|Clowning Around (part 1)|
You walk into a very large restaurant with high ceilings that leave the rafters exposed. Fluorescent lamps hang from the ceiling, adding light to the floor and tables. Windows adorn the sides of the place, looking out onto the chaos that is Twisted. On some of the walls are paintings, photographs, and holograms of different movies, and a number of people who tend to visit the UR - caught as they're singing karaoke. The hardwood bar rests at the back of the restaurant, surface polished and shiny and all-together spotless (most of the time). Behind the bar are the various beverages that are serveed, and a giant mirror. There seem to be an inordinate amount of different drinks. A large stage rests in one of the corners of the restaurant, with an amazing sound system and a few microphones strung around it. Multiple round wooden tables are in the room, and a swing door leads into the kitchen. Another door leads to the dance club, and another to the gym. And of course, there's an exit. A large fireplace nestles in one of the walls, with a beautiful stone chimney that flows up and out. A long spiral staircase rests near the entrance to the kitchen, leading to a second-floor balcony that overlooