He's Not Bruce Wayne

June 12, 2018:

Harley Quinn, getting only more desperate, actually travels outside of Gotham to harass another someone she knows has been an occasional refuge for Owen Mercer. Tony Stark doesn't call the cops on her. It's a pretty decent first meeting!

A Fancy Suit Shop on 5th Avenue

Characters

NPCs: A salesman and a tailor at an exclusive men's suit shop.

Mentions: Boomerang, Bruce Wayne, The Joker, Jessica Jones

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

It’s been three days, and Tony Stark should feel honored.

Harley Quinn not only has roused herself out of bed and washed her hair, but she actually made an effort to look like something other than Hell. Her tip-dyed hair is curled and left to hang around her shoulders. Her makeup is at once pale and dramatic. It’s been three days since Jessica Jones left… and no phone call has been received since.

That means the jester has had absolutely nothing to do except obsess about her missing boyfriend and what on Earth she can do to help find him. Protect him.

Okay, so maybe Stark should be a little concerned.

Still healing burns have been hidden away, she wears red tights under the black thigh high stockings she’s hitched up to a garter belt under a lacy skirt. Her polyester camisole is loose and only moderately low cut, but mostly hidden under a red waterfall cardigan anyway. Her knee-high black boots sport a stellar stiletto.

She pulled out her favorite revolver for the ride, and she has a duffel bag with her that has required some amount of hefting around when she’s not holding a Uber driver hostage after the carjacking that was required to avoid paying the hefty cab fee from Gotham.

There were hours where she waited for one billionaire playboy to come out of his town fortress. There was a tense moment where the hapless Gotham driver, unaccustomed to tailing billionaire playboys, got lost on the way over here, but they recovered. And now here we are at one the brilliantly illuminated Fifth Avenue men’s boutique.

The clown in the car makes the driver circle the block until he’s nearly out of gas, and then? She just lets him go, getting out of the car with her stuff and walking towards the front door and tucking her revolver into a smaller pouch on her duffel bag as she goes.

She visited a swanky place like this with the Joker once. It wasn’t so swanky after they left with his new vest and cufflinks, but that’s beside the point. The IMPORTANT thing about the anecdote is that she knows that women aren’t always the most welcome in men’s boutiques unless they’re personal assistants or on someone’s arm.

This, she promises herself as she moves towards the front door, will be different. This is gonna be OKAY.

Because this? Is for a good cause.

Her step is decidedly lacking in the bounce department. She’s already winded by the time she gets up the twenty some odd stairs to the front door, her military surplus bag slung over her shoulder with its length that only just barely fit in the car. She takes a moment at the top of the stairs to get her breath under control and her game face on.

And then she steps inside.

“Oh, Mister Staaark,” she sing songs as she passes through the sparkling glass and brass front doors, oblivious to the fact that her still rough voice and lack of appointment or any sort of advanced warning probably aren't the best way to start the conversation she needs to have. Oops.

Tailors. He hates tailors. They poke and they prod and they complain when you fidget. I mean who is supposed to stand there doing nothing for all that time and /not/ fidget! Most of the time he just has them come to him. Then of course there are drawbacks to that. Mostly these drawbacks come in the form of the tailor's appointment coinciding with someone trying to murder him. There was the time with Doom. And then at least four times with the Mandarin. Then the anti-mutant protesters with the flamethrowers…

…the point is that most of the tailors in the city won't come within six blocks of Stark Tower now.

AND NONE OF IT WAS HIS FAULT!

But Pepper had insisted that Tony Stark needed a new suit.

And so Tony Stark went.

Already thinking of all the ways he would upgrade said suit.

So, standing there in front of a mirror. Annoyed look on his face, fingertips twitching and a little drone at his shoulder burbling information towards him Stark waits till this ordeal is over…

Oh, Mister Staaaaaaaark

"Oh, thank God, a distraction." He exalts as he steps back from the mirror, seriously scandalising the tailor there as he turns towards the sound of the voice, poking his head out of the room for a moment to peer towards the woman walking in the door. She's getting looks. A lot of looks. And Tony quirks an eyebrow up. "…uh huh…I'm pretty sure I don't know you…"

The drone peers around Stark's shoulder towards her. Curiously warbling a question.

"You don't!" Quinn chirp-croaks, two hands coming up in the international sign for 'Stop! I come in peace! Don't shoot me.' "But," she continues, her hands bouncing once upon the air in a beat, "I am told, you know my boyfriend. However, I realize that you might not necessarily believe that my boyfriend is my boyfriend if I told you that he was my boyfriend, or even if you did believe that my boyfriend was my boyfriend that you might not wanna tell me if you knew, so I brought proof!"

Her open palms, still wrapped in light gauze mitts, are obscured as she changes hand position to a new international sign: 'One moment.'

