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Bruises [Batman, Joker/Harley]

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Aug. 8th, 2008 | 12:29 am
mood: lazylazy
music: Bullet Proof - The Goo Goo Dolls

Title: Bruises
Author: cooking_spray
Fandom: Batman (no specific canon)
Pairing: The Joker/Harley Quinn
Genre: Hurt/Comfort
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 741
Status: One-Shot
Summary: Turnabout is fair play.




Disclaimer: Highlight the phrase "fan fiction". Consult dictionary. Repeat if necessary.

I've never really written comicverse fic before.

In fact, when it comes to Batman, I'm also pathetically out of touch with the canon. This fandom threw itself upon me and got into my head in an alarmingly short amount of time, these two especially.

I'm working off of scattered fan spoilers, my hazy recollections of the animated series I so beloved when I was little, and pure fangirlishness. So do forgive any potential mis-characterization and/or severe lack of context (not that I work outside of incidental one-shots, anyhow).

Oh, and sorry in advance about the trite metaphors. I do that a lot.

Enjoy?


~*~*~*~*~


Hickory dickory dock
The mouse went up the clock
The clock struck-


Contemptuous baby-blues were resting on the grandfather clock at the far end of the room, pretty features knotted into a child's pout. It had been half-past three for months now. The damned thing had probably never ticked even before its instatement; there was a depressingly charmless antique air about it. It was an object of master craftsmanship, designed to carry out one function, and instead it stood in idly collecting dust. What convenient (and hardly coincidental) irony that a furnishing invented to display the time in arbitrary hours, minutes, seconds remained frozen, pendulum stiff and stationary. A reminder only of the past, not the present.

Harley abandoned the nursery rhyme, crossing and uncrossing her legs restlessly. There was a stale scent of death in the room, also - probably a mouse, curled up in a duct or under a floorboard, rotting. The feeling of decay was cloistering. The flicker of an impending tantrum flashed compulsively before her, that familiar urge to kick and thrash and bang on walls and yank at the roots of her hair, all so ineffectually. To make things a little less boring. To make her feel a little less mad.

But the urge passed, as such urges do, with suddenness equal to that which had begun them. It left her oddly lethargic in its wake; she slumped and grappled with the nest of soiled and threadbarren sheets. An attempt to lie down was made - to nap, possibly - but she triumphed only in wringing the fabric in her hands, tightly and more tightly, until her hands began to burn from the friction. Relinquishing her grip, she lay flat on her black, feet limply hanging over the side of the bed.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. . .

And then, a forceful turn of the knob, a great squeak of hinges, the big whoosh of a door being hard-flung open. She was up on her feet as if jerked by invisible strings, blood rushing, breath caught, every nerve ending alive with sensation. Her feet skipped toward him without her prompting.

"Mistah J-"

She took a step forward, made a motion to place her lithe little hand on his shoulder (why the long face puddin' a welcome home kiss puddin'), and found herself staggering backwards with the clumsy steps of a dancing bear. Her face was hot and stinging, her heart was racing, and as she made impact with the door behind her, she lifted a hand to caress the blow with an absent smile. The collision made her balance wobble, and she plopped into a dizzy, delirious heap, skull knocking the knob during her descent. She cradled the cheek tenderly, tears springing to the corners of her eyes and the beginnings of a sob-laugh rising in her throat.

The clock struck. . .

Her temporary daze was guided by the rhythm of his footfalls - angry, heavy, pacing. She heaved herself over to them on all fours, shameless and smiling, clasping for an ankle. A sharp heel made contact with her chin; black flooded her vision and bowled her over into a fetal cataclysm of breathy sob-laughter. Back and forth, back and forth. . . Loving hands on her throat, a wrenched wrist, pulled pigtails.

Sometime later (hours? minutes? seconds?), the footsteps were but an echo, his touch a tingling memory. Her breath wheezed back, vision blurred into focus, world became vertical.

His shoulders were set, posture controlled, dangerous. She tiptoed over, blood still rushing, skin still afire.

On his downcast face, slightly sticky and unusually grim, there was the faint outline of a ripe purple bruise, just beginning to form. With shaky hands, she traced over it, pressed down. He growled, seized her shoulders. . . and then went slack.

Stained lips brushed the site of injury with an attentive mother's touch, fingers wound up through the matted tangle of hair, and there was a murmur in his ear: "Oh, puddin'. Oh, oh, oh. . ."

She flinched, gave a little moan of pain as his own hands began to knead old wounds (thighs, ribs, breasts, arms), coming to rest on the freshest. His thumb gripped the flushed flesh from moments earlier; smeared away paint - a yelp, a shiver.

A rasped word and a grin into the side of her face: "Stalemate."

The rest were counted later - all twelve and doubled by two. Like clockwork.


~*~*~*~*~



This was written on a complete whim during a thunderstorm two nights ago. Apparently, storms are inducing of such labors (probably because I'm forced to find other sources of entertainment besides the internet). The idea bit and wouldn't leave me alone until it was out of my skull an all in messy neat little words on paper.

There are a lot of subtleties that I won't go over; they either build and add richness or I've made this too overwrought (wouldn't be the first time).

