Everyone has their doubts.
If you need a refresher course, http://blog.rihaansfics.com/?p=378 is the ultimate guide to understanding everything that happened in the story. It’s very comprehensive, and I’m pretty sure nothing is left out. I may start doing this every five to ten chapters.
Yes, you heard that right. This story’s going long. Can I do it? We’ll see.
~The Previous Day~
Alfred Pennyworth’s hands trembled at the computer, his eyes still trying to comprehend what was happening in front of him. He finally looked away, and his lips quivered as he breathed.
He knew what he was looking at, and he was the only one who could clearly see it; he was watching the destruction of the Batman, and more importantly, the breakdown of Bruce Wayne.
He had been watching since that very morning, when his ward sat up and abruptly left towards the bat cave. It was fifteen long, silent minutes, considering his options, before Alfred left the doorway and followed into the bookcase. While the bat cave was already devoid of the vigilante and the BatWing, one of the computer screens brought up his live feed. The cowl provided the sights and sounds of the Batman, constantly recording for future reference and analysis.
And at first, Alfred thought he was staring at a video – maybe a picture with static interference. It only took him a few seconds to recognize the scene, however, and for the only time that day, a smile came to the Englishman and a lighter feeling overwhelmed him.
A single bouquet of red roses sat upon the cobblestone ground, its bright plumage contrasting the dark gray surroundings. The brightness in the dark.
Alfred watched as the son of Thomas and Martha Wayne paid his respects in humble silence, as the rain pattered around him, as it was that very fateful night.
There were many, many things that Alfred regretted that night – one of them bringing about his utter dislike for vacations, time off, and other such distractions – but the one thing that he truly regretted was never considering therapy.
It was his fault, he realized, knowing it even then, the dangers of a child exposed to such a tragedy, the feeling of being alone and abandoned, deserted, having his childhood stolen. His life taken away, every bit as much as his parents.
The Waynes had perished that night; all three of them. Young Bruce, unfortunately, had to keep up the façade of living. Of caring.
The young prodigy could handle himself, Alfred remembered that he was sure of it. When he was trying to face his fears – standing on top of the manor to conquer his fear of heights, putting his hand in flames to rid his fear of pain – Alfred had taken it as a logical way to cope with his haywire emotions, to prepare himself for the harsh world around him.
He wasn’t expecting this. No one could have.
Even when Bruce decided to leave home to travel abroad, Alfred saw his eyes. Lifeless – devoid of purpose or meaning. He had tried as hard as he could, but a replacement, he was not. Alfred was almost sure he would never see the young lad again.
He heard voices. The butler reminded himself what was happening and briskly walked to the panel to turn up the volume. It would not do to have Batman kneeling in Crime Alley, the infamous location of the Waynes’ deaths. Before he could go for the headset to alert him, the camera moved quickly, and before he could recognize the swift release of air that was the grapnel gun, Bruce was already planting his feet on the roof.
“…If there’s anything magic taught me, is that everything’s a riddle. I wouldn’t be surprised if the veil is one giant ruddy puzzle.”
Alfred recognized that voice. He had seen it live mere hours ago.
While the cowl couldn’t see them – and thankfully so, considering what happened the last time he was caught spying – he could only guess that the entire group was there. It was only confirmed as female voices were picked up.
So, there they were, in front of the run-down and closed theater in the middle of the day, mere meters away from the Batman, who had only less than half-an-hour ago had chosen to visit.
That sobering thought stabbed through Alfred like a knife of ice.
Thinking of the ramifications of what exactly could be happening here – an untraceable tracking device placed somewhere on his suit, or the idea of him dealing with a true psychic being a few of the scenarios – Alfred went to sit down in the chair, numbly staring at the screen.
It was practically a horror movie, watching as Bruce tried to get a visual of the couple, hopping over the stone banister and spying over the ledge, but no matter how he tried, he couldn’t see the trio anywhere, even as they continued talking.
The feed blurred by the time the sidewalk got into view, and Alfred had to squint at the footage.
When Bruce turned away, it went back to normal. As he stayed on the roof, his back against the banister, Alfred assumed that he was simply just listening to the rest of the conversation.
It seemed that they had business there that was completely unrelated to Wayne – business that Warlock was clearly frustrated about, and the women seemed to sympathize with.
Abstract pieces that Alfred had managed to keep up with: He can raise the dead. He and his partners were lovers. They planned on recruiting Riddler to help Warlock get back to his home… ‘dimension’, their words, through a vortex or rift of some sort. He had a crystal clear connection with a woman who seemed fond of him, from his home dimension, and they were killing other government officials for the sake of finding the correct path.
And if he somehow managed to return, he’s planning on starting a mutiny and claiming the power for his own by killing the ‘Dark Lord.’ A King of a sort that he had affectionately named, no doubt.
None of these things managed to get him unconcerned. The only useful information in their favor he was able to gather was this mystery man’s name – Harry – and the woman through the connection – Tonks. And they were planning on finding Riddler.
That was all he could gather before the still invisible trio seemed to have left the scene, and he couldn’t even sink into his thoughts before they returned and entered the theater.
When Bruce followed them in, Alfred stepped away for a moment and took the elevator up.
He could only deal with so much.
He couldn’t really explain to himself why he came back, but he knew that for the rest of the day, as he checked in and out on the Wayne heir’s progress, thugs previously associated with the Riddler, formerly known as Enigma, were harassed until they told what they knew.
It was by nighttime when Bruce had heard about the warehouse.
Roman Sionis, a man that Master Wayne claimed that he was nothing like, was also waiting for the insane genius, with several armed men scattered about, ripping through everything in the facility. Before Bruce could logically assess the situation, his cowl focused on her lingering at the doorway, before she stealthily leaped into the shadows, even escaping his intense gaze.
And, even in this situation, he had to admit that things had just gotten a bit more interesting.
It was confounding, really. No matter how much he protested the Master’s nightly escapades, he couldn’t deny that it was at those moments that he seemed the most human. Bruce’s cover as a playboy billionaire, was exactly as it seemed to him – a cover. Even as he brought home foreign models and actresses – not wanting to be closely associated with anyone in Gotham – he knew that they would not stay long. His smile was fake, his laughter was, while not forced, far from genuine, and the genius with the airhead persona and stiff acting usually bored his partner eventually, or he patiently waited until they left him.
Before he met Andrea Beaumont, at least. And that made him happy for a while, until life got in the way once again. Or should he say death, more specifically, of her father. She left him to travel the world, and it went back into routine for him.
But Selina Kyle – or as she wanted to be referred to, the Catwoman, as some sort of sick homage to the man who inspired her to put on a mask – was what made everything so confounding. A criminal with a predilection for taking whatever she wanted, and doing it by any means necessary.
Of course, Bruce was not outwardly fazed by her in the slightest, but Alfred had seen and heard their conversations.
He could honestly say that, in their interactions with each other, their flirting, combined with his desperation for her to reform, that Catwoman was the sole source for Batman’s most human moments. Maybe because she was a woman, or maybe because she had never killed, so he didn’t view her as a true villain, but the results were always there.
And it worried Alfred that maybe one day, it wouldn’t be Catwoman that turned to his side, but Batman that would turn to hers.
Maybe it was a ridiculous suspicion, but stranger things have happened, much like the idea of a woman dressed as a cat and a man dressed as a bat falling for each other on the sides of good and evil. Perhaps, one day, this would become a trivial sentence, but he’d be beholden to say that it wouldn’t happen anytime soon – for the sake of his own sanity.
It took a slight moment to notice the soft glow of the green eyes that stared directly at him. Well, at Bruce. Going by the build, it could have only been Warlock.
And it happened again.
Alfred, the incredibly patient man that he was, gritted his teeth as Bruce antagonized the young man again, and flinched as he began to yell, clearly loud enough that Sionis could hear him.
Watching Bruce swing and leap and traverse his way through a hailstorm of bullets did little to qualm his fear, but a swift punch to the head of the Black Mask ended the short battle.
In the confusion, both the Warlock and Catwoman had disappeared. Alfred still wasn’t too sure if it was a good or bad thing. The thugs, taken out of commission, could not have all been taken out by the Batman, and maybe that was a sign of good news – if it wasn’t just confirmed that Warlock now had a hold of the Riddler.
Nevertheless, he knew his duty – the masked villain was being tied to one of the posts, waiting for the pickup by the GPD. It was time to make an anonymous tip.
Really, you think they would have at least tried to triangulate the source of the call by now, given how many times he had phoned in.
And thus, Alfred took the elevator once again, to indulge in his Master’s hobby once more, playing along in a game that had gone on for far too long.
But he had made a promise, just as much as Bruce had. And, perhaps, the promises they made would one day kill the both of them.
The woman known to the most notorious city in the world as Poison Ivy, was usually considered a bit of a tease – and not for no good reason. Her daring choice of dress, her luscious figure, her tantalizing gaze, her exotic skin tone, her dulcet, occasionally breathy voice, and, for a surprising many, her dangerous past, made for the ultimate sex machine – at least, in concept. No one had ever been lucky enough to get a kiss from the mint-green goddess and stay alive, much less explore her body and discover how much of a sultry minx she could be.
None, except two. And Pamela writhed wildly on the Queen bed as her two lovers caressed and nipped at her bare body, teasing her enough to last a few lifetimes.
