Clowns and Clinics

June 10, 2018:

Batman visits Harley Quinn a few days after the bar explosion the Joker caused, looking for answers, and to 'clear the air'.

(Backlogged to June 08)

Thompkins medical clinic

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin, Joker

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

Two nights ago, Red Robin dragged Harley Quinn - more dead than alive - into the Thompkins Medical Clinic. She promised the once-protegee that she'd behave herself, and she's honestly - after being cleared to do so - just slept for so much of the time. There's been stitches and burn treatment, oxygen and ungodly amounts of antibiotics.

But she's turning a corner, and not really slated to stay too much longer. Because she has an ex-honey who can't really be trusted to behave himself if he gets a whim, a grenade, and a location on where his erstwhile lover's run off to.

But she's not precisely stable. Her sleep is disjointed and strange, often interrupted by sharp awakenings with wide wild eyes. And now would be one of those awake moments, where she lies in bed with a fresh set of bandages on her hands and a fresh IV bag of fluids pumping as she looks at everything. Presently, unbeknownst to Thompkins and her staff, the jesteress is running an inventory of every single sharp object she can find in the room and how she could kill someone with them. A delightful game, really.

*

It doesn't take the Worlds Greatest Detective to figure out what happened, with the explosion taking out the bar erasing a lot of evidence. Harley being dragged out of the bar as almost the sole survivor…

The button finally being pressed.

It didn't take very long at all for Batman to sift through things. He didn't even interfere with Red Robin grabbing Quinn when he was updated on that. The scene combed over, Batmans next step was the jesteress proper, once she was out of the woods.

How he got inside is anyones guess. Maybe the window? Maybe he just waited for a shift change and walked right in? In the end, Batman is the Dark Knight of Gotham, and knows how to get into just about anywhere if he puts his mind to it. A clinic is not Fort Knox, so he's already in the room when Harley wakes up. He's in a shadowed corner of the room, watching from the dark as she awakens.

The voice comes out of nowhere, practically. Some sort of technology obscuring where he actually is? It sounds like it's coming from everywhere at once, "the clown is back from New York, and paid you a visit." The voice modulated voice asks.

Well, not asks. It's more of a statement, given what just happened.

*

"Ya work all night to deduce that, B-Man?"

Quinn startles easily, and she doesn't take it well. Her pale eyes, burdened by dark circles under them, scour the room. "Or was it more of.a guess?"

"Also," she continues darkly, although the rasp of her voice makes it hard for it to sound too dark, "Could you try not to scare me half to death? Since I'm already halfway there, you could just finish the job. And you'd feel terrible, I know you would. You'd put on my tombstone, 'Here lies Quinn. Killed by Batman who is very sorry for what he's done.'"

*

"Why'd he come back for you?" Batman asks, after her attempt at chastisement is done. His legendary 'take no bullshit' attitude is in full force here as he cuts right to the heart of the matter. He's already checked on her condition and her chart, so he knows she'll be fine.

It takes a few moments, but eventually Batman steps out into view, his cape concealing most of his face. Red eye lenses betray nothing of his expression, while his jaw stayed in a perpetual frown. There's no body language to read either, with the cape around him like a cloak. He's clearly staring right at her, though. "The bar explosion could be read in any number of ways… but your survival suggests it was personal." Plainly obvious given their history… but it seems like Batman wants to hear it from her.

*

When Batman finally does step out, the petite blonde lowers the full of her unhappy gaze upon the new arrival. It doesn't scare her to look right back, at least, and so she does. "Another brilliant deduction by Gotham's own," she caustically praises between coughs. But after a long pause, she somewhat crosses her arm over her as she continues. "He knows how to throw a hell of a party, huh?"