I'm a little worried about Harley, too - I fear she comes off as a bit too submissive, but I didn't feel it appropriate within the confines of this ficlet to get further into her crazy head. Joker is probably also too tender, ha. =P

Thoughts? Explanations as to the incredible vagueness of my prose?

I might have more ideas rattling around in this head o' mine. . .

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Comments {9}

mnemies

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from: mnemies
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
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This was absolutely glorious. It was poetic. In all honesty, I got angry when I read it. Downright, nasty, angry.
Because I was motherfucking jealous that I can't write that well.

I mean, I have a fanfiction in mind that I can't put to paper because it's prose like yours that intimidates me in the wee hours of the night.

And the vagueness? Perfect.

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The Girl Whose Metaphors All Involve Breakfast

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from: cooking_spray
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 07:05 am (UTC)
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Well, I'm delighted to have inspired your wrath, in that case. =P

And please, don't be intimidated! My stylistic preferences run a bit towards the purple, but that doesn't devalue the preferences of others. There's more than one way to be "a good writer".

I'm still not sure about the vagueness; it's a bad habit of mine. But I'm glad you thought it worked.

Thanks for the comment! <3

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mnemies

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from: mnemies
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 08:03 am (UTC)
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Well, I suffer from a rather harsh case of Overactive Imagination Disorder. Doctor said it's chronic. *cough*
That's why I think the vagueness worked. My mind went into OVER 9000 IMAGINATION CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL OVERDRRRIIIIVE mode. Anything I wasn't really sure of was filled with my drooly-fangirl-induced dementia/epilepsy.

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The Girl Whose Metaphors All Involve Breakfast

(no subject)

from: cooking_spray
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 04:59 pm (UTC)
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Dr. Horrible icon love! Man, I need to upload me some.

At least my work is inspirational, then, if nothing else. =P Your brain sounds like a fun place to be. . .

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E the Bee

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from: princessebee
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 06:53 am (UTC)
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I don't think that Harley's too submissive at all, in seems in keeping with her to me. She retaliates against him only when he's misbehaved and her assessment of that includes betrayal, not beating her up. She also has a masochistic streak.

While technically this is written very well and in a sophisticated fashion, it is a little too overwrought and some of it is a little vague. I appreciate the subtleties, but the sentences are a bit heavy and I began to skip words. It feels... a little forced.

I like the themes in it and it picks up as it works towards the conclusion. I think it is a little oblique that she punched him (at least - I assume that's what happened).

Since 'Puddin'' here is used as a noun, it should be capitalised.

Good work overall, it's a little hard to tell but you seem to have a good understanding of the characters so I'd be interested to see that applied to more fic.

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The Girl Whose Metaphors All Involve Breakfast

(no subject)

from: cooking_spray
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)
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First of all, thanks for the in-depth comment. =]

I'm relieved that Harley doesn't come across as a complete pushover. I think it's just because this particular story shows her reactions towards him with such a one-sided nature due to its lack of range that I worried.

My writing suffers as a symbiotic work when it transfers from my head, to paper, and then again to the computer screen. If I stare at the first draft too long, I keep making minor alterations, often to the point of excess. I've also been reading a lot of highly stylized yet widely varying prose styles, and of course I absorb what I read.

Also, I got into the habit of being too damn vague some time ago, to combat being too damn literal, and sometimes even I forget what I'm talking about properly and have to stop myself. I haven't written in a while, so it's probably worse than usual.

And she totally doesn't punch him - which line are you refering to? See, it's a testament to my need to be more concrete when my readers can only infer what's happening. XD

Again, I appreciate the critique. There's a definite possibility of more fic in the future; when I'm not thinking in full-on metaphor, I might take a stab at it.

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Kitten? Orange?  OrangeKitten!

(no subject)

from: yaoiophile
date: Aug. 8th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
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. . . You wrote something.

. . . WOAH.

But I like it. =D Something fresh from you I think.

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dark_paradise2

(no subject)

from: dark_paradise2
date: Aug. 11th, 2008 08:19 am (UTC)
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You're really good at the writing fanfics. I could actually imagine her being tortured. I found it a little easy to get confused though. As for Harley being too submissive: just a bit. She's not that easy to walk all over (even if it's her Puddin'). Overall: great story.

As for the make-up: You've got guts. It was beautifully done, and you must have gotten a lot of confused (or crazy) stares. Lol

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The Girl Whose Metaphors All Involve Breakfast

(no subject)

from: cooking_spray
date: Aug. 11th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC)
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Thank you. =] And yes, the prose is a bit too vague in places, but that's what happens when you write on a marathon whim. . .

I can see Harley "groveling" in this way, though. The source of the Joker's anger has nothing to do with her, and thus, she's happy to receive his attention. It gives her a feeling of worth to even be his punching bag, because she adores his every action, no matter how morally deplorable, unquestioningly, by default of it being his. She's important enough to share in his pain, and since he's not sleeping around with (or beating up, as the case may be) other women, she'll take the hit.

But, that's just my analysis~

And I love to go out in make-up. *grin* The stares are always so fun, and since I honestly don't mind being seen as a "freak" (hey, I know it's hot!), I'll do it any day.

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