Oddly enough, the three had gotten into a comfortable pattern quickly when it came to each other’s needs, transitioning with little difficulty and keeping it from getting too confusing when it came to tending to each other. Harley, remembering the previous night, decided to go for her girlfriend’s top half this time, while Harry was transfixed with the vixen’s long, supple legs.
Ivy gasped and moaned as Harley kissed and sucked at her vulnerable neck, taking her time as she closed her eyes and focused on the most sensitive of spots. Harry, lying between Ivy’s legs, skimmed his fingers along her inner thighs, working his unnatural tongue in circles on the tiny lines of blood vessels along her legs.
Her sex was on fire, and her nipples were aching to be touched, but Harley had commanded her not to do it herself – she was at their mercy tonight.
She didn’t really know what to feel about letting them take control, but she knew she wasn’t against it; and now, shaking under their ministrations, her hips rolling and grinding against the cool air, her breasts heaving and wobbling like a candle’s flame, flickering in the wind; she was beginning to like what they were doing so far.
Then, without warning, Harry gently grabbed her thighs and wiggled his tongue against her clitoral hood, which had long ago peeked out to be noticed. Harry gave his undivided attention with his lips, and Pamela began thrashing underneath them both.
Harley, never the one to be without an impact, seized her breasts and palmed her massive tits with glee, before – finally – focusing her tongue on her dark green areolae and rock-hard nipples.
Ivy’s eyes opened and she let out a gasp as her body was assaulted – her senses ran wild with abandon. Her lips quivered, much like her hungry sex as she was put up as an offering to her two lovers. She was no stranger to the art of self-pleasure, nor was she a stranger to ministrations to or from Harley, but she could more than safely admit that Harry brought a new perspective into their relationship – not detracting, as she had long ago feared, but adding a whole lot more. Granted, ‘long ago’ meaning a bit less than two days, but it had been a hell of some forty-odd hours for her – for all of them.
The trio deserved a little down-time. And luckily, they started on her. And she was oh so pleasantly reminded as Harry gave the tiniest nibble on her sensitive clit, while Harley rubbed her pixyish nose around her nipple in a way that left her whimpering.
They were assaulting her purest pleasure spots, and yet, they still managed to find ways to tease her.
Last night aside, she wasn’t a very submissive being, so she felt the need to voice her agony. “S-stop teasing me! Get – ah… on with it!”
Harry and Harley’s eyes briefly met over a horizon of green skin, and with as much as a mischievous grin they could muster with their mouths attached to body parts, they acquiesced to the quivering girl’s demands.
The wizard slowly spread opened her delicate labia lips, like a flower. Her green petals were wet with dew, that looked absolutely beautiful, and he was reminded of what Harley said once about their lover. His tongue began to eagerly search for that sweet watermelon-like taste of the girl under him.
At the same time, Harley’s tongue ran along her long-time girlfriend’s soft skin, somewhat addicted to her taste, and closed her eyes at the feeling it gave her.
In some ways, Ivy was like a plant in itself, and maybe she didn’t even notice it. When she was aroused, her pores released secretions, much like sweat, except it was like no sweat she knew of. It was like a type of honeydew, Harleen figured, having no other references, not as big on plant life studies as her lover.
Still, she sucked on her girlfriend’s skin like a bee to nectar, putting aside the ridiculous thought that bees and flies might actually be attracted to this unique scent with the pheromones she let off. Her tongue flittered and fluttered between the valley of her massive breasts up to her throat, and back again, pausing to grab at the sides of her mammaries and pushing them together, her face trapped in between.
Unintentionally, she was mirroring Harry, his head betwixt Ivy’s thighs and his tongue deep in her slick crevice, wriggling and stabbing into her in the most pleasurable of ways.
Pamela, upon reflection, realized that she had bitten off more than she could chew.
Harleen siphoned her favorite drink off of her favorite gal, motor boating the perfectly big tits that she herself was glad she didn’t have, and was ecstatic she’d always have access to. Her tongue slowly rolled across the microscopic imperfections of the green girl below her, Ivy’s pulsing veins tingling her taste buds. Currently clothed in only a slightly oversized t-shirt and a pair of royal blue panties with white stars on them, her own slick womanhood was vulnerable to her encroaching fingers, and she slid a digit smoothly into her underwear to frig herself as she pleasured her girl.
Harry’s tongue continued to slam inside Ivy with a force that she was sure a tongue could never have, with a depth that she was utterly convinced could only be achieved by a spell. He had given them a taste – pun intended – of his Parselmouth abilities, and he had learned to parse out the skill in an intense moment, as it tended to cause unconsciousness. A slow hum in Parseltongue was the most effective technique, since he could avoid closing his mouth for another syllable.
Also, it tended to get messy when he had a vibrating tongue. As it turned out, a lot of girls had a certain spot that made them squirt and spasm harder than they could possibly imagine, and Harry had an uncanny penchant for finding that spot.
Seconds later, that proved to be true with Pamela as well. As Harry’s tongue stimulated every nerve ending inside of her, bumping and vibrating her pussy walls with absurd proficiency, Ivy writhed and came onto Harry’s tongue, screaming into Harley’s mouth as her tasty fluids gushed into Harry’s. She held Harley tight, reaching out and squeezing her ass cheek and marveled at the tight, pliant flesh under her fingers.
Ivy knew her girl’s handful-sized breasts were going to one day turn into something more spectacular than they were already, but she really didn’t want Harley’s ass to ever change.
Harley coo’ed and ah’ed under Ivy’s ministrations when a single digit slipped into her slippery petals, but was grateful for the slow pace, still sore from their last tryst. Her self-healing abilities were stretched thin as much as they both were, so she commiserated with the girl. Though, it seemed that Harry’s magic tongue was at least a partial cure, or at least could give her a different reason to walk funny.
Her legs twitched in spasms as Harry slowly crawled up her body and around Harley, caressing the outside of her stems as his over-achieving oral muscle licked up the left side, taking care to stop at her large breast, picking up where Harley left off.
“F-fuck!” Harley squealed, “So good!” Ivy didn’t realize that she had sped up the pace of her deft fingers, but she didn’t seem to mind. “Keep doing that, baby~~~!”
Harry’s lips finally settled for Ivy’s, which she had no objections to, slurping at Harry’s tongue with a passion. She reached down with her free hand and began to stroke her boyfriend’s massive erection fervently, her body hungry for more, and her lovers fed off her energy like nectar.
With Harley bouncing languidly on her fingers, and Harry beginning to slam into her fist like a fresh cocksleeve against her naturally secreting palms – perks of being ‘more in tune’ with nature – Ivy connected to the two in a way she never felt before. Their first true threesome was underway, and if Harry’s powerful strokes were any indication, they seemed to be in for a long night.
Ivy stared at the tea in a daze.
The previous night was… tiring to say the least. While her body wore the scars in the most uncomfortable places, it was a good hurt. Harley was gentle with her walk to the kitchen table as well, and even Harry discovered a crook in his neck when he awoke. It was the only indication of fatigue he had ever shown so far, and the girls marked it up as a partial victory, even though they swore that he was the last to fall asleep while they slumbered in unconsciousness. Even he admitted that he felt skittish all day yesterday, insisting that there was always more to do.
She smirked to herself. Perhaps she should consider all options when it came to their lovemaking, and do away with restricted areas.
Still, they had a mission to complete, and if everything went right, a mission to celebrate when they got home.
Though she had to admit, it didn’t seem like one of the greatest crimes in Gotham’s history was about to be committed today.
The morning was calm. There were no cop cars surrounding their house, no nosy cat ladies waiting for the right time to make herself known, nor was there a bat waiting in the shadows for the perfect time to strike – something that Ivy and Harry repeatedly had to promise to Harley that they would warn her of next time that happened – and so life, for them at least, proceeded to be normal.
In a house with a wizard, a plant-human hybrid, an A-grade criminal schoolgirl, a cat burglar, a melancholy prodigy, a reporter, a tiger, a lion, and a snow leopard – it appeared to be a normal morning. So far.
Though, looking around the magically expanded table, Ivy had to admit that this was a bit overwhelming. This ragtag group of criminal masterminds was somewhat… strange, even for her. A sight like this was rare to see, even in Blackgate – being contained together all at once had never happened before. Ivy hoped it never would.
Blackgate’s finest criminal minds were in the room with her: Harleen, next to her, surreptitiously feeding Juliet with a piece of bacon. Eddie, grumbling to himself about his insurance. Selina, drinking a bottle of milk and pouring a small puddle on the floor for Sasha to drink. Harry, inspecting the vine that had taken a liking to him, petting the wriggling appendage not unlike a cat, while Twilight kneeled at his chair. Vale, due to her allergies, had chosen to eat in the living room.
Her eyes rounded the room for a few more moments, before she finally shrugged. This would take some getting used to.
Especially Eddie. If she was honest with herself, when she recommended him to help them out with their problem, she wasn’t planning on him moving in with them, but it was the only condition that he could allow, in order to escape Black Mask’s employment into their protection – well, that, and solve a riddle.
She was rather uncomfortable with another man in her house, and while she was comfortable with the man himself, having been trapped in a prison cell across from his for many months, she didn’t like the idea of him being just down the hallway from her room at all times. Especially if Harleen decided to expand relationship territory again.
