He had enough. He had enough of running from everything; he was simply tired. Ethan took it as somewhat of a sign that the word on the street was that Joker was looking for him. He didn’t know what for; he didn’t know if he even wanted to see Joker again. The demented clown had tortured him, injured his psyche so badly that… he understood him. He may not had agreed with the way Joker did things but he knew that there was a reason for it. At first, he wanted to kill him, kill everyone who had hurt him mentally. However not all of his soul had been damaged; Ethan wasn’t that cruel. As he made his way into the abandoned joke toy store, he told himself that he wouldn’t hurt anyone… unless he was provoked.
He was a bit surprised to see the delusional girlfriend; he had heard how Joker treated her and wondered why she stuck up for him. However, Ethan had to admit that the two were actually a well-matched couple; both were insane and deadly. He stood his ground as she smiled and approached him.
“What do you want? Where’s Joker?”
“Mr. J’s busy at the moment…” her overdrawn accent told him that she was from across the bridge rather than Gotham, “I’m here on his behalf! He wanted to extend his deepest apologies.”
“It’s true! You know… you were never the real target. He was after your girlfriend the whole time…”
“She isn’t my girlfriend, anymore…” he tried to put as much emphasis as he could on the entire sentence. Harley cocked her head to the side and made a thoughtful sound.
“You miss her, don’t ya…?” she tried. He quickly looked away and took a deep sigh.
“What is it to you…?”
“I know true love when I see it! Look; I know that Mr. J don’t like the broad; she’s too much of a showboat. He’s glad she’s out of his hair! I… kinda liked her… she kept him on his toes, you know?” she admitted. Ethan could only nod, trying to ignore the pain in his heart. They had agreed to go their separate ways, partly because he had this gnawing feeling that he would turn rogue. It didn’t change the fact that he didn’t want to let her go and missed her with every passing day, “So… I wanted to give her a little farewell present but… I think she would throw it away if I gave them to her. Maybe you could take the credit for it…?” she tried again. He widened his eyes at her.
“What do you take me for, a fool?! Why would I give her anything from either of you?!” he snapped. Harley put a frown on her face, showing him three small bottles.
“We’re letting bygones be bygones, here! Look…” she opened one of the bottles and took a deep whiff of its contents. She did the same to the other two and looked at Ethan, “See? Nothing wrong with ‘em! Want more proof?” before he could agree, she spread a bit of the liquid on her wrist and showed him, “No nasty side effects!”
“What are those?”
“Just a little something that every girl needs; scented oils! I picked them for myself but… my puddin’ doesn’t like the smells. Something about they’re too… domesticated for him…” she slightly frowned. She shook the thoughts out of her head and immediately handed the bottles to Ethan, “An oil warmer and a couple of tea candles and the set’s complete! You can handle that, right?”
“Why… are you doing this…?” he looked at the three bottles.
“I told you why! I’m a sucker for true love; everyone deserves their happy ending…” she gave him a more serious look. He couldn’t help but to think that there was a hint of sadness in her blue eyes; she really was sort of normal: all she wanted was to be loved… normally. The look quickly left as she slightly giggled and turned to leave.
He sighed as he looked at the massive door in front of him; it was now or never. As he waited for someone to open the door, he repeatedly told himself that this was the right thing to do. He had to get his life back on track and stop running away. He was surprised that it was Bruce and not Alfred who opened the door. His eyes widened at the sight of his old friend.
“Ethan!” he actually had a sense of panic boil over. However, the look on his friend’s face wasn’t of vengeance but… weariness. He sighed and just looked at him.
“I’m… turning myself in…”
Ethan was glad that the two sat and talked before being taken into custody. Bruce noticed the gift bag and slightly smirked.
“Trying to butter me up with a gift?” he asked, making him lowly chuckle.
“I have a favor to ask; could you… give this to Tabby? How is she, by the way?”
“She’s… happy…” he had to admit. While he still didn’t like the fact that she had all but stopped going on missions altogether… or the fact of who she was dating, he noticed that she was indeed happy, overall. Ethan nodded.
“That’s good to hear; really, it is. Just… tell her that I’m sorry and happy birthday.”
“What… her birthday’s coming up?”
“Wow… what kind of friend are you?” a hint of a smile played on his lips. Bruce let out a small laugh.
“Kind of been busy, if you haven’t noticed! I’ll make sure she gets it…”