Hauling the military surplus bag in front of her, she begins unzipping.

Nevermind the man who was at the front register who is already on his way towards her, a string of 'Miss! You can't be in here. Miss. Miss!'

Harley starts muttering as she fumbles with the zipper, angry fingers still awkward. "Miss! Miss. MissmissmissmissmissMISSMISSMISS!” she mocks, “No one ever gives you a minute to finish a freaking thought!" She turns to look over her shoulder, brow furrowing in agitation. "Waitcher turn, Mister Rude McRudepants. Grownups talkin' here."

Which is about the time the bazooka gets hauled out of the bag. Well. A piezooka, but it may not be apparently obvious. Because, really, who carries around piezookas?

The man from the register goes screaming shrilly for cover.

The blonde rolls her eyes in exasperation. "Really?! It's not eve—" A hacking cough interrupts her, and the clown doesn't even think about the optics as she leans the thing towards the ceiling.

"Boyfriend?" Stark pauses a moment as he just watches this strange woman holds her hand up. "I mean I know a lot of peoples boyfriends. Is this a boyfriend that wants to kill me? I'm pretty sure I'd remember that but…" The drone borbles again and this time Stark tilts his head slightly to listen. Information pops up on the interior of his glasses. Correlations. Facial data. Rap sheets. Psyche profiles. And Stark's eyebrows climb slowly up.

He peers around the woman, now expecting clowns to pour in the front door of the establishment even as he swings around the door to face her. I mean most /sane/ people would be ducking back into the room and possibly out a window at this point.

"Hey what she said," He says with a drawl as he waves the man at the register off. "Come on, give us a second because…"

And then she's pulling a bazooka. Out of her bag.

"Ok. First off. How did that even fit in that bag? Second off, you're the girl Owen was talking about?" A long pause there. "I thought you were more of a clown kinda person?" A longer pause. "…well, I guess Owen fits that sometimes. You know what, not gonna ask. Owen is a big boy."

A longer pause.

"And yes, I know what that is cause I helped make it."

How did that fit? Stark asks of her bazooka and duffel, and Quinn just beams. Clowns and cars, clowns and bazookas. It's all the same mysterious magic, right?

And everything is going wonderfully well, Harley having no idea whatsoever that Tony is bringing into Technicolor the hue of her life at the speed of thought and the internet.

"Why is everyone acting so surprised that I'm his girlfriend?" the young woman wonders aloud, even as she hefts the thing up, although its hardly the effortless motion that it's been in better weeks. Stark wouldn't notice, save perhaps when she winces upon setting it at her shoulder. She drops it down again quickly, and then rests it against her good hip as she puts her hand up to the place she's made all angry. "This," she continues, pointing at the piezooka, "is freaking awesome. And why I ain't gonna pull out the other toy for you bringing up the Ex." Chomping away at a glob of bright purple gum - grape, nauseatingly sweet - the harlequin continues. "Look, I figured that would explain a whole lot of stuff toot sweet, so that brings me to point number two: Mercer's missin'. Ain't returnin' my calls. So, I did what any good, responsible girlfriend would do and-" hijacked a poor Uber driver and "-came to ask people who might have seen him if they have."

Never mind the fact that the driver is already reporting the incident to Gotham police. And making phone calls into Manhattan. It's fine.

"Sooooo," she asks, head tilting and hip popping coyly as she flutters her eyelashes. "Ya' seen 'im, cutie?"

"Dunce, update that would ya?" Stark mutters to the drone as he slips his hands into the pockets of his suit and fairly fearlessly faces down the feisty one with a piezooka. There is another glance at the shivering man behind the counter, the tailors quaking in their boots. "Just a sec…" He tells the woman as he pokes his head back inside the fitting room.

"I'm gonna guess my appointment in canceled?"

The shop workers just stare at him like he grew a new head. "Gonna take that as a yes."

Then back to the lady clown.

"Right, didn't know about the Ex situation. So…well that explains why he wanted a piezooka though." It all falls into place. At the question though Stark leans one shoulder against the wall, not quite bothered by the fact one of the insane members of the Gotham Crime Family is sitting here armed and chatting him up.

It must be a secret suit he's wearing. Or he's just always like this.

"Huh, well he's usually drops by every so often…I've been busy with things so…JARVIS?" He glances at the drone. "When did Owen drop by last to amuse my lab and drink the good whiskey."

JARVIS' voice pipes in from the drone's speakers. "Ah, Mister Mercer has been absent from the tower for several weeks, sir. Its been a month or more since he's visited."

Now Stark frowns.

"What?" God has he been that busy? He /has/ been that busy. "Warrants? Arrests? SHIELD and Law enforcement databases?"

"A moment, sir." JARVIS says easily. "…did the suit appointment not quite go as planned? Miss Potts was asking."

