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Marked, Stacked, and Falsely Shuffled

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This story is No. 6 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the Third Part of our Heroine's Adventures in a Wicked Place

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR131613,66663315,7487 Feb 1015 Feb 10Yes

Truthful Aftermath

I woke from my slumbers around noon and after a calming bath and a refreshing mug of caribou, I went in to speak to my new houseguest. Not finding her in her room, I moved downstairs to search until I located her in the conservatory, clad in one of my dressing gowns and idly running her fingers over the harp.

"Good afternoon Doctor Quinzel. I am Drusilla, welcome to my home."

"That shar-pei looking guy..."

"Clement?"

"Yeah Clem. He's not human is he?"

"No, and strictly speaking neither am I."

"I think I remember you, telling me a story last night that ended like that. I was really out of it."

"That's quite all right, please sit down here, " I sat down on the end of a divan and patted the space next to me. She moved over and seated herself carefully.

"You really shouldn't be out of bed. You lost a lot of blood."

"Well thanks for your help, but I really gotta be going. Mr. J is lost without me you see, and sometimes he gets really angry if I'm not there to calm him down."

"You know of course that your Mister J did this, " I pointed at one of the bandages that peeked out from the sleeve.

"He didn't mean it! He does stuff like that all the time and he just does it in fun. People just don't understand him like I do, that's all."

"Do you remember anything of the story I told you?"

"Yeah..." she squirmed uncomfortably, "But Mr. J's a great guy, not like that Angelus you were talking about."

"After he broke me, I thought Angelus was a 'Great Guy' as you put it. But I was nothing more than a plaything and a work of art to him. He eventually grew bored with me so I had to make a new friend."

"So it worked out okay then?"

"Not terribly well actually. Angelus regained his soul and left, I was abandoned by my William for one that hated me and all I stood for, my Grandmum was destroyed by her own hand, and so I was alone."

"That's terrible. Nobody should be alone, that's why I'm glad I got my puddin', " She sounded content, albeit in a manic way, and I could see her repressed internal terror at the thought of returning.

"I'm not alone anymore, and you don't have to be either. You're welcome to stay here while you heal. It's better by a fair bit than chaining your future to a psychopath. As you may gather, I have a fair bit of experience with that sort of association."

"But Miss Dru, he needs me!"

"You knew as you lay there, he was giving his heart and soul to something else with every line and curlicue he carved."

"But he loved me! That's just the way he showed it!"

"Was he calling out to you or using your blood and pain to call out through you?"

Doctor Quinzel sat there silently. I could see the barest film of a tear forming and she snuffled back a sob. Then suddenly she grabbed and held me tightly and began to weep. Her body shook and contorted with anguish as she cried and cried, burying her face in my shoulder. I saw much of myself mirrored in her history. We had both once been normal women with grand futures, until we caught the eye of a hell spawn.

Clement entered with a bowl of soup for my guest, and a pot of tea for me. He cleared his throat softly to gain our attention and I motioned for him to set it on the table. He did so and then moved over.

"Harley right?"

She looked up at his concerned face and nodded, wiping her tears with the back of her hand. I offered her a kerchief and she gratefully accepted.

"You can call me Clem. I've known Dru for quite a few years and she doesn't lie. She may say some strange stuff sometimes, but she's always honest. If there's anything you need, like ice cream or kittens or something, just let me know okay?"

She looked puzzled, "Kittens?"

Clement looked sheepish, "Well, maybe not kittens."

"Thank you Clement, " he took the hint and gratefully retreated, "Come along Doc..."

"Please call me Harley or Harl, " the ghost of a smile crossed her face.

"Only if you do the courtesy of calling me Drusilla or Dru, " she nodded affirmatively, "Now that that's settled Harley, how about some soup, and you can tell me your life story as you eat."
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