The OutsideTheLines
Feature of the Month

"Home for the Holidays"

By RoyToy

DISCLAIMER:All characters belong to DC Comics. I maketh no mulah on this story. Pure giggles. No sue please. Only archive with permission. Thanks.

She looked around. Everything looked perfect.

Garland wrapped around the stair railing, lights were blinking merrily all around the outside of the warehouse, the fireplace was crackling with a genuine Yule log, mistletoe hung on various doorways, the buffet was crammed full of snacks and food and the Christmas tree was decorated so heavily you couldn't really tell it was a tree.

On top of the tree, where a star or angel traditionally reigned supreme, a demented looking Santa surveyed the huge parlor. His eyes were black as coal, the red hat was lopsided and clashed horribly with the purple suit the crazed Santa wore. It did match, however, the huge red smile within the pale face.

It also matched perfectly Santa Joker ho-ho-hoing from the huge barkolounger in the center of the room.

Harley Quinn thought this party couldn't be more perfect.

There was something missing.

Oh, yeah! she thought. The guest of honor! The man for whom this party was arranged. He should be coming with his invited guests just anytime now.

"Are we ready, Harley-girl?" cackled the Joker.

Harley nodded vigorously and then frowned at her beloved puddin'. "Mistah J," she crooned, "that laugh wasn't very Santa-like."

The Joker frowned at the rebuke but knew she was correct. "You're right, Harley, and I apologize for ruining your Christmas fun." He frowned again. "Hey, aren't you Jewish?"

Harley frowned. Ivy asked that last year when Harley had begged for a tree and received a rebuking lecture on the evils of cutting down trees for idiotic religious practices. Harley hadn't cared; they were shiny, bright and pretty. "Yes, Puddin', but I like Christmas trees."

The Joker looked at her blankly and then began to laugh, soon spiralling into fits of out of control giggling. When he could drag air into lungs again the Joker wheezed, "That's my Harley! Always ready to start a new tradition." The Joker bounded to the tree and grabbed the purple present with a huge ribbon labeled "Mister J" on it. "Can I open it now? Hmm? Can I, can I?"

Harely snatched the present from his hands. "Not until the guests arrive, Mistah J. We must be polite."

"Oh, but why?" whined the Joker like a petulant child.

"Because it's Christmas and you said I could do whatever I wanted!" pouted Harley in just as whiny a voice.

"Oh. Okay!" The Joker immediately lost interest in the gift and began to sing Christmas carols with his own words, starting with his traditional favorite.


"AND NIGHTWING GOT AWAY!" finished Harley with her own ending. She then sniffled. "He's so cute too. Can I have him for my present, puddin'?"

The Joker's face turned into a jealous grimace. "WHAT!? Why would you want that Batman-Lite for?" The Joke waved his arms as he sped around the room in outrage. "Especially when you have me!"

Harley backed up several spaces when the maniac clown screeched to a halt in front of her. His eyes blazed insanely, dangerously. Harley hugged him around his torso and crooned in that special way that her puddin' loved," For those lonely nights when you aren't with me, Mistah J. He'll always be second act to you."

Appeased, the Joker patted her red and black harlequin cap benignly. "That's my girl," he giggled.

The Christmas tree, previously unlit, lit up, the lights blinking in random and dizzying patterns and a small train sped its way around the base.

"Company!" sang out Harley gleefully.

"Ooooo! He brought the whole family!" The Joker was glued to the television/security screen in front of his barkolounger. On screen Harley could see the Batman, his boy sidekick Robin, Batgirl and the dreamy Nightwing all sneaking into the warehouse that Harley had so carefully decorated for the holiday season.

"I hope they don't ruin my reindeer on the room," worried Harley. The Joker absently patted her red gloved hand.

"Hush, I'm watching the game."

"Has anyone told you, Joker, how much I hate that song?" The Batman's deep voice came from above.

"I liked Harley's ending, though," added Batgirl with a grin. Nightwing shot her a dirty look.

The Joker went into peels of laughter. "Look, Harley, the guests arrived just in time for eggnog!" From his jacket pockets the Joker drew out eggs and began to lob them at the Bat foursome. Batgirl dodged the first egg by an inch but it blew her off the railing she was standing on.

"Egg bombs!" shouted Nightwing and lifted his arms, the gliders attached between his arms and his side lifting out and he jumped, using them as a parachute. He hit the ground, rolled out of the way of an egg bomb, which flew into one of Harley's mistletoe arrangements.

"Watch the mistletoe, Mistah J!" shouted Harley distraught.

Robin had jumped at the same time Nightwing did, bounced of a wall and landed in a crouch on the floor. Harley noted that the boy's acrobatics were improving, but Nightwing's was still better. "Nice party," the boy said conversationally, kicking out with his feet to knock her off balance.

"Yeah," Harley said resignedly as she nimbly hopped over his pitiful attempt at taking her down. "But I had hoped that we'd get to eat the ham I prepared before the games started." She vaulted over him and grabbed his cape before he could react. She flipped it over his head and backflipped to where Batman stood waiting for his opportunity to strike.

