The Possibility of Publicity
Roleplaying Log: The Possibility of Publicity
IC Details

Trish meets the infamous, incomparable Harley Quinn… and makes her an offer.

Other Characters Referenced: The Joker
IC Date: April 22, 2020
IC Location: A Dive Bar in Gotham
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 04 May 2020 13:26
Rating & Warnings: G
Scene Soundtrack: None
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

When looking for friends in low places, a dive bar is always a good place to go. This particular dive bar happens to be one that a particular informant of Trish Walker's likes to frequent, and it just so happens that Trish is in need of information. Sure, she promised a certain sister that she'd go to the police for information, and she will. But why not try to use all assets at her disposal?

Sitting midway toward the back at a small table, the blonde wears a black leather jacket, white shirt, blue jeans, and white running shoes. She looks more like she belongs in a grunge bar in the '80s than a dive bar in Gotham in the 21st century.

She sips a glass of whiskey while her informant, a mousey, nervous looking guy with black greasy hair chatters on at a mile a minute, that is when he isn't taking gulps from his pint of beer.

The bar is decently busy, for the kind of bar it is. The usual crowd has shuffled in. There's a man sitting at the table next to them who seem to be enjoying his tonic and gin.

"Of course, I don't have ID," protests a blonde at the bar.

A blonde who is presently starting to crawl up onto the barstool. From there, she's crawling onto the bartop and towards the unfortunate barkeep that has attempted to stand between her and her evening's pleasure. "All I need is last week's paper."

The man behind the bar stares at her blankly.

"…Remember? The tank?"

More blank staring.

The diminutive creature that is Harley Quinn — presently wearing a pair of pants that are black and red plaid on one side and black leather on the other, matching it with a black tank top — absolutely loses her mind here, "IT WAS A TANK. HOW DO YOU PEOPLE FORGET THAT I HAD A TANK?"

"…That, uh, wasn't last week…"

This only further infuriates Quinn, who then throws out both hands to seize him and pull him close enough to her that he will be able to smell the grape bubble gum. "WHO ASKED YOU, ANYWAY?"

Nudging her informant, Trish leans in a bit and whispers, "Hey, Cheesecake, is that who I think it is?" She nods her head upward, pointing her chin in the general direction of Harley Quinn. She takes a sip of her whiskey, looking over at the scene. There's a glint of amusement in her eyes as she watches it unfold before her. "Tank?"

Cheesecake nods quickly. "Uh…uh…uh-huh. Yes, Miss. That's um, that's Miss Harley Quinn." He whispers. "Please don't make me tell you about the tank." He seems almost worried.

Trish rolls her eyes and shakes her head. She'll never fully understand why he's so jittery all the time. "Don't worry, Cheesecake. Just take a deep breath and drink your beer." She says while 'go on' motion with her hand, though her attention remains on the woman at the bar.

And the show continues as Harley pulls the bartender closer. Her back curls forward as she looms over the much larger man, her nose mere inches from his. "Get. Me. A. Grape. Martini. Now. Or I am going to go down the street to the dollar store, get the closest thing I can find to a whoopee cushion, then shove it so far down your throat that every time you talk from now on, it'll sound like a fifth grade boy's punchline."

Her head tilts sharply to one side as she grins savagely, her pigtails swinging emphatically on either side of her head. "We good?"

The bartender nods vigorously.

And so Quinn then simply opens her hands to release him, letting her hands linger in the air for several beats while he skitters off to get to work before she takes a sharp inhalation. And then she turns to lounge on the bartop like she'd meant to do that in the first place, crossing her knees coyly. "So, helloooooo, everyone! We're gonna have a great time tonight!"

A slight tilt of the head, Trish raises an eyebrow. Violence is a way of life in bars like this, of course. She knew what she was getting into coming into a place like this. She just wasn't expecting the exact catalyst of said violence. The stars have aligned, however. She downs the rest of her drink with a bit of a wince and throws a bit of cash down on the table in front of Cheesecake. "Thanks for the info, Cheesecake. Stay smooth."

Standing from her seat, she makes her way to the front as Cheesecake pockets the cash.

Waving her empty glass toward the bartender, who is now making Harley's drink, she calls out, "You know what, that sounded kinda good. Get me one of what she's having, too!" She leans on the bar and looks over at Harley. "If the lady doesn't mind me copying her drink, that is." She pumps her eyebrow upwards twice inquisitively.

