The Secret of Glittering Stars
Cutscene: The Secret of Glittering Stars
IC Details

Three men can keep a secret if two of them are dead. Amanda Waller forces Harley Quinn's hand.

IC Date: July 25, 2019
IC Location: The Punchline, Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 06 Aug 2019 12:02
Rating & Warnings: PG (Violence)
Associated Plots

It was going to happen eventually. No brunette wig—despite how well made or finely styled—would ever be able to fool a GPS tracker buried deep in the skull it covers. Harley Quinn just wishes she had more time to figure things out.

If word got back to Belle Reve just how south she’d gone, the jig (as they say) would most certainly be up. Amanda Waller would not hesitate to press the little button that would effortlessly reduce Harleen Quinzel to a lifeless body with a bloody, ragged nub where her head had once been.

So when they found Harley—still parading as Lena Zelle and dressed to the nines in that identity—and insisted that she drop the theatrics to come with them… She did what she needed to do.

Two of Waller’s men now lie in an alleyway, marinating in pools of their own blood. Harley’s fingers still grip tight the deadly little pair of hairpins with glittering, dangling stars that Emery had given her. Without their hold, the expensive, stolen tresses of her dark wig hang over wild, pale eyes as Harley heaves breath so hungrily she feels as though she’ll suffocate for lack of it. The tendrils of silver from her necklace that span over the flat of her breastbone and feminine curves alike, catch each desperate take of air as they catch the dim light.

Mania seizes her in this moment—a convergence of nightmares and horrors, but eventually the adrenaline ebbs away.

The Joker would learn of Amanda Waller, and he’d see that Harley would suffer for the mistake of not finding her way out of things sooner. Or for bringing Waller’s eye so closer to his plans.

Then Amanda Waller would learn of the Joker, and she would see to it that Harley would die for it. Waller wouldn’t learn the whole of it, maybe, but she’d know enough.

The slender form of Lena Zelle—wrapped in a form fitting halter mini-dress of midnight blue stretch velvet that glitters like a clear night sky under a tan trenchcoat—quivers in the summer downpour. That same rain dilutes the men’s blood… although it’s impossible to see the artful spread like red India ink through the dirty water under the harsh blue-white glow of the light that hangs over The Punchline’s back door.

Waller’s dead lackeys do not terrify her. She long since had prioritized her own survival over nearly everyone and everything else, and their deaths were her best shot at it. Her broken conscience finds them a burden it doesn’t know how to carry, and so it doesn’t even make the attempt. Honestly, there’s more than a little relief to have a proper outlet for her frustrations.

What terrifies her—for, yes, there is a terror in the moment that starts to bleed in and freeze her heart—is the unknown.

She thought she could outrun this. Outsmart Waller. Keep this pretense. Keep the safe distance between her and Owen, and still keep an eye on him. Keep everyone happy (or balanced enough to keep breathing), happy with her (or at least not trying to kill her), all at the same time.

A surge of anger comes and goes with the single passing thought: Batman was right? UGH. She hopes no one lets him say so over her grave.

Quinn doesn’t realize that she’s backed up into a wall and then melted down it until she feels the cold of the brick and rain-soaked asphalt as it robs what little bodyheat she has left through the impermeable surface of her coat. Her hands settle the hairpins in the folds of her dress in her lap, and then lift to meet the face she lowers to bury in them as she just sits there for a long moment. She tries to take deep breaths to stave off the flow of her tears, hidden by the trails of rainwater pouring over her face and the evening shadows, as her mind begins down the dozens of ways she could be very well dead in the next week.

She’s not ready to die.

How common.

But then, something miraculous happens.

Harley feels as just one more little proverbial thread in the fraying tightrope that she has been walking for over a year snaps. Her brunette wig pads what would otherwise be a dull ‘thud’ as her head settles against the cinderblock wall behind her, and a resigned smile twists her lips.

But then she sees something, a sign of the universe just for her that only she can see, in the swirling mix of oil and water and blood as it pools onto the dumpster’s concrete pad nearby. It dissolves Lena Zelle like a sugar cube.

“Heh. Heh heh.”

She progressively dissolves entirely into a fit of unhinged laughter, and it consumes her to weave a symphony all its own. Despair and joy writhe in the measures of it for dominance in the lengthy melody. When it does finally begin to pass, the masquerading harlequin lifts a hand to wipe away the start of raccoon eyes as her makeup melts. She doesn’t realize that she streaks blood in where kohl once smeared. “Hoo boy,” she says to the two still bodies on the alley floor, still in the glorious afterglow of the moment’s mad and euphoric release.

Her head leans hard to one side, and then the other, as she stretches out her long neck. Her bloody hands then move to recollect her hairpins from her lap and messily twist up the locks of her wig into the half-bun that she’s preferred as of late. “I really needed that, boys. Ya jes’ have no idea.”

Once her hair is set in a sloppy pile of wilted curls and strings with her bloody hairpins shoved back in, The Punchline’s public face pushes herself back onto her feet.

She sniffs, and then considers the two bodies at length while smoothing her soaked dress beneath her flat palms. She primps her ruined hair.

Then, she disappears inside to clean herself up, taking the back door that leads into the club’s kitchen with a long sway, leaving a dripping trail in her wake. Someone else will come out minutes later to clean up the mess.

She’s going to go put a fresh face on.

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