She smirked. Her dear Harley. The girl had good instincts, for sure, attracting the attention of Harry Potter. But Pamela would be damned if Riddlerwas added to the list of men she would have to get used to, intimately, for her adventurous girlfriend’s sake.
Ivy finished her tea and sat back. The vine that was currently catering to them was too predisposed, still letting Harry stroke her. She rolled her eyes with a tilt of a smile and summoned another tendril to flawlessly pick up where the other left off.
Harley nibbled on a piece of bacon. “So,” she inquired, “what’s on the schedule for today, besides Blackgate? I was thinking of a few more ideas for the house….”
The green-skinned teen shook her head. “We’re already dealing with a mansion, Harley. What did we miss?”
Harry spoke, his attention still on the vine. “Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m quite powerful enough to get all of that done in a day. That boundless energy I had yesterday seems to come and go. I’ll need Hermione’s half on some bits, so I’d have to wait until our connection’s stronger. It’ll be soon enough. In the meantime, I can set up a few things, but it’ll take the whole afternoon and a bit of the evening.”
Edward looked up from his laptop. “Connection problem? Seems fine to me. I’m watching a live feed of our broadcast right now. Still unchallenged!”
Pamela looked at him weirdly. “We don’t have internet, Eddie.”
He smirked as he took a sip of coffee. “You do, now; since twenty minutes ago. I can assure you that you couldn’t get any faster if you wired directly into a satellite.”
Harry blinked. “I’ve rarely been on the computer when I got the chance, in some libraries. But what’s a live feed?”
The man had a peculiar gleam in his brown eyes, and Pam crossed her arms. “Now you’ve done it….”
“Hold on!” Harleen raised up a hand. “Ed, it’s a magic thing, not a tech thing. The connection he was referring to was mental. You two can have your little tutoring session in a minute.” She looked over to Harry. “Blackgate can wait, can’t it? Their security is more lax at night. I’d imagine that the sooner Eddie helps us with our portal problem, the better, right?”
Harry nodded, remembering the conversation he had with Daphne, Tracey, and Fleur. “They’ve almost figured it out, but they need someone on their end. That can wait, too. They’re in class right now.”
The blonde looked towards her girlfriend. “Red? What do you think? Daytime siege? Or should we check in on our new friend at GPD?”
The redhead pondered to herself for a moment. “Perhaps a night attack would seem predictable. I don’t think they’ll be expecting an attack this soon – we never even hinted at a Blackgate outbreak. Plus they seem a bit… distracted at the moment. Though I imagine the prisoners have heard about what we’ve done, and might be planning a mutiny.”
Selina leaned against the table. “Then we start the mutiny before they can; put them in our debt. Make them think that we didn’t forget the little people.”
Harleen nodded. “And the not-so-little. Makes sense. Red? Harry?”
“I need blueprints,” The green-eyed wizard warned. “And I need the areas marked for the ones that I’m looking for, specifically. You said you had one in mind, Pamela?”
She stood from the table, and retightened her robe, self-conscious of the crowded house. “Two, actually, but one is at Blackgate. I couldn’t tell you his cell number, but he should be in the same block.” She looked around the table. “Ready for your first mission?”
Eddie sniffed. “If it’s Killer Croc, count me out. Or Deadshot.”
“I’d rather we have people on our team that can actually listen to orders. Neither fits our criteria. The person I have in mind will work well with us, I expect.”
“Nice suspense,” Selina muttered. “So what’s the plan going in? Eddie runs interference while I set the distraction? Or are we making helicopters explode and setting more things on fire?”
Harry tickled the underside of the vine, not unlike scratching a snake’s neck, and it wiggled accordingly. “Didn’t realize I’ve become a novelty,” he responded. “I’ll have to change that. Won’t be a one hit wonder.”
“Then it’s time to hit harder than we’ve ever had before,” Harley grinned. “Ready when you guys are.”
She raised an eyebrow at the smartest man in the room. “What? Expecting pay?”
The bespectacled man shook his head, annoyance on his features. “No, dear girl, I was expecting consequences. You’re just going to let us go? Trust us to stay with our designated tasks and help with our fullest capabilities? Not even going to give us a psychiatric exam, or at the very least, some sort of incentive to make sure the mission goes unobstructed and immaculately? Tsk, tsk.”
Harry tilted his head. “That didn’t work for you. You just betrayed Black Mask to work for us. I imagine a reward and a punishment was put in place?”
Edward waved it off, closing the laptop in front of him. “That may be. I did betray him; when faced with three large jungle cats, a bioweapon, a jester with a bazooka, a woman who thinks she has nine lives and nothing to lose, and a man who obviously doesn’t know the basic laws of Physics and Science enough to obey them.” He eyed everyone at the table. “I recommend an explosive collar.”
Selina rolled her eyes. “And let me guess – you’ll be making them.”
Everyone in the room could see his dimples as he smiled. “Of course, my feline friend! In fact, I’ve got the schematics written up in my room. It should only take an hour or so to have a working prototype.”
“And I trust that you’ll be the first subject of the test collar?” Harry asked, almost genuinely. “I’m not exposing anyone to a collar that may or may not work.”
The man adorned in the bowler hat – even at the breakfast table – could only scoff. “All of my inventions work. I can guarantee that.”
Pamela sipped lightly on her tea. “We’re going to have a talk, Eddie, on why you happen to have collar schematics, considering that most of your physical items were destroyed in the warehouse. Did you always plan on using them for this? Or did you plan on enacting some unauthorized domestication?”
Harley scoffed. “Yeah, sure. Like Juliet would let that happen.” At the uncomfortable silence, she looked up from feeding said Sumatran Tiger, in favor of eyeing the self-aggrandizing puzzle master. “I was joking, Riddles. You were supposed to laugh there.”
He chuckled nervously. “Ah, yes, well, I suppose that would be a ridiculous folly, were I to actually try to collar your pet.”
The tiger purred, and Harry chuckled. “Language, Jules.”
Another uncomfortable silence. Harleen tsk’ed. “We still need to talk about the whole ‘I can turn into a cat at will and never bothered to tell anyone’ thing. Still mildly freaked out about the whole thing.”
Harry sat back in his chair, and the snow leopard leaned against his leg. “If you knew, it wouldn’t be as fun.”
She opened her mouth. Then closed it. Then opened it again, holding her hand up to annunciate her words better. She faltered. Then she sighed in resignation. “Yeah, that’s fair.”
Selina rolled her eyes and left the table. “Tell me when you’re ready. My costume’s not exactly made for daytime, and a bikini seems a bit too inappropriate for the job, and, uh… Green’s not a good color on me. You rock it well, sweetie, but black is the best bet for me.” She crossed her arms and leaned against the wall. “So you can heal up gunshot victims like new – thanks for that, by the way – and you’re a hell of a human pyro that’ll make Firefly your best friend. But how’s your taste for fashion?”
“I have green claw marks all over black and red clothes. Fashion isn’t a strong point for me.”
Selina shrugged nonchalantly. “That’s the style these days, isn’t it? Ripped, torn up a little. Sexy.”
“This one’s on me,” Harley acknowledged. “You took away my chance to dress you up, Harry. I’ll make the design, you dress her up.”
“Oh, Harley,” Selina purred, “I’d much rather you dress me up. He’s cute and all, and he’s got magic hands, but I’d appreciate a more… femininetouch.”
She held up a spoon and a fork and held them perpendicular to each other, pointing the makeshift cross at the leering seductress. “Down, kitty. Don’t make me collar your ass.”
The thief showed her teeth in her smile. “You don’t have to tame me. All you have to do is ask.”
Pamela shook her head – aware that she’d probably be doing that a lot more times today – and crossed her arms. “Kyle, you’re starting to sound desperate.”
“Relax, Pammy,” she winked, “it’s just harmless flirting. I imagine that for the next long stretch, we’ll be under one roof for a while, unless Magic Man decides to build a whole city out of Lincoln Logs.”
Harry wrinkled his nose. “You know, I just might. Just to show you I could.”
“So I figured,” Selina continued, pointedly looking away from the wizard, “I can’t bring any guests over. One of these days, this kitty’s gonna need a playmate. Just laying out the groundwork is all.”
“Yes,” Poison Ivy said dully. “With my girlfriend.”
She threw a thumb back at the person she was distinctly ignoring. “Worked out well for him.”
“I’m charming,” Harry quipped immediately. “You’re just horny. And your puns, or ‘pick-up lines’ as you call them, are terrible.”
“Yes, you’re very charming,” Selina drawled in sarcasm. “And nothing’s wrong with my puns. It’s my thing. You just don’t get it.”
Harry nodded over to Eddie. “You could always try him. You two have a lot in common.”
Both sets of eyes narrowed at him. “Take that back,” she growled.
But Nigma more intelligibly let his feelings known. “Excuse me? I have something in common with her? This mentally damaged abomination of a woman? A woman who is half-kleptomaniac, half-crazy catlady! I’m surprised she’s not flirting with the animals.”
She grit her teeth. “I’m sorry I left you out, Eddie. It won’t happen again.”
“The smartest man in the world with the sexiest woman on the planet,” Harry noted. “Quite the vanity affair, don’t you think? I imagine you two could live happily ever after with those delusions.”
“Or kill each other,” Harley noted, her jaw set. “But if you ever crack a joke about our relationship again, I will tenderize and grind you into cat food, bitch.”