As Trish draws near, she will perhaps feel the angry weight of Harley's eyes upon her. It's a little unfair, perhaps, as someone seems to be violating an edict that Quinn never actually gave aloud. It's a weight that doesn't lift as the other blonde makes known her order. The bartender looks between both women with a distinct unease.

But then the question is put to her. Does she mind?

"Yeah, that sounds okay!" she decides at long last, "But mine gets served first."

Hugging her knee playfully as she swings her heavy boots through the air, Quinn's head lolls to the right side. "Sooooooo. Who are you?"

"You ordered first. Only makes sense you get yours first!" Trish concedes, placing her empty glass on the counter and leaning on it casually. She tries not to let her discomfort from the angry eyes show. She lets out a long breath as she turns to face the nearby Harley Quinn. "Who am I?" Gotta think quickly. Trish! Well…maybe that's too easy to identify her with. Patsy? Ugh. No. Patricia? Yes, that seems right. Full first name.

"Patricia." She says with a tiny smile. "Pleasure to meet ya." She holds out a hand to Harley. "And you, of course, would be the one and only…" She trails off, presumably to let Harley introduce herself, should she so wish.

"Harley Quinn," comes the swift reply, the pale jestress's chin tucking against her breast with false demureness as she reaches her own hand to meet Trish's. There's more than a little mischief that glitters in her eyes and the wicked pull of her uneven grin.

She doesn't hold the hand long, and she plants it between her legs as she leans forward.

"And I'm surprised ya' didn't know. Ya ain't from around here, are ya'?"

She waits for a moment, closes her eyes, and then tells the bartender, "I don't hear ya' shakin' yer tailfeather, Brian! A little less gawkin', a little more…" She opens her eyes and pantomimes a shaker. Never in the history of pantomimes has shaking a cocktail ever looked more like a prelude to murder.

"Harley Quinn. Yes." Trish places a hand on her chest and shakes her head in awe as she shakes hands with Harley. "My, my-my-my." She whispers. "I'm sorry. How rude of me to not…I mean…" She lets out a little giggle. "I'm from New York. I don't get out here too often." All true, of course. She clears her throat and smiles.

"The places I usually go to in New York? It's not ofen we can such big names like Harley Quinn." She fans her face a little. "Oh gosh, am I blushing? I think it's just so cool. You're so…" She looks back at the bartender, who's probably more than a bit scared out of his wits. "And look at the clout you carry? People from Gotham are soooo much cooler then people from New York."

A pigtailed head tilts left. Then right. All the while, wide blue eyes study the other blonde with an expression more than a little glazed and distant. "Yer not blushin'," she says, oh so helpfully, after a long moment.

"An', yeah. I tend to get my way, it's true." Flicking her hand at someone to shoo them off, Quinn then twists on the counter to stretch out along it on her back so that she can look up and observe the ceiling. "Because my puddin' likes to put a hurtin' on the people who don't pay their due respects to the House that Fun Built."

Even as she sing-songs the end of her thought, her hands stretch upwards so that she can admire her red and black manicure, alternating diamonds, in the dim bar lighting. "Isn't that right, Brian?"

The bartender — whose name is written up behind the counter and is clearly Mark, not Brian — just makes a show of loudly rattling his shaker.

"I…I'm not blushing?" Trish asks while slowly stopping her hand from waving her cheeks. "Oh, well. My bad! I could have sworn they were getting warm!" She leans on the counter and listens.

"Oh! I'm sure nobody would be stupid enough to get on your," she clears her throat, "puddin's badside. I definitely wouldn't want to do that. Then again, I don't consider myself particularly stupid. Just average. Besides, you'd be plain silly to not want to pay your respects to the House that Fun Built."

She sighs and looks over at the bartender. "Brrrriiiannne. What's taking the drinks so long?!" She pouts.

Mark turns a baleful gaze in Trish's direction and pointedly stabs his finger through the air to point out that his name is, in fact, not Brian. And then he goes back to pouring out the radioactive purple martinis into cosmo glasses and setting them on the counter near the two women.

Oblivious, Harley brings her hands down to mess with one of her pigtails instead. "Oh, you'd be surprised. People can be really infected with a case of serioucitis. Need a good dose of punicillin."