"Don't let him get near the fireplace," she whispered before bounding away. With any luck this would work.

Batman's eyes widened. He looked toward the fireplace and saw three fireplace utensils. Further viewing revealed they were levers of some kind, no doubt to cause mischief if they were rigged by the Joker. Quickly he made his way to the fireplace, placing himself between it and the Joker. Harley attacked him here and there, but they were half-hearted attempts at best.

He was puzzled. Harley Quinn seemed to be helping them, but why? He began to watch her more closely.

She was leading Batgirl and Robin a merry chase all over the warehouse. She lamented when the garland crumbled from the stair railings. She despaired when the Joker and Nightwing finished off the mistletoe and cleared the food table completely. Nightwing was a mess of food and eggnog, as well as random patches of pine needles from the mistletoe strands.

She moved like Harley, talked like Harley and definitely whined like Harley. What was her motive?

The Joker landed a good punch, knocking the wind out of Nightwing. With a cackle he tossed into Nightwing's lap a brightly wrapped gift. "From Harley," the Joker informed the wheezing former Robin. "Don't ask me what it is. I didn't do any shopping this year!"

Batman tensed. The Joker was heading his direction.

The Joker pulled from an inside pocket a small derringer. Batman tensed.

The Joker aimed it at him and fired. As Batman expected a small bang flag unfurled and the Joker began to cackle. "Oops, that was the one for Gordon!" Joker shrugged and tossed it at the Dark Knight. "Give it to him for me, will ya?"

Batman looked at it as the pistol sailed by. It said "Bah Humbug!" The Joker was muttering thoughtfully to himself when the Batman punched him directly in the stomach. "Or was that the one for Bullock. I can't..OOOF!"

The Joker doubled over from the punch and Batman gripped his hands together and brought them down at the base of his neck, knocking the Clown Prince of Crime cold.

Harley noticed the defeat of her Mistah J and stopped her bouncing around. "Whew!" she said, adjusting her collar and wrist bracelets. "I thought this was gonna take forever!"

"Don't!" Batman raised a hand, stopping Batgirl from clocking Harley cold from behind. He walked up to her. "You helped us. Why?"

"Oh, Batsy, don't you know anything about Christmas?" sighed Harley, sniffling. She peered around the Dark Knight and gasped in outrage. "My pretty room!" she bellowed, normal voice. "Look what you did!"

It was a disaster. Nightwing was just standing up, dripping with food and mistletoe. The garland was strewn all over the place. The Joker's pistol was melting in her fireplace. The Christmas tree was the worst affront though. It was completely smashed. The lights no longer blinked merrily. The tree's limbs were hanging on loosely. Pine needles littered the floor, along with broken glass from lights and ornaments.

The four were startled to see her walk over to the Joker Santa tree topper, pick it up and hold it out to them with a trembling lower lip. "I worked so hard on that," she whimpered forlornly.

Batman sighed heavily. "Who's gifts are those?" Nightwing asked shakily, rubbing his backside gingerly.

"Yours," Harley sniffled. She then took the broken boxes, identified the right gifts and passed them out. Robin opened his first and his eyes widened. Nightwing and Batgirl had the same reaction.

"I sewed and painted and sewed some more. I wanted them to be so perfect!" She ended her sentence in a full blown wail.

Batman pulled out his gift. It was black and had sleeves and buckles. In the front, carefully painted, was the bat symbol. The same symbol emblazoned on his chest.

"Straight jackets?" he asked incredulously.

Harley nodded miserably. "See?" she said, pulling out of the broken purple package the Joker's own personalized straight jacket. "His has a special way to get out though," Harley thought to add. "I didn't even get to tell him about it."

Nightwing rolled his eyes. "Did you make one for yourself, Harley?" he asked, holding up his black and blue one. He noted that Robin's had an extra addition: a yellow cape attached.

Batgirl held up her dark blue straight jacket, complete with yellow symbol and a jaunty blue cape and swallowed. "I've never had a gift from a lunatic before."

"I thought you might need them someday. It's always handy to have a personalized one!" Harley enthused.

"Harley?" Batman got her attention by softly speaking her name. "Did you make yourself one?"

Harley nodded and held up her own gift, wrapped in red wrapping with little black diamonds. Batman sighed again. "Does it have an escape route like the Joker's?" Harley shook her head. "Why?"

Harley looked at him slyly for a moment. "Cuz."

"Haaaaarleeeeey." Batman dragged her name out in warning.

She grinned sheepishly and began putting on her straight jacket. Nightwing helped her finish strapping it on. Once she was in good and tight, she answered the Dark Knight. "A riddle for ya, B-Man. I wanna go where everyone else goes for the holidays."

A still unconscious Joker was delivered to Arkham Asylum two nights before Christmas, along with the delightful Miss Quinn.

Harley got her Christmas wish.

She was home for the holidays.

Four nights later, they escaped in time for New Year's Eve....

To Be Continued?

The End

Return to the Previous Features Of The Month Page

"Home for the Holidays"
December, 1999

©David D. Amaya

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