Pamela had been watching her lover closely since Selina’s off-handed comment, seeing how she would respond. On the plus side, it looked very much like she had learned her lesson when it came to infidelity, and she wouldn’t be repeating that mistake anytime soon.
On the negative, this was very poor teambuilding.
“I… I’m sorry, Harls,” the Cat Burglar said awkwardly, seeing the hurt in the blonde’s clear blue eyes. “I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just… just – ”
“Reminding me that it didn’t take much for me to spread my legs and cheat on my girl? Or reminding me that you’re simply surprised that the chick who seemingly just can’t say no is rejecting you?” She stabbed the fork she was holding into the table, making everyone jump. After a chilling silence, she spoke quietly. “Maybe you’re just that terrible of a person.” She nodded her head over to Ivy. “And while I’m sure my lover has been looking at me like she’s afraid I’m ready to fuck everyone at this table, there’s no worry when I’m around you. I guaran-fucking-tee it.”
Selina looked to be legitimately remorseful and hurt stuttering over her words in apologies, and Pamela shut her up. “Harley. We need to talk.”
She eyed her green-skinned girlfriend. “I’m not mad at you, Red. I’d be worried too, if I brought home a guy I met for – what? Two minutes?”
“I followed you home,” Harry delicately reminded her. “After I tied you up. I don’t see you as the guilty one in that situation.”
She gave the appearance of calming herself, though not by much, as she looked down, fiddling with her thumbs. “We had sex, right here in this kitchen, after I told you to get out of our house and tried to kill you.”
Harry sat back in his chair. He looked down for a moment, contemplating whether or not to tell her, before he looked up. “Do you remember what I said about Legilimency? The ability to read minds?”
“Yeah.” She winced. “You actually can do that, can’t you?”
“Just surface thoughts. The things you’re immediately thinking about. I’ve used it on you three times. I did it once to find out who you were, the night we met. I did it again to make sure you were… I did it to make sure you were in the right state of mind about what you… we were doing next. You were… logical about it. All those thoughts in your head were just questions and answers. I saw a pros and cons list. Just a whole bunch of scenarios in why this is a bad idea, and why it wasn’t so bad.” Harry smiled a little. “You could see that I was a good kid. You called me a kid a lot.”
Her eyes were lowered, staring hard into the table. “You looked like a kid. I’ve got a persona to play up, I’m supposed to be over twenty!” She winced as she said that out loud, knowing that she slept with the ‘kid’. “And then I started feeling guilty about that, too.”
“I’m fifteen, just like you. According to my birth certificate.”
“…Oh. Really? Well, now I know,” she grumbled to herself. “You’d think I’d ask for that information, wouldn’t I?”
Harry fiddled with his thumbs, and Harley cleared her throat to bring noise to the uncomfortably drawn out silence, staring hard into her empty plate. “And the third time?”
“Harley. Look up.”
It took a moment for her to notice. She eyed the frozen room in front of her with a half-gaze, seeing her lover with an admonishing stare, the guilty-looking thief and the angry intellect as still as the table she was staring at.
Only Harry, at the end of the table, was tangibly there, focused on her, staring so intently that he might have been frozen as well.
Until he blinked. “Are you panicking?” he asked with caution.
She bit her lip. She looked around once more. Finally, she settled for shaking her head in the negative.
“Do you trust me?”
She nodded, her reaction much quicker this time.
“It’s an altered Stasis charm,” he explained. “No one can hear this. Full disclosure – the first time I stumbled on this spell, I accidentally stopped my subjects from breathing for a short time. I’ve since fixed that.” He eyed her closely. “I told you that because you trust me, and I don’t want to hide anything.”
He ran a hand through his hair and gave a shy smile – something that she hadn’t really seen on him, and honestly wished she could see more of. “You saw someone you could trust if Pamela had really decided to let you go. You actually considered looking for me to understand where I came from.”
The corners of Harleen’s lips quirked upwards. “But you were already there.” She faltered. “And I was afraid.”
Harry tilted his head. “I believe the words were ‘Why can’t you just die?’ Not the first time I’ve heard that.” His expression turned serious. “A bit of an extreme response to liking a kiss. But that’s the fear, I imagine.”
She blushed. “It was a good kiss. Not good enough to leave Ivy. I needed to gain her trust back. I talked myself into killing you. I needed her back. I don’t… I needed my Ivy back.”
Harry nodded in understanding. “She’s everything to you.” He looked down. “Sometimes – when it’s just the two of us – I’ve called her My Only. For a while, she didn’t like being called ‘Mione, so I started calling her Mine, then My Only. Obviously, the name’s not true, but she had that name before our relationship grew to other girls. But really, I gave her that name for a true and honest reason, I wasn’t even thinking of the literal term anymore. If anything ever happened to her, I don’t know what I’d do. Especially if I think it’s my fault. More especially if she thinks it’s my fault.” He paused. “You didn’t kiss me. I can’t try to convince you what is and what is not your fault. But I take full responsibility for forcing myself on you. Because I read your thoughts and I took action.”
“Then I wanted it.” Her expression was almost sorrowful. “My fault.”
“No. I saw someone in pain who needed to forget. Someone whose life just fell from beneath them. Someone who was thinking about how they would do anything to take the pain away.” He sucked in a breath through his teeth, and loudly exhaled, the noise amplifying in the silent room. “My fault.”
Harleen’s eyes were shining, looking at the still figure of Pamela. Her lecturing speeches, like the one she was likely going to give, didn’t have a looming or encroaching, tedious feel at that moment. “Please don’t tell her I thought that.”
Harry’s eyes glossed over, focusing on nothing in particular. “You know, we like to imagine that we don’t know what we’d do if we lost the ones we love. We do.” He breathed a heavy sigh. “We just don’t even like to think about it. She’d think the same thing. Trust me.”
“Somehow,” she leaned forward on the table, slumping against her palms, “I doubt that. She’s so much stronger than me.”
Harry tapped his fingers on the table, waiting expectantly. Harley stared back. “What?”
He smiled sadly. “The third time I read your thoughts was yesterday morning. You were telling me about your first few weeks living with Pamela, and how you didn’t get along well until you two began to talk. I was rather curious about how you two met.”
Her eyes went wide. She tried to search her words. “T-that was – I mean, she… that’s different!”
“No. It wasn’t.”
A warm set of green fingers cupped the bespectacled blonde’s chin, and Harleen’s eyes were mystified as a halo of red hair surrounded her.
Poison Ivy kneeled on the table, looking directly down at Harley as she held her soft skin, captivating her lover. “Harleen. My dear, sweet Harley.” She used her other hand to stroke her girlfriend’s chin, and the blonde subconsciously leaned into her fingertips her eyes still looked, waiting – wanting. “The days after I met you, I thought I would never be the same again. You exposed and revealed the human part of me. And when you left that message for me… I could breathe again. We’ve been together for over a year, Harls. And I was thinking those dark thoughts when I knew nothing about you but your body.”
She was silent for a pregnant moment. Harley had all the time in the world to wait. “That month you lived here, when we were purely physical with each other. I never told you this, but I never minded that time.” She began to look guilty. “I didn’t love you. I didn’t know if I was capable of that anymore. All I knew was that I loved your body. I loved your energy. I loved your brain. For a time, I even loved your accent, I was so hooked to you.” Harley broke into a grin, for the first time since Harry enacted the time dilation stasis charm. “And I would do anything to keep you. I knew you would fall in love with me. And you did. You told me barely a week into our relationship. And, a part of me lied. I did love you. But I didn’t. Not yet. Not at that level. I was… I was so positive I wouldn’t get there.”
Her eyes burned with intensity. “and even then, I knew I’d do anything to keep you, and I’d never consider hope again if you weren’t here, with me.”
Her breath smelled of fresh lavender today, Harleen barely noticed, when she closed her eyes to stop the tears from falling. “And now, Red?”
“Now,” the redhead smiled, “I’d do anything too keep you. And I’d know exactly what I’d do if anything happened to you.” She made a sniffle so imperceptible, Harley barely registered it. “From day one, nothing’s changed. It’s just gotten a lot stronger. You make me feel like I’m not a monster. That I can actually feel. And that’s why I made that decision when I first found you. I saw the potential. I saw you. And I was drawn to you like a fly to a Venus.”
Harley chuckled at the irony of her being referred to as the flower. “Me too, Red.”
Her full lips curled. “Then don’t beat yourself up. If there’s anything I love more than you, it’s your instinct. I trust you, Harley. I always have. I’ll let you in on a secret.” She tilted her head over to Harry, who sat on the table next to them at a small distance, fiddling with his thumbs and looking down at his lap. “When we first met, it wasn’t in the best of circumstances. But even I could see the care in his eyes when he took you.” Her smile was mischievous as Harry turned to them in surprise. “I almost began to immediately trust him, too. And a part of me was worried what that would entail. Relationships like this” – she looked back and forth to her two lovers – “don’t last. Or at least, they don’t end well. And when someone tells you they already have a harem, even at his age, you can’t help but think he’s either a liar or a sleaze.”
Harry only shrugged. “I never claimed to not be a sleaze, but I usually only lie for two reasons: to protect the people I love, and to piss off the people I hate.” He looked around the frozen room. “So when I disable the ward, and we all pretend this didn’t happen, I’m protecting our bigger secrets.”