"Don't point at stuff, Brian, it's rude." Trish tells the bartender while giving him a finger wag. She lowers her hand and reaches for one of the drinks, but hesitates and stops when Harley doesn't reach for hers. The blonde pauses and hesitates, slowly lowering her hand. She's not going to take a drink before Harley. Especially when Harley demanded her drink first. Sure, she's made some none-too-smart decisions in the past, but this isn't going to be one of them."

She lets out a little gasp. "Serioucitis? Oh no! That sounds, well, rather serious! Are you sure punicillin would be enough? If the serioucitis affects their joke-ular membrane and they just…they just can't see the fun in things?"

"I know," Harley says, her voice low and mournful. With dramatic physicality, the clown princess lifts herself off of the counter, leading with her ribcage. She looks nearly lethargic as she drags her arm around to drape a hand over the sickly sweet drink, where it drips condensation. She takes it up, and then pulls her head forward to consider it. "It's a damn invisible health crisis, and most folks never even realize they're at risk."

The harlequin then lifts her cup with all of the gravitas of a Shakespearean actor. "To the Lord of the Joke," she declares, only to be met with silence from the rest of the room. A room that is definitely keeping an eye on her. "I SAID, TO THE LORD OF THE JOKE!" That draws a few hesitant and uncertain 'hear, hears' from those inside the bar, out of synch.

Trish shakes her head slowly as she makes a disappointed clucking sound with her mouth. “I have to thank you for warning me! I wouldn’t have known to be on the lookout had you not said anything!” She shudders. “You know…I think my sister might have come down with a bit of serioucitis! She’s just so serious most of the time!” She covers her mouth as she gasps. “I’ll have to get her some doses of punicilin!”

Gently lifting her drink after Harley takes hers, Trish is about to have her first sip when Harley lifts her cup and cheers the Joker. She slowly lowers her glass once more and looks around. The bar is silent, though only for a second. She clears her throat when Harley repeats herself and raises her own glass. “The lord of the joke!” She repeats softly, taking a sip of the drink.

If Harley is aware of the lack of enthusiasm from everyone who is not her, it certainly doesn’t show on her features. She lights up like a Christmas tree for any response at all, and maybe she’s just a touch brighter for getting her will over theirs.

She drinks long and deep, the cup dangling precariously from her fingertips. It’s an amusing sight, perhaps, watching her drink with such strangely graceful and simultaneously odd angles. Or, perhaps it's not, as it only seems to draw just a little more attention to her disjointed picture of madness.

Swinging a boot up onto the bar, and then the other, like it was a balance beam, Quinn then pulls herself up atop them begins to walk the length of it. Her feet are surprisingly dainty as they pick their way over bartop game machines and napkins and bowls full of fancy cocktail nuts.

Her empty arm swings wide and emphatic, and the sight of her back will give Trish a view of the pistol holstered inside her waistband.

“I think we should all sing along, like a camp outing! Don’t you? Always makes people feel so happy! Here we go, I’ll start…”

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood! A beautiful day for a neighbor! Won’t you be mine? No choice but to be mine! It’s a hilarious day in this beauty wood, hilarious day for a beauty! Tell me it’s me! No one but me!

Sliding down off the bar, Quinn in the throes of her choreography then completely forgets the conversation she was having with Trish, moving instead to a man near where Cheesecake was, where he’s drinking his beer. And she leans backwards over the table’s edge to half lie upon it, careful to not spill her drink.

I’ve always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I’ve terrorized a neighborhood with you.

She waits a beat, and then rolls up to look him in the face as she plays up her spoken correction. “…In it, anyway. With you in it. Hahahahaha!”

Then she’s back to serenading the room at large, dancing her way blindly around the room on tip toe as they stare very hard at the drinks on their respective tables.

Let’s make the most of my presence today! Since we’re together, ya might as well say… Harley, you’re mine! Harley, you’re fine! Harley, you’re my favorite neighbor.

Watching Harley in her element is certainly a sight to see. Trish had heard stories, of course, and she’d seen news reports. Nothing could quite prepare her, however, for quite how…exuberant Harley Quinn could be. She takes a long sip of her drink as she watches the other woman sing and dance around the room.

When it seems like Harley’s done singing, at least for the time being, Trish puts down her drink and claps. “Oh, very good! Very, very good! Was that an original?” She grins and quirks an eyebrow. “You know, you’re a natural born performer!” She leans back on the bar and smiles. “I bet the Mister appreciates what a talented partner he has in you.”