"About as well as they usually go, no property damage yet so that is a mark in the positive column."

"Ah,, I'll inform Miss Potts." A pause again. "No sign of Mister Mercer in any recent records, sir."

Now Tony frowns again, and even JARVIS sounds a touch concerned and surprised.

"Well…looks like that is a no, haven't seen him…which means he's lost. So…guess its time to find him."

Quinn can wait a second. So, when Stark asks it of her, the blonde does indeed do this. …Of course, she's also terrorizing the store staff. The man behind the counter, she turns her attention back to him like that cat that ate the canary - albeit a very, very, VERY tired cat - and she chomps her teeth at him as she sways. More and more, the bazooka is becoming a leaning post, and Harley hugs it like a dear friend. "Doncha worry, Zook," she tells the adapted weapon with a fond nudge of her cheek. "We're gonna find yer papa. Promise."

Except that the news doesn't go right. It doesn't turn up Owen, either. That is… irritating. She drove a very long way to— Well, she made a very frightened driver drive a very long way to turn up nothing.

"Well, that was anti-climatic," she grouses in her smoker's growl, with another hack. "Although, I gotta admit. I was pretty sure B was makin' up the whole 'I know Tony Stark' thing, and I saw all of this being a whole lot more in the 'OMG WHAT IS SHE DOING WITH A BAZOOKA'—” This is said with the emphatic gesturing of hands. “—and a whole lot less of you bein' willin' to actually look fer 'im. So, yay fer a good night!"

A pause. "Bozo be damned," she says next, with a sudden horror and realization. "That means I gotta get another Uber back to Gotham." She grins broadly in the inventor's direction, looking wholly unhinged as she fights the urge to cackle. "I don't think the last one's gonna come back fer me. Ha!"

"You came all the way here from Gotham in a Uber? Seriously? How much did that cost—" And Stark trails off after a moment. "You know what. Don't answer that. I'm prolly not lible if I don't know. So we'll just go with that." The man says with a shake of his head as he eyes the woman with a smirk.

"But yeah, you would be surprised how many people aim bazookas at me. Just not quite as many bazookas that I actually helped put together while on a drunken bender."

Whiskey is a hell of a inspiration.

There is a slight frown as he looks towards her though. The inventor though glances at the drone, the one that has been watching her, before he sighs and shakes his head slightly. "Alright. I'll give ya a ride back. That work for you? So you don't have to go a ask any other Ubers." And scare the hell out of them. "…and then you can tell me why you're wincing when you shift that bazooka."

There's a moment of confusion, and the blonde head tilts back the other way. Then one eye squints as she lowers her head between her shoulders and leans in towards Tony, although there is still so much distance between them. "Y-you'll take me back? To Gotham? …Me? Like… Like really?" There's an untrusting glance shot back towards the guy at the register, to the billionaire playboy. "Is this a trick? Are you trying to buy time? Is this a time-buying thing? I mean, I know yer richer than God 'n all, but… are the cops on the way? Did you call the cops?"

Now Stark does laugh. It's a surprising burst of laughter as he shakes his head. "Lady, the cops call me. I'm not your normal billionaire playboy. Who do you think I am? Wayne?" There is a smirk at that before he shakes his head.

"Owen is a friend, or something. And you…actually seem worried about him. So…I'll take a chance on it. Just don't try to hold me for ransom or anything. I got stuff to do later."

A flash of a grin at that before he pushes himself off the wall.

Now, Harley must take a moment to marvel. What has Owen been doing in New York that he has earned friends that do work for free? That are willing to drive his mentally ill, criminal girlfriend hours back to Gotham?

It gives the harlequin pause. "Yeah, okay, I can understand that," Quinn says, feeling more and more run down as the adrenaline rush from potentially needing to get into some kind of fight-then-run scenario starts to leach out of her.

She slowly, carefully stoops down and then tenderly sets the piezooka back in the duffel. She kisses it before zipping it up, leaving little red lip marks on its steely surface. Then she picks it up by hooking the straps with her wrist rather than picking it up properly. "Anyway, long story short: clowns ain't fireproof, apparently. I know. Whoda thunk, right? Next time, won't forget the seltzer."

"…who would even try to set you on fire? I mean, that doesn't seem Bats style. He's more the type to lecture and punch than set things on fire. The Magenta Budgie or whatever he is might more onboard with the fire thing but…" There is a slight shrug as he starts for the door.

As he passes the poor horrified shopkeeper he mouths 'SORRY!' as he starts to make his way towards the door.

"And then you can tell me how the hell you met Owen. I'm going to guess it had something to do with explosions. Possibly boomerangs…"

…he does seem to have them both down fairly well.

All in all, he is getting out of this with minimal property damage. That works for him.

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