The two nodded. “Good idea,” Harley agreed with a blush. “Because I was planning on saying a lot more than what I was going to say.” She looked up to Ivy, who had leaned back in a kneeling position. “How much did you hear, sweetie?”
“All of it,” the redhead admitted. “I wasn’t affected by the stasis charm at all. But by the time you noticed the rest of the room, I was playing along.” She shook her head. “and apparently, the cradle robber strikes again. That at least explains the teenage stamina.”
The green-eyed wizard rested his feet on the chair as he adjusted his rear on the table. “Magic stamina, actually. The power of the wizard defines the health of the body. My connection to Hermione’s magic gives me another edge as well, but, it’s a bit like a candle burning on both ends. I did leave her with the rest of the girls after all, doing whatever they can to distract her from worrying.” He didn’t have the heart to tell her that it will only get worse – well, better, depending on the standpoint – as he got older.
“You know,” Harley began to inquire, “we never got an answer on how many girls you’ve actually been with.”
“I’ve never counted,” Harry said honestly. “I mean, I can remember all of their names, but I’ve never organized it into a numbered list. Give me a minute.”
Harley whistled. “That many, huh? A guy with perfect memory and total recall has to actually count them out? That pretty much answers my question.”
“Although,” Pamela pointed out, “that was far too noble an answer for a normal human being. I can understand not having a black book, but to not even have an estimate of your conquests?”
Harry snorted. “I imagine that they consider me the conquest. I have to try to separate my memories from Hermione’s and Luna’s. We tend to share a lot of memories. And they’re polyjuiced as me, which makes it even more confusing. I guess that counts.”
Harley nodded in understanding, while Ivy looked confused. “I’ll tell you later,” the blonde promised, remembering that she wasn’t with them the previous morning. “So, what was happening before everything froze?”
“It was right before Pamela told you that she needed to talk to you. Since she wasn’t affected, she was able to speak.”
Ivy tilted her head at the wording of Harry’s statement, but didn’t inquire further. With a long kiss against her girlfriend’s sweet lips, and a quick peck to her magical boyfriend, she slid back and off the table, as gracefully and quietly as she approached it. Harry carefully directed her back to where she was.
Harley dabbed at the tears in her eyes, tears that weren’t there before time stopped, and embarrassingly muttered thanks to her two best friends. She absently reached down to pet the downy soft fur of her Sumatran, and Juliet was still warm to the touch as she remembered it.
Harry stood from the table, and the blue eyed girl with shoulder-length blonde hair used her other hand to make a come hither motion. Harry leaned in, and her smirk was devious as she grabbed him by his collar and pressed her lips to his.
“You lied,” she whispered knowingly, her smirk still in place after they parted.
“Did I? At what part?”
“Right before that whole lecture on trust, you said that no one can hear us talk. I’m far from mad, but I am curious. Why lie about Ivy being unfrozen?”
Harry stared up at the green-skinned teen, her similarly tinted eyes searching his own. “Pamela needed to hear it all. It would hurt the both of you if she didn’t know.”
Harley blinked a few times at the unsaid message, while Ivy looked ponderous. Harry didn’t dwell on it long, instead moving back to his seat. He placed one hand on the table, and hid his other hand on his lap, out of view.
“Is it too late to slap Selina in the face?”
“I really don’t think she meant anything by that comment, Harls.”
“I know. I just really want to slap her, is all.”
“You two are going to have to learn to work with each other if we want this team to actually succeed. I could kick her out, but doing that might make her an ally of Batman. You know she likes to switch sides.”
“Don’t I know it.” The blue-eyed girl stared at the yellow-eyed vixen, her statuesque apologetic form, admittedly, a work of art. “You said the one thing you loved as much as me was my instinct, right?”
A slight pause, and Pamela slumped her shoulders. “Okay. I get it, loud and clear. She’ll be gone by the end of the day.”
Ivy raised a delicate eyebrow. “No?”
Harley eyed her girlfriend carefully. “Don’t think I haven’t noticed that no matter how many times she’s asked to room with us, you’re interested in the offer, while she’s always making eyes at me. Every time she flirts with me, you tell her once not to, and she keeps going, and you ignore it. You even suggested that she join our team before Harry came along. You talked me into stealing the Jade from the museum – the heist that led me to Harry.” She smirked. “And here I thought you weren’t too fond of cats.”
Ivy stood there with crossed arms, and the beginnings of rosy cheeks. “I wanted you two to get along together,” she insisted. “You said it yourself, Harley: Until Harry, I was your only friend. And we did – still do, on some basis – need her help in our team.” She looked away. “And perhaps, maybe I got carried away.”
“Yeah, you trying to hook me up with Selina frustrated me a bit, but not nearly enough as the fact that you were doing it for the purpose of all three of us living happily ever after, knowing that if she managed to get in my good graces, it would be a very easy transition from there.” She sent a cheesy smile Harry’s way. “I couldn’t imagine anyone doing that, huh?”
“Holy hell,” Pamela managed to mutter through a slacked jaw. “That’s what you did with me and Harry?”
“Harry was my Selina,” her sweet little Harleen admitted apologetically. “Except what I did worked. In my defense, Harry’s more immediately likeable.”
Pamela, forced to taste her own medicine, didn’t know whether to feel guilty, or just… betrayed. By herself. “I really tried shoving her into our relationship, wasn’t I?”
Harleen shook her head. “Selina’s hot. And she’s sometimes fun to be around. And she gives good tips on how to rob a joint when you don’t feel like running and smashing things.” She pointed her thumb at the statuesque beauty. “This chick is sex in a catsuit. But she licks her wrist when she thinks we’re not lookin’. The psychiatrist in me sees a giant red flag, and while part of me is curious if she feeds her kittens milk the old-fashioned way in private, another just does not want to go down that path with her.” She was silent for a moment. “But I owe you one. So you keep her.”
Pamela raised her eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
Harley nodded towards Harry. “You gave him a chance. And I’m grateful. But I can’t promise I won’t abuse your gratefulness. So I’ll let you get me back.” She remembered a few choice words she had mentioned days back, and smirked devilishly. “As long as you promise to feed her and water her, and take good care of her. That’s what I said I’d do for Harry. This is more fitting, don’t ya think?”
At Harry’s stern look, she giggled. “Oh yeah, you didn’t hear me when I said that. The roles have reversed. I got no problem admitting that. Love ya.”
The wizard unsuccessfully hid a smile. “Back at you, Harls.”
Pamela tilted her head. “This is weird. Really, fucking, weird.”
Harley’s cheery disposition never faltered. “Well, you know I love you enough to start being nicer to Selina. I don’t mind her, I really don’t. Psychologically, she’s a gold mine. A hell of a school project when summer’s over. But she’s a playful, cute little kitty cat. We just have to house train her.”
Harry chose not to let known his feelings on the matter, and Ivy noticed. “Harry,” she eyed him, willing to let him know that he was officially part of this conversation, and everything that went with it.
He chose his words carefully. “This is far from the first time I’ve had to be in this conversation.” He gave a slight smile. “Frankly, Hermione and I are a bit more liberal when it comes to us, because of our condition.”
She shifted uncomfortably. “This is going to get a whole lot deeper, isn’t it?”
Harley hummed to herself. “The more, the merrier. Enslaving the world is a tall order. Keeping a few level-headed, straight-laced gals for ourselves sounds a lot more obtainable.”
“Can you think of a man that you like? Or can even measure up to the one we already got?” she smirked.
Ivy wryly shook her head. “I was asking because I felt relieved. So Eddie’s not a candidate, right?”
“Eww, no. He’s old. And sometimes an asshole.”
The redhead’s smile made Harley shiver. “Oh, you are just perfect.”
“I try. And sometimes, I just am.” She looked around the room once more. “You know, we could have some fun while they’re frozen.”
“With Eddie in the room?” Ivy made a face. “He can’t see me, but I can see him. Maybe another time.”
Harry cleared his throat, hiding his embarrassment of what Harley said earlier about ‘measuring up’. “Time is still passing. I didn’t freeze the world, just this house. It’s been fifteen minutes.”
“Oh,” Ivy muttered, looking at her mug. “How was I posing? Do I need to make this steam again?”
“I’ve found that a temporary Confundus charm helps in situations like these. The human mind can be eerily observant when it comes to inconsistencies. A small amount of confusion will take over for a little bit. Since I’ve told you both about it, it won’t hit you as hard.”
“How does that work?” Harley asked, curious about the magical people’s perception on the mind.
“Your brain knows that it will be confused, and what it’s being confused about. The logic returns that much sooner when it can remember what’s going on.” Harry smirked. “According to that book I read a long time ago.”
Harley frowned. She just knew it had something to do with the book she had considered a waste of time. “Ha-ha. Time to go back to the real world.”
With his imperceptible smirk still present, Harry tapped against the table.
As the world around them slowly began to move again, Harry couldn’t help but say one final thing, knowing he was speaking too fast for the ones affected by the ward to hear, but while both girls were affected partially by the Confundus charm. “I suppose we’ll have to talk about Harley’s crush on Vicki later, then.”
Harleen Quinzel and Pamela Isley had only a few moments to try to absorb that information, and Harley could claim that she blushed faster than the speed of time.