Taking her drink again, she has another long sip as she watches Harley, as well as the reactions of the other patrons. It really seems like none of them are particularly happy to have Harley here. Then again, maybe they’ve had to deal with her antics numerous times over. Either way, it seems like most of them would rather not have her attention on them.

“So, you were looking for…what? Some sort of article or something?”

The applause draws Harley down into a very stiff bow, knees stiff and torso folding at 90 degrees with her hands fanning behind her with the vague feel of a peacock’s tail. Her death-pale face cracks open as her port dark lips part in a pearly grin.

And as Trish brings up the Joker, Quinn is quick to play coy. Her body draws up, legs cross, and a hand demurely drapes over her clavicle as she tilts her head away. “He absolutely does, yanno,” she says, quick to defend the supposition. “He’s a man of effortlessly discernin’ taste, my puddin’.”

Killing the rest of her martini in a hurry, the jestress goes and sets her empty glass on the counter, and then she turns her attention towards Trish, blinking vapidly as the other woman asks her question.

“What now?”

“With such a talented person as yourself in his life? He has the best taste in town, no kidding!” Laying it on too thick there, Trish? This is what gets you in trouble. Diving too far in regardless of the direction. She pauses, pulling in the reigns ever so slightly. “Aww, puddin’. Sounds good enough to eat!” She almost sighs and cringes at herself. That most definitely is not pulling in the reigns.

“Hmm?” She takes a sip of her quickly diminishing drink. “Oh, just uh, when I was over sitting with Cheesecake, I thought I heard you mention to uh…” She nods to the bartender, “Brian over there, something about a newspaper and a tank?” Poor Mark the Bartender still can’t be called the right name. “If you’re looking for an article about yourself, well…” She motions up and down herself with her hand. “I’m quite good at finding things that people want.”

She finishes off her drink as well and places the glass on the counter. “Another, Brian!”

Mark has nothing for Trish but a growing contempt as she encourages Harley, first of all, and then also as she continues that terrible reference to an 80s movie that he’s definitely heard made at least once to many in his career behind the bartop.

He goes to make another pair of drinks anyway, but he sure glares a lot.

Harley doesn’t even notice.

She’s too busy waving a hand dismissively at Trish. “Oh, nah. I have that thing in a scrapbook at home. They got this incredible shot of me and the babies with our heads pokin’ out of the top of the Howitzer before the Bat showed up.”

Harley leans against the counter and smiles, sighing wistfully. “Ya can’t jes’ earn that kinda publicity anymore. Everyone is always talkin’ about the cost of gettin’ yer picture in the rag. Well, the cost is a Howitzer, I guess!”

Trish pointedly ignores any annoyed or angered glances and glares from Mark. She can pay him off later. Right now? It’s more important for her to be on Harley’s good side. Lightly chewing the inside of her cheek, she tucks a stray strand of hair behind her ear.

“Psh. The Bat.” She rolls her eyes. “Big ol’ Bat Daddy.” She sighs and shakes her head. “I hear that he likes to ruin people’s fun, am I right? I mean, if he hadn’t showed up, you probably would have had more time to enjoy the Howitzer, right?”

“You know, if you’re wanting to be in the paper, and in the press in general, more than you are, it sounds like you need an in with someone who has connections to the news-sphere. Someone who knows the right strings to pull to ensure your light really shines.”

She glances back at Mark and tilts her head. “How’s the drink coming along, Brian?”

Mark glares at Trish all the more as he sets down the new pair of drinks.

As Trish lays into the Batman, Quinn nods emphatically. “Sure is. Him, and all his little mini bat-bird-friends.”

Some of whom Harley has put into the ‘it’s kinda complicated but only if you make it complicated’ category, but that’s neither here nor there.

She swings towards Trish, lips peeled back in a too-wide grin and mad eyes opened to match. “Yer talkin’ my kinda language, sweet cheeks!” But then the harlequin melts promptly after, with sudden remembrance.

“But, alas, I am part of an incredible double act, so it’s a balancing bit, yanno? I mean, I know! I’m jes’ perfect for the front page, right? But, I’m even better when I’ve got the George Burns to my Gracie Allen.”