*

"He likes putting on shows of murder and senseless violence." Batman partially agrees with Harley. Then, the armored cowl and that square jaw take on an intimidating squint as he steps forward, coming to the foot of Harleys bed as he watches her, "What did he want with you, Harleen?" He hasn't dialed up that legendary intimidating presence yet on her… but she can feel it waiting, like a lion on the prowl for his next meal… waiting on the sidelines.

Waiting for the wrong answer.

*

Harley squirms uncomfortably under her visitor's gaze, her eyes turning to point to some elsewhere in the room. "To say he missed me," she offers back, shoulders rolling. "I mean, here it'd been so very long. What was a guy to do? I mean, bouquets are so last decade. Nothin' but the best from my Mistah J, ha! Hahaha—" Hack, hack, hack.

The cough racks her, but the clown quiets it down as quickly as she can on account of the discomfort it brings. "It's nice ta know ya can still drive a man to mass murder, I suppose." It's not actually nice, but she'll say it anyway.

*

When she looks away, he stays where he is for now, perhaps mercifully. Perhaps Not.

"Doing it in his usual abusive way, with casual disregard for how many lives he destroys." Batman presses. He knows she's been trying to keep clean; as clean as she can be, anyway. The blatant reminder of her stockholm syndrome is followed by him walking around the bed, and over to the opposite side of where she's looking as he steps to the head of it, and looks directly down to her face, "he's just going to keep coming back… but you pressed the button. Are you going back, Harleen? Do you want me hunting you down night after night again?" Batman presses as he leans forward, that intimidating presence coming into play as his eyes squint dangerously down at her.

"Do you want the Batman of Gotham to put you on the run again?" Batman asks, almost casually… in a tone that's anything but casual.

*

The questions push at her frayed edges, and the evidence of it is almost immediately set in the contortion of Harley's scorched features. The angry skin of her brow furrows.

Her temper flares, but the river of it has no place to empty itself. Instead, it just backs up and fills her with the useless, helpless heat. She doesn't owe the Bat an explanation, she ultimately decides. He's already decided that her nearly dying wasn't sufficient. Maybe he's right. Maybe she would have gone crawling back if her funny man ex-beau hadn't thrown her into the flames instead. But He had. And she hadn't. The pain of that is still fresh and raw. It robs her of kindness. "What do you think?"

*

Those red lensed eyes, despite covering his eyes, are designed with the armored cowl to show expression as much as his normal face if he wills it. That -in combination with his body language- give him the ability to project emotion just as surely as if he was in casual garb.

After a solid ten seconds of him just /staring/ at her from his position leaned over, he pulls back. "I think you wouldn't have pressed the button without a reason, and you're still trying to figure out what that reason was." Batman doesn't dial down his voice, but he does start to head back to the foot of the bed again, turning his gaze away from hers as he goes. "You'll live… and I'll be watching." He stops next to the foot of the bed, unmoving, "I'm only after him. Don't give me a reason to come for you as well." Batman states with an air of finality as he stares ahead, towards the door. It'd be almost dismissive, with the way he's positioned, from anyone else.

But then, who in their right mind wants the Batman hunting them down?

*

Were she well, were she whole, the harlequin might have all of the requisite energy for the quips and jokes and laughter that so often define their interactions. She'll live, he says, but that doesn't change the present reality where breathing is a labor and her world is confusion and pain.

She definitely preferred his protegee and the kinder handling he gave her, even though she really didn't deserve it. "Yeah," she offers, tone resigned. "Someone always is."

*

There's a lightning quick movement as a small device is tossed onto the bed from in front of Batman. For Harley, his cape doesn't even appear to move with how graceful the toss is.

"That's an audio sensor that will allow me to hear you and a good twenty meters around you. Press the green button to turn it on or off." He doesn't tell her it'll let him talk back, if he were so inclined… or that he can trigger it remotely. But then, she's being cagey tonight too.

The device itself is /very/ small. Small enough to be concealed in almost anything, if Harley put her mind to it. "Keep out of trouble." Batman notes as he steps up to the window of the room… and falls out of it into the night.

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