” – didn’t mean to,” Selina continued, clearly distressed. She blinked a couple of times, and shook her head. “I didn’t think you were so uptight about – ”
“Stop!” Harley commanded, and looked pointedly at the black-haired beauty. “You absolutely suck at apologizing. “Say you’re sorry.”
She could see Selina arguing with herself before finally buckling. “Sorry,” she muttered.
“Like you mean it.”
“Sorry,” she deadpanned. “Jesus. Try some warm milk and calm down.”
In some part of Harleen’s mind, she decided that she didn’t mind the puns anymore. “If I give you a ball of yarn, will you stop insulting everyone in the house?”
She crossed her arms and huffed. “Maybe,” she admitted, looking to the side.
Edward winced. “It’s literally hurting my head watching this.”
“You,” Harley pointed at Selina while looking at the man in the Bowler hat, “Apologize. Or Juliet will have words with you. You two need to get along, or we end this right now.” She nodded towards the fork, still embedded in the table in front of her. “Picture that table as your leg. With bigger prongs.”
Edward Nigma, the genius that he was, apologized for his hurtful words. “But let the record show that he started it,” he ended, eying the wizard at the end of the table.
Harry was still petting the vine at his side, while his bare feet stroked the long back of a sleeping Twilight below him. “The fact that you reacted so violently to being mentioned in the same sentence as your partner is a problem.”
He clicked his tongue in response, but didn’t argue.
“There.” Harleen leaned back in her chair. “We gonna have a problem, people? What we’re gonna do today will be what makes or breaks us as a team, and I don’t have a lot of confidence in us right now. We may not get along now, but we better be best fucking friends on the field. I trust Ivy. I trust Harry. Hell,” she looked pointed at her boyfriend, “I even trust Vale to do her job right when it’s her time.” She looked back at Selina. “I trust you to do your job, and I trust Eddie to do his. You’ve proven yourselves already. What I can’t trust is the idea that we can all do our job together.”
“We will, Harley.” Pamela’s tone was commanding, and deep. “We better.” She eyed the three newest members, including Vicki, who had stood at the door when she heard her name. “If you’re not an ally, you’re an enemy. If you’re a bad ally, you’re something worse.”
Both girls looked towards Harry. And some part of him still felt honored that he was considered an equal partner on the team, considering he had joined only twenty-four hours before. “It goes without saying that it’s too late to turn back. Far too many secrets are in play, and I think we’ve all got a few things that should stay hidden. We don’t need each other to terrorize Gotham. We need each other to take over Gotham and stay there. And we need more than what we have right now to take over the world. So choose any future partners carefully.” He paused. “I have a friend looking into her resources, collecting everything she can about the Batman, but I needed more. The night I introduced myself, I stumbled across the vigilante. You know how much of a threat he is, but more importantly, I know how much of a threat he is. I now know everything about him. I know what he knows. And I’ve processed most of it. On that point, I should tell you he’s getting more brilliant than ever. Don’t think that my knowledge of him makes him predictable; far from it. He knows what I did, and you’ll be seeing a different side of him. A more lethal side. He knows what type of enemy he’s dealing with, and he’s not taking any chances. He won’t kill, but we’re challenging more than him – we’re challenging his control. I can protect you, and I can take him on when he interferes, but I’m telling you now: provoke him, and I won’t be enough to stop him from getting to you. And considering we’re breaking into Blackgate, I wouldn’t exactly be looking forward to where he could be taking you to lock you up.”
He stood from the table, careful of the resting Leopard below him, and waved his hand.
Harley gasped as her hair flipped up right in front of her, and she could feel her hair tie into knots at her side. She looked down, and sure enough, her signature red and green getup was there, fingerless gloves and boots and all, and as she shifted back in surprise, she felt how comfortable the fabric was, and took note of the different look of her outfit, the shiny spandex replaced with a more breathable fabric. When the fabric began to shine again, she breathed a sigh of relief and looked up to her girlfriend.
Having seen herself turn into another race the previous day, Ivy was more familiar with the rapid transformation, but she was still unaccustomed to the change. As fast as her robe slipped from her body, leaves wrapped and sewn themselves around her twice as quickly. As soon as her robe splashed against the floor, her Elvin slipper-clad feet gracefully stepped over the garment, her body taking in the cool sensations of the leaves that covered her. While her last costume was mostly environmentally friendly fabrics with leaves, this seemed to be completely produced from nature, and when she stretched, she had to admit that they were stronger than she could have expected. She pulled at a leaf, and couldn’t see a hint of stitching. She concentrated, and the leaf turned brown, confirming that it was real. As soon as she let go, the leaf turned a brilliant glimmering green, blending into her suit.
Selina could only watch in a shocked awe as her clothes morphed into something completely unexpected. Rather than the leather her suit was made of, a soft blend of fabrics took over her voluptuous form, creating a pure black bodysuit, complete with the comfortable heels she was accustomed to, only completely connected to the rest of the suit. They even felt the same. Though her eyes were open the entire time, a quick check found that she indeed had a mask on, as thin as the skin it covered. A tentative touch not only confirmed that she had ears, but, with trepidation and a bit of excitement, found that they could twitch under contact. And she could feel them twitch. She could feel her normal ears, but the sides of her mask were completely smooth, no bumps where there should be ears.
Harley turned to Harry, who was now clad in his own black and green uniform. “That was… pretty cool.”
Harry smirked, even as thin metallic coils began to cover his wrists. “Just pretty cool.”
“It keeps you from getting cocky.”
“It’s not working.”
Her smirk rivaled his. “Good. Cuz dude, you’re fucking awesome.”
“Hold on,” Ivy muttered with a frown, twisting and turning in her new outfit. After a few seconds of silence, she turned to them both with a smirk. “It’s perfect.”
Selina opened her mouth, and after breathing out a tiring sigh, silently closed it.
Harley rolled her eyes. “You know what? I think it would be fitting in this situation. Go for it.”
They could all see the sparkle in her golden eyes as she rubbed a hand across the black fabric. “It’s puurrr-fect. Thank you.”
Harley blinked. “You gotta admit, girl knows how to roll a tongue.”
Selina sniffed. “Tease.”
“Maybe,” she admitted. “But I’m not the one showing off my oral skills. Certainly got Pammy staring.”
The Cat Burglar’s eyes were predatory as they landed on the redhead, who was glaring at Harley. “Oh really?”
The green-skinned teen sniffed. “Let’s get back on track.”
Edward looked around the room. “Can someone tell me why I’m still the same?”
Harry answered, “You’re not going to let anyone see your face. I didn’t see the point.”
Nigma pouted. Harry sighed, and with no hint of a flourish, a green suit was lain on the table in front of him. Red question marks scattered about the green silk glowed inconsistently with each other, giving it a neon feel, and the shoes lain on top of it were made of, if he was correct (and he reminded himself that he always was), alligator skin. Even the Bowler hat that rested on his softly glowing necktie – red silk with green question marks – was impeccably stitched, with a firm crown, made for tipping down over his forehead to conceal his face at public establishments, and the soft red feather that was placed in the ribbon was bent into a swirl. If one were to look closer, they’d see the slight shape of a question mark, but the feather wasn’t big enough to be distracting.
Edward inspected the suit with an appraising eye. “Impressive! Flashy, with just the right amount of subtlety! But,” he turned to him, missing the girls’ looks of incredulity at his last statement, “is there a reason I got different treatment?”
“I have to picture you nude to dress you,” Harry deadpanned. “Sorry, but I’ll always be treating you differently.”
He grinned toothily. “Say no more! I’ll be off to don my new garments. I shall return in a trice!”
The group watched him run off through the hallway, his robe billowing, clutching his clothes to himself like a happy child carrying his books to school. “I think he likes it,” Harley tittered, before tilting her head to Harry. “So, you saw Selina naked? When was that?”
“I pictured her naked,” Harry quickly clarified. “There’s a difference.”
“I knew it,” she muttered, running her fingers up and down her generous breasts. “The bust is a bit too tight.”
Harry blinked. “I, uh, didn’t know they were that… wow. That’s impressive; your dexterity, I mean.”
She shrugged. “You get used to ’em. So, are these bullet-proof?”
Harry nodded. “Even if they aim for your head. Bullet-proof, Water-proof, heat-proof, fire-proof, cold-resistant. I’m afraid that you’d have to be magical for me to try to add anything else.”
Harley’s red eyes gleamed with a passion. “Oh, I think we can work with this.”
Ivy wriggled her hands and ran her fingers – noting the three connected leaves that now adorned her palm, the stem leading directly into a vein in her wrist – through her luscious hair. She frowned as she reached a snag.
“A lily, it looks like,” Harley informed her, and Ivy carefully removed the flower to stare at it. “Oh, wow,” the blonde muttered, watching another lily immediately, gracefully bloom in its place.
“A stargazer lily,” she whispered, and she took a whiff at the reddish white petals with closed eyes, savoring the sweet smell.
Harry smiled, seeing her react so positively. “I made the suit to repel insects. So no worry about bees.”
Her smile was soft, and her green eyes sparkled when she opened them. “Why did it take such a long time to fall for you?”
Harley laughed out loud, while Vicki, still standing in the doorway, looked out of place. “Um… Warlock? Is there anything I could do? Any notes I could take for when I go on air?”
“Harry,” he informed her. “Call me Harry. For the moment, we’ve got the video side of broadcasting in Gotham. Now it’s time for radio. I’ll get Riddler to calibrate two of the eight towers back to radio, and once you get a mic, I’m going to need a full broadcast of coverage at Blackgate. I’ll try to reroute the footage from the security room to one of the towers.” He looked confused for a moment. “I guess I already know where that is. It seems that his memories are starting to get clearer to me now.”
“Speaking of Batman,” Selina inquired, hopping up to sit on the counter, “Don’t you think you should tell the newest recruits a little secret?”
“Too much of a distraction,” the wizard cautioned, “and you’re already underestimating him. Could you picture Riddler taking Batman seriously if he found out who he is?”
Vicki blinked owlishly. “You know who he is?”
“My shortlist was always Dent, Wayne, Gordon, Luthor and Sionis. Was I close?”
He shrugged. “You’ll have another few hours yet to ponder it, Miss Vale.”
Harley had since walked towards Ivy, Juliet following, and her girlfriend offered her the flower. “I don’t think it exactly fits this character,” she murmured, fitting the lily into the green side of her hair, “but fuck it; I love it.”
Pamela was silent for a moment, staring into her radiant girlfriend’s eyes. “Do you think everything will go back to normal after he goes back?”
Harleen’s gloved hands found Ivy’s and traced the three leaves on her palm. She stared sincerely into her best girl’s eyes. “I don’t think it can, Red.”
“I…” she sighed. “I hope not.”
“That it doesn’t go back to normal, or that he doesn’t leave?”
The corners of her mouth twitched upwards. “Both.”
“Where is he going?” Selina whispered, having approached them quietly.
Harley almost jumped. “How did you hear that?”
Selina shrugged. “You two sounded loud enough. I could hear it plain as day. Actually, I can hear Vale talking to Warlock and Eddie right now.”
Harley looked over to the doorway to the den, and sure enough, Harry and Vicki were speaking in hushed tones with the newly dressed Riddler, probably discussing the technology involved and what was needed to get through security.
She didn’t know, she could barely hear a word they were saying.
“Ow! Hey!” Selina flinched away from the redhead of equal height, whom had just poked her right ear. On top of her head.
“You could feel that?”
“I wouldn’t have said ‘Ouch’ if I couldn’t have felt that!” she stressed, her ears twitching in- and outwards.
“It feels like polyester,” Ivy muttered, “but it’s actually… cat ears?”
“And the transformation is complete,” Harley rolled her eyes, “and he’s supporting your habit.”
Selina crossed her arms. “I’m not the only one with an extreme change. You look like a clown, sweetie.”
“Huh?” she asked eloquently.
“Your face is caked in white powder and blush,” Ivy clarified for her girlfriend. “You didn’t feel it?”
“Uh, no. How does it look?”
Ivy tapped her chin. “Like a porcelain doll, actually. Delicate. But the black rings around your eyes makes it look a bit….”
“Vigilante-ish? Creepy? Don’t fuck with-able?” the ebony-haired thief recommended.
Pamela nodded. “Sure. You look great.”
“Good. I guess we’re kinda like vigilantes, ain’t we? Fighting for what we believe in, and bypassing the justice system to achieve our goal?”
Selina sniffed. “Yeah, but we know that most of the things we’re doing is wrong. Justice-wise and morally.”
Ivy held onto Harley’s hand, stopping her from tracing the leaves on her palm. “Then we’ll have to change the rules when all is said and done.” She frowned. “You are aware that you’ve been tracing actual poison ivy leaves, right?”
“Uh-huh,” she nodded, “and I just know there’s a joke somewhere in that. I’m just trying to decide between ‘stroking’ Poison Ivy or ‘softly caressing’ Poison Ivy. Or maybe I’ll go with ‘gently fingering Poison Ivy until she couldn’t take it anymore.’”
Like an electric shock, an embarrassed Pamela let her girlfriend’s hand go, who continued tracing her palm. The green/redhead smirked. “But she didn’t stop me.”
“I’ll never live this down, will I?” she muttered, helplessly watching as her lover violated her hand, in Harley’s twisted view.
She held onto her arm and hugged it to her. “Nope. You fell right into it, Red.”
Selina chuckled at the interaction, and cocked her head at an approaching Harry. You’re lucky,” she simply noted, her face sincere.
“I know; more importantly, they know.” Soon, he was followed by Eddie and Vicki, and the entire team was there, in a circle. “Any last requests?”
Harley shrugged, while Pamela pursed her lips. “Don’t die.”
Harry nodded solemnly. “Only if you don’t.”
“When we get back,” Vicki spoke out, “is there any chance I could get a wardrobe?” She felt a bit out of place, being the only one still clad in pajamas.
Harry raised an eyebrow.
“I’ll pass along my measurements,” she said wryly, remembering what he said earlier.
“Taking the fun out of it,” he teased, and she smiled. Turning to Selina he muttered, “what about you? Did you need me to fix your, err, suit?”
She wriggled a bit in her costume. “You know, I think this works for me. Constrictive, yet free for me to do more.”
“You just like the push-up feature,” Ivy teased.
“At least someone pays attention around here,” she teased back.
Edward scoffed at the interaction in the room. “I’m eternally grateful that my work and other proclivities distract me from such trivial pursuits as relationships.”
“I’m sure most people say that,” Harley responded. “In smaller words. And they usually say it right before they meet the love of their life.”
The Riddler only harrumphed and straightened his tie. Just in case she was right.
After connecting hands, Harry traversed them to a place where, maybe unsurprisingly, he felt he had been before.
Except this time, he had no intention of arresting anyone.
Omake by Rihaan
“Fleur?” he muttered sleepily. “It’s good to see you.”
“It is spectacular to see you, Harry,” the blonde smiled brightly, despite her sweaty, flushed form, “as I feared I would not see you again.”
“You could have called me anytime.”
“Oui, I could have, but it would have distracted me from my exams. And I feared that I would be under too much stress if I saw you while I researched the veil.”
“Any progress?” Harry wondered, now fully awake. He had been on a bit of a tear the previous night, a bit more… energetic than usual. Ivy and Harley were completely out of it, and he stood by the doorway, careful not to disturb their slumber.
“Non, sorry Harry. We have come across a problem.”
Harry furrowed his brow, before a resigned sigh released itself. “What now?”
She spun the mirror, and Harry blinked a few times at the erotically disturbing image.
In what looked like the fully renovated version of Salazar Slytherin’s Chamber of Secrets, naked bodies were strewn about the large room; the floor, the rugs, the beds, and even the tables weren’t safe from the coverage of an endless string of arms and tangled limbs, all connected to fully developed curves of slumbering girls.
There was even a girl sleeping peacefully on top of the swaying chandelier, twenty feet off the ground, and Harry only needed to see a flash of blonde to know who it was. “Fleur, could you please get Luna from down there?”
The mirror moved slightly, and Harry guessed it was a shrug. “I tried. She does not want to come down, so I threw her a pillow.” She turned the mirror back to herself, and Harry noticed how very naked she was. “I woke up first, and this was what I saw. Hermione, she… she was like nothing we’ve ever seen. She saw through our plan to distract her the moment we tried it.”
“Wait,” Harry furrowed his brow, “Tonks said they were going to distract Hermione yesterday. You can’t possibly be telling me that…” he faltered as Fleur’s expression stayed grim. “So she got away?”
“Sincerest apologies, Harry, but she err, épuisé, er, exhausted, everyone. My Veela blood assured that I would wake up first. Parkinson should be awake soon, with her condition. Harry… if you had a pensieve…”
Harry nodded, running his hands through his hair. “I knew I felt a bit antsy yesterday. I guess I know why. Do you know where she went?”
She sniffed. “I could guess. I’m sorry, Harry.”
His mind frantically searched for a clue that there was another presence.
All he got back was a simple message – a picture of a strange apple. Half black and half white. He didn’t know what it represented, but he knew what it meant.
“She’s still alive,” Harry exclaimed, and both breathed a sigh of relief. “So she either got away for a while, or she found a way to get through the veil,” Harry tried to rationalize.
“It has to be the veil. Snape was guarding it, and he refused to tell me anything.” She bit her lip. “You ordered him to follow all of our commands. Someone made him break that order. Only you and Hermione can do that.”
“She ordered him to not tell anyone. If she didn’t want him to say anything, she would have told him to hide.” Harry tilted his head. “Unless he’s not allowed to tell you how she went through.”
“The Hallows,” she exclaimed, and there was a groan out of screen. “Parkinson is awake.”
“If Hermione wanted to find me, she’d be here. She could be somewhere else.”
“But où? Where is she?”
“She only sent me a picture of a black and white apple. It has to mean something.”
Fleur shrugged helplessly. “Would it be another world of fiction?”
“Has to be. She wouldn’t have sent a message so simple otherwise.” Harry frowned. “She doesn’t want to be found right now. She’s planning something. And shy of Voldemort and Dumbledore, I feel sorry for anyone in her way.”
The French half-Veela smiled wryly. “It seems she has been slaughtering everyone in her path for the past twenty hours; from ze break of dawn to dusk and back again.”
Harry frowned and rechecked the image that Hermione had sent him.
The apple had craters. It wasn’t meant to be an apple. It was in the perfect shape of an apple, however.
But it was meant to be a moon. One side white, the other side black.
Harry sighed. He had a prison to rob in the morning, but it appeared that he wasn’t going to get much sleep, knowing that his girlfriend might be facing off with the supernatural. “I know where she is.”
~Ch. 9, pg. 195 quote~
About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him – and I didn’t know how potent that part might be – that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.
“That logic seems very flawed,” Hermione muttered, and Isabella Swan jumped up in surprise to see a woman in a simple pale green hoodie and black skinny jeans, looking over her shoulder as she wrote in her diary. “Sorry, didn’t mean to shock you. I’m Hermione. Hermione Granger.”
She backed away as the girl clutched at her chest, her breathing erratic. With an unnoticeable calming charm, her heart settled, and her breathing became relaxed. “W-where did you come from?”
Hermione pointed her thumb back towards the window. “You should really close your windows at night. You may be on the second floor, but your gutter spout is very durable.” She brushed her hair away from her face as she gently sat on the edge of the bed, mere feet away from her. “I’m sorry, but I was, er, running away from home, and you were the only house I saw for miles. The other house was a boy’s and, that would have been uncomfortable, to say the least.” She smiled nervously. “Sorry for the inconvenience.”
“No, no. It’s alright.” She looked intrigued. “You really just got up and ran away? With no bags?”
“Well, I didn’t really have a choice. See, my boyfriend’s gone missing, and I have to find him. I’d like to think that he depends on me, but I can’t say that without saying I can’t do a bloody thing without him. A lot of people are after him, and I didn’t have time to think about anything else. Like clothes.” She bit her lip. “You seem to be one to believe in fairytale type creatures, right? Would it surprise you to know that there’s more out there?”
Even as Bella began to deny that she knew what the brunette was talking about, the pale girl felt her voice dying as Hermione gently placed a finger over her lips, and with the other, a soft glow emitted from her palm to form a small apple, hovering between her fingertips. “Do you believe in fairy tales, Miss Swan?”
“I… how do you know my name?”
“Same way I know that you have a fetish for the weird, Bella,” she whispered, and her smile was predatory – far more sinister than a Vampire’s. “Magic.”
Her breathing was heavy. “Why are you showing me?”
“Because I feel drawn to you, and I’m doing what I feel is right.” She bit into the apple, and took a long swipe with her tongue at the exposed juice left behind. “I don’t think it’s sexual, though you’re a very beautiful girl. You just seem like a good partner to have around.” She wordlessly handed over the apple, and, after only seconds of indecision, she took it.
She was tired of relying on people. The harrowing experience of having three strangers approach her at night, only to be saved by an always watching savior, made her both relish and reject the idea of a guardian.
For all she knew, Edward could be watching her right now.
“He isn’t,” Hermione informed her. “I may sound like a hypocrite, reading your mind and all, but a girl deserves her privacy. My magic allows you to have that.”
“You can… you can read my mind?” She had speculated Edward could do the same thing, but it’s doubtful he’d ever tell her the full truth. “Could you… not? Please?”
“Oh, I’m sorry! It’s just that… your mind is so vulnerable to me, and I don’t see that so often. An open book, and I love books. It’s interesting.”
Her eyes shifted away. “Not that interesting.”
“I’ve read a lot of books, and a lot of minds. Yours is downright fascinating, Bella. So… inventive. Imaginative. Beautiful.” She looked down. “So much more than I expected. I wish you could see that.”
Bella bit her lip, pondering the situation behind and ahead of her, her mind racing. Being saved in the middle of the night by an impossibly beautiful man, and to come home to an even more incredibly attractive creature, certainly made her feel like she was special.
And that’s all she ever really wanted: to feel special. Not to lust after some sense of danger, and not to surround herself with potential cannibals. She just wanted to be… accepted.
I made my decision.
The once-bitten apple was sweet, almost too sweet, I realized as I covered her bite with my own, rather large bite. Edward and I didn’t have a large dinner, as he gave me half-truths and even lesser-fractioned explanations. This girl – Hermione – I had only met her for minutes, and she tells me everything I needed to know. Or, at least she seems ready to.
There were several people in my life I knew were hiding secrets from me: Angie, Jessica, Mike, Eric, Jacob, Tyler (who apparently didn’t let me in on the secret that he’s my prom date), my own father, and of course, the man with the most secrets, the Vampire, Edward Cullen.
I’ve been so desperate for the past few days to find the answers to the things that happen around me, I forgot the feeling of overwhelming joy when the answers are right in front of me.
That logic seems to make sense. Then again, I claimed to be in love with a man I met for a combined – eight hours? One hour outside of class? I like a good mystery novel, sometimes I could love them, but once the mystery’s over, it loses its magic. No pun intended.
This girl claimed that I was an open book, but she seemed to have no secrets she wanted to keep from me. She even pulled a few out of me herself.
So how did I find myself so incredibly attracted to her? How did I find myself, with a mouthful of as-of yet un-chewed apple, kissing and holding the only girl in Forks to have any answers for me, and I find myself not caring if I scare her away, if only for a lingering, fleeting moment of this?
Fortunately, that turned out not to be the case, for when we parted, me staring into her brown eyes, her smile almost eclipsed mine, even as she chewed on a piece of apple that wasn’t there before.
I didn’t apologize, nevertheless. I couldn’t apologize. Even if I could, I didn’t want to.
Love is a fickle thing, I’ll be the first to say that. And perhaps the words ‘irrevocably’ and ‘unconditionally’ were a bit over the top.
But I swear I love this girl by my mortal heart.
It didn’t start then. That would be, compared to the past few months, somewhat ridiculous. But throughout the night, we talked. We did nothing but talk for a good long while, and I didn’t regret it at the time. She was a truly fascinating woman, and explained so much to me about what’s out there. My weirdness for attracting the weird wasn’t an isolated incident, it seems. But I also attracted her, to be fair. An inquiry for another time.
She understood that I wanted answers, and she revealed to me what seems to be a far-fetched tale, even compared to the rest. Her beauty was only rivaled by her mind, which was just as voluptuous and attractive to me, despite my ambivalence towards school. She explained what she knew about me – things that no one else but I knew – before she told me about the existence of other worlds.
But even that couldn’t compare to the wondrous tale of my life being catalogued in a popular book series where she comes from.
She was a fountain of knowledge, and I had no reason to not believe her so far, but there was one thing I needed to know – one thing I needed to hear her say, lest my emotions go unchecked. “Why?”
Her head tilted in the slightest way, and her beautiful eyes sparkled so genuinely. “Because your story is everything short of a tragedy,” she slowly admitted to me. “I didn’t mean to come here, but I quickly deduced where I was, and it would be inhumane of me to not warn you of hard times.”
I tilted her chin, yet again, and sealed my lips on hers. I suppose it was my way of thanking her.
No. That’s not true. It’d be far simpler if it was, but that’s not apropos with my life, according to her. ‘Complications’ would have made a far better title than ‘Twilight.’
What I said next, couldn’t be explained as me trying to thank her. It can’t be blamed on me trying to find closure, or at least more answers. I’ve never been one to take a leap of faith, but right now, with this girl, I’d dive head-first, at least until she found what she was looking for. “Your boyfriend,” I asked her, almost surprised that she had never once mentioned his name. “Who is he?”
Her eyes sparkled, and I felt an odd feeling of dread overcome me. It’s utterly reckless to write this down, but I would have never been the same again if she said ‘Cullen’. I don’t imagine my story would go on much longer if I started skipping Biology.
Luckily, she told me an unassuming name, a name that was comfortable to me. A name with no meaning or consequence.
But I knew it had to be a special name to be attached to this girl. I’m more grateful for this mystery; it promised much more in terms of simplicity.
As dawn broke over the horizon in the east, my head was lain against her shoulder as we travelled the terrains in a lavish, smoother vehicle that shared some resemblance to my former deathtrap monster truck. We passed the city limits, something I was once confident my car could never do, and her teasing smile at being made right made me shiver, and it was all I could do not to distract her from driving.
I’ve said since the beginning that I’ve wanted to leave Forks, Washington, and the people I’ve met have only slightly spoiled my exuberance to leave – the letters I’ve decided to write and leave next to my diary will express my thanks enough, I think. The rain will still be there when I come back. Someday.
My story can wait; this one seems far more intriguing.
Couldn’t resist. Could you believe that before Harry and Harley was made, a Twilight cross-over was one of my earlier ideas? Using Hermione instead of Harry made it so much better, I think. The most obvious one out the way, future Omakes (Extras) will be very fun. Of course, you can submit your own.
I’m not sure how the action scene will turn out, but I’ll promise… something. I hope this was worth the wait. Got pretty emotional at points, and that’s totally not me. *Sniffles* Oh, um, you didn’t hear that.
Though I am aware that this is very dialogue/substance heavy, and I hope to make up for it with action. Comedy helps dialogue-heavy scenes, though, and I think I put in a fair amount.
It’s good to be back. I graduated on the 17th of July (2015), so I guess I’ll dedicate this chapter to that.
I’m most of the way through New Game+ in Arkham Knight, and Platinum seems like an impossible goal thanks to challenge maps. So, back to writing! In the meantime, My PlayStation Network Username is RihaanShim, because, I stay there more than I do my own Yahoo! Group (group.rihaansfics.com).