Smiling brightly at Mark, Trish lifts up her drink and gives him a nod. “You’re marvelous, m’dear!” She takes a sip and turns her attention back to the most flamboyant presence in this little bar.

“You know, I always found their little names strange, the Bat and the birds. I never got it. But then, it’s not like I’m privy to their little club. Maybe it’s just a theme thing.” She shrugs, taking another sip of her drink.

She chuckles. “But of course it’s an incredible double act. Sure, you’re both amazing on your own, but you’re also spectacular together! Said person who can pull the right strings,” she points to herself, “can ensure that both of you have your times to shine in the press. Not only that, but maybe the press could have nice things to say. It’s all about how something’s phrased.”

She pauses as she thinks for a quick moment. “Take ‘destruction of civil property’ for example. That can be turned around to say ‘the beginning of a community renaissance’.” She says with a little giggle.

Quinn considers this new revelation.

“You’re a reporter?” she asks in her shrill, nasally voice. “And you’d spin fer us?”

The gears turn visibly in Harley’s mind, playing with a seeming transparency across her features. Then her pale eyes narrow into suspicious slits as her demeanor turns on a dime, and her smile evaporates.

“Why? No one writes what we want them to. What’s in it fer you?”

“Sure am! Reporting’s my gig, and spinning’s what I do best! Early on in my career, I made a hot dog stand in Time Square sound like a deluxe fine dining establishment. If I can do that?” Trish quirks an eyebrow inquisitively. “Then I’m positive I can spin you the Laughing Man as the heroes of the story, doing good for the citizens of Gotham.”

The suspicion is understandable, even expected. She wasn’t expecting the infamous Harley Quinn to jump on board immediately. “What’s in it for me? Are you kidding? This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a journalist.”

She waves a hand around dramatically. “Most journalists? They spend their lives doing and writing and reporting what they’re told. Very few get the sort of opportunity that rockets their career into the atmosphere and beyond. You’d be doing me a favour as much as I’d be doing you one.” She explains. “To not only get the exclusive on Harley Quinn and her main squeeze the Joker, but to report their side of the story? And to spin it in their favour? This is the opportunity of a lifetime that’s I’d be stupid to turn down. I had to at least offer. If you turn me down, I go home more disappointed than when I left. You agree? I’m the luckiest gal in the game.”

“You gotta card?”

It’s a simple question. Harley asks it, and a beat later stretches out her pale hand.

Her other hand goes to collect her newly refreshed drink.

A simple question, with more than simple consequences if Trish doesn’t play her hand right. “Wouldn’t be much of a reporter if I didn’t.” She says with a little smile.

She digs through her pockets as she says, “I told you my name is Patricia…which is true. But in the world of the news, I’m known as Trish.” She pulls out her card, handing it over to Harley. “Trish Walker.”

“You may know me from the radio. Or from the TV a few years back,” or more than a few, “on It’s Patsy.”

She leans back on the bar and sips her drink. “I’m off on my own now, but I’ve still got pull and sway. A name like mine carries a bit of weight to it.” She explains. “You can reach me at the number on the card, day or night.”

Quinn sips on her cocktail and muses.

“Good to know,” she says, slipping the card into her pocket.

And then, just like that, the clown princess moves to hold her drink aloft as she begins an exaggerated sway towards the door. Yeah, she’s taking the glass with her and no one is about to start arguing about it.

“Alright,” she calls over her shoulder. “It’s time for me to bid you all adieu, but before I go, a final thought! Why are ghosts terrible fibbers?”

The criminal looks straight at Trish as she delivers her punchline with another wide, disturbing grin. “Because you can see right through them.

She begins cackling after that, and she continues to do so as she heads out the front door without so much as a goodbye.

Well. Other than the threat.

That counts as a goodbye, right?

“I’m not a ghost.” Trish murmurs into her glass as she downs the rest of her drink. She rolls her eyes and turns back to face Mark, sighing.

“You must just love working here.” She places her glass on the bar and pushes it toward him.

Pulling out her wallet, she pulls out cash and places it on the counter. It’s way more than enough to cover drinks, and then some. “Here, for your troubles. Sorry for all you had to go through tonight, Mark.”

She plasters a smile on her face and gets up. “Toodle-oo, Marky, boy. Don’t have too much fun without us here!” And with that, she, too, makes her exit back into the mean streets of Gotham.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License