time teaching you a lesson to only just kill you.

The van was doing pretty well against gun fire but what is that coming up? Oh fun: RPG. Wait, that's not fun! Owen cries "Hold on toots!" and slams on the breaks and spins the wheel, hoping the van stays upright in it's vicious turn. He reaches out to open the front passenger side door. Ready to dive out to safety but only if Harley is ready too.


Not going to kill him? "We ain't?" Quinn looks confused by this 'keep Shooky alive' development, given that this was NOT the intention that she walked into the fight with. Confusion flits quickly into the realm of disappointment. "But… But—"

Whatever protest was going to follow dies on Harley's lips as she braces herself against the passenger and driver's seat that she was about to pass in order to get to that plaything in the back. The broken glass is no respecter of persons, and the shattering of windows sends angry spray everywhere. It makes things confusing for a moment. Stay and kill something. (Or not kill something? She's still vague on that point.) Leave and not be killed.

Okay, maybe it's not that confusing after all.

"After you!"


First things first, Owen gets the cash box. After all, he wanted a refund, he can reach it and the van might not last that long. Diving out through the open door as the van skids to a stop, Owen tucks and rolls. He tries to return fire enough to at least cover the two of them getting into the alley. By now the rocket has actually launched and only a second or two after Harley makes her exit the van is lit up, lifted up in the air by the force of the explosion.

"No, I didn't want to kill him. I just wanted better gear. They. Whoever the hell they are though, seem pretty intent on murdering lots o'folks." As he talks he is surveying the alleyway, and he is about to blow the lock off a door with the pistol when he realizes he's forgotten something. Flipping the gun around and handing it Harley, he smiles sheepishly and says "One second. Sorry."

Powering up something on the glove of his left hand he reaches out and looks meaningfully. Softly under his breath he urges "c'mon.c'mon.c'mon." And sure enough his dropped sword comes flying, handle first back to his grasp. He chops off the padlock and says "After you! This time."


"But if he's dead, you can still take the better gear!" The sooty Harley Quinn explains with her eyes comedically large and mallet held out to one side as she spreads her arms wide in exasperation. "And no one complains about it if they're dead! Just pick through you want and—"

Oh, hey. Pistol.

It's offered to her, and the harlequin takes it without a second thought, pointing its skyward by her shoulder as she adjusts her messenger bag.

She would say more, but then… Her mouth gapes open. "…Did you just make a boomerang sword?"

She is too busy gaping at this development to actually move inside.


Owen can't help but grin and beam with pride at his creation. And the fact that she doesn't just brush it off like oh of course that just happens, helps too.

"Totally. Boomerang. Sword."

He does manage to not dwell on this too long. He has to put the sword back into the sheath, since he's carrying the money box in the other in order to grab her hand to pull her inside the building.

Maybe it's the adrenaline rush from the fight? Maybe it's the fact that they are at least momentarily safe? Maybe it's the fact that she was impressed by his invention? Maybe it's the fact that he pulled her in after himself and they found themselves suddenly close? Whatever the reason, Owen takes the opportunity to drop the cash box, place his free hand behind her head and go in for a kiss.


Harley is pulled along into the building with a squeal of amusement. A boomerang sword. LONG LIVE THE GIMMICK.

But just as easily as she's tugged into the building, so too is the blonde pulled along into a kiss that smells like gunpowder and tastes of artificial grape.

As quickly as they can, Harley's feelings are swiftly tumbling over themselves in a parade across her features. Across her everything. It's wide-eyed surprise, stiff and unexpecting that bleeds into the start of her returning it. Hands, filled with weapons, wilt to her sides as she starts to melt into it. To push into it.

But then, there's a sharp inhalation as Harley puts a stop to it, pulling back and letting her confusion filter plainly on her expression as she tries to catch her breath.

Sometimes breathing feels kinda overrated.

Her mouth opens - prepared for the forceful evacuation of verbal vomit that is the clown's wont and habit. …Except none comes actually escapes.


For Owen's part the kiss is pressing, pulling her into himself with surprising urgency. Cigarette smoke and a scent like black pepper mix with her gum and gun powder all too briefly. But then she pulls back and he exhales with a half laugh. He fully realizes it was a surprise, but he would guess not too much of one and hopefully not a bad one. And while she may be at a loss for words, true to his nature, he is not.

"Are we not the kind of friends that have hot rough sex? I was pretty sure we were."

He's deflecting with a joke. A call back to where they decide on the fly how close they are, simply by stating it outloud. But while he may be grinning and cracking a joke, his eyes aren't so sure. They are searching her face, unsure of himself for once.

Realizing he's not doing such a good job of bluffing here, he looks away to pick up the cash box. Reluctantly and slowly, he pulls back so that he can bend down to pick up the discarded box.

"We should go. They might still be looking for us."


Harley is trying to make sense of her world. To get thoughts straight and words formed. He's uncertain, and so is she. It's all kinds of awkward. And Harley isn't used to the awkwardness of indecision.

He asks her a question, and she wants more than anything to say that is precisely the sort of friend she is. But… brain. Her brain is the enemy.

As Owen looks away to go after the cash box. Her leg starts bobbing, hard rubber wrapped heel bouncing as she tries to come to a decision. It sets her whole being to vibrating, a tightly coiled spring and nothing but potential trouble.

That is, until she's realized trouble, surging forward to intercept him. Kinetic, frenetic energy ball, eager to seize Owen up in her rush to turn that brain off and find his mouth again with her own.

Because bad ideas are the best kinds sometimes, right? Right.


And that is why you go slowly when changing direction. Owen is glad to be stopped, thankful to be interrupted and resume what he had initiated. He wastes no time in getting back to where they were now that he thinks his question has been answered in the affirmative.

He pulls her close and kisses her hard, despite any cuts and scrapes the two of them might have. He only allows himself a few moments to get lost in it though, before some survival instinct kicks in. He pulls back to give a light peck on her lips before making a biting snap with his teeth at the air towards her.

"We still gotta run. But… then.."

This time he is quicker to grab up the cash box, more intent than ever to get out of this situation and into another. Bad ideas have been working out great for Owen as of late, he's eager to push his luck, especially in this case.


When she's kissed back, Harley drops her mallet and it clatters noisily to the floor so that she can wrap her arm around his neck and hold on tight. When he pulls away, she's not quite ready to let him loose. The bleeding from her side, from the scrapes and scratches, doesn't seem to even register. Her enhanced constitution is helpful in that regard.

But he makes a good point, and he's kind about it, wrapping it all up in that infectious flirting. "Yeah, alright," she agrees about the running.

Shaking off the heady euphoria of that contact, Quinn is quick to stoop pick up her mallet where she accidentally dropped it - Oops! So sorry, Happy Frowny McGee, she didn't mean it! - and quick to take in the building around them. "So, a back door then, yeah?" She doesn't wait for an answer, though, before starting to bound off in the direction she deems most likely to yield such a portal.


Really mid getting shot at it is a terrible time for this. Owen is all big wolf grin as she gathers her stuff, head still buzzing from their all too brief clinch. He has to physically shake his head as if to get it to focus. Hearing continued gunfire and yelling from the street certainly helps bring him back into the moment. He pulls some furniture down to half-assedly block the door before following after Harley.

"Kinda feels like I'm chasing you. Not gonna lie. It's kinda hot."

He calls out after her as he leaps over random boxes and old furniture.


"Ha!" Turning her features to look over her shoulder, the clown waggles her eyebrows. "Jes' make sure you don't choke on my dust." Harley runs past a couple of halls before she finds a dimly glowing EXIT sign pointing stage left. She whoops as she turns, using a doorway just a little past her turn as a halfpipe to run halfway up and thus change vector without losing too much momentum.

"Though, you do know that they're gonna remember ya', right, if the other guys don' kill 'em?" And her, too, but that seems less concerning.


Don't choke on my dust

Owen is certainly not one for being called slow. Ever. He speed bursts and ahead, passing her. He comes to a brief halt to blow her a kiss before continuing on at normal speed. He sees the exit and stops at the door, to the side of it.

"Yea, well I got a feeling Shooky didn' survive the RPG. And I didn't know either of the two mooks, so I think I'm good… besides. I have this dashing disguise."

He tries to sound confident but she's placed the thought in his head now and it is a good point. Peaking out a window into the street, leaning out to minimize his exposure from the wall he's pressed against, he reconsiders.

"But maybe. We'll have to figure out who they are. Any chance you were the target? I doubt it's me. You don't try and take a Rogue out without more firepower than that."

It's not that he still considers himself part of the Rogues. But most people would still know him as Captain Boomerang and putting a hit on him would mean incurring a lot of attention from the other Rogues. Ugh, does that mean he has to contact them? What would he even say? Gah, possibly being targeted by a gang is a mood killer. Go figure.


As Owen races ahead, there is a surprisingly matur—- okay, no. It's a desperately immature raspberry blown in his direction as Harley makes a horrible face in an expression of her usual transparency. And he asks her if she is the target? She scoffs at the thought.

"Ha! Ha! Who would want to kill me, Mercer? I've been told I am quite the charmer." by no one ever. But she's riding high off a kiss, so she'll go for the lie anyway.

"Nope. If they're shootin' at us, it's all your fault." She hopes. Oh, how she hopes.


Owen of course is hardly anyone's version of mature himself, so blowing raspberries is right up his alley. He is still smiling when he finally clears the outside.

"Outside's clear. Let's get back to my place and we can.. talk about this?"

Yes, by talk about this, it is abundantly clear that he in no way shape or form actually means talking about this. At least not at first. Maybe after some other activities the topic will come up though.

Her denial that it could in anyway be her seems unlikely, but he doesn't call her on it for now. They do their fair share of lying and half-truths between them and Owen is more than happy to let this one slide like the others.


Turn off the brain, Harl. Turn off the brain. Don't think.

"Yeah! That sounds good. Safe place. Talking."

That's not talking. Because talking means thinking and no.


Quinn's smile brightens and eyes grow large as she nods emphatically in Owen's direction to draw emphasis on the words coming out of her mouth, just in case her expression faltered at any point. And then she tucks her beloved mallet under her arm and hugs it close, ready to run again for the Arms. "Lots of talking." That's not talking.


Making a break for the jeep is easy as the gang really was not looking too hard for them. Their target was indeed Shooky, who sadly did not make it out of the van alive. Likewise his two bodyguards were gunned down. Most of the extra gunfire was in fact cross-fire between the same side, they lack the discipline to pull of a pincer attack without accidentally targeting themselves.

The drive back is fast, and would have been quiet had Owen not cranked the stereo. Likewise trying to distract himself from thinking he steals kisses between mostly paying attention to the road.

Making their way into Gotham Arms and up to his place is likewise intermixed with kissing and some light groping, very classy behavior, as befits such types. And then they go about most certainly not discussing any reason they might have been the target of that attack, or anything to do with their pasts, in fact their is very little talking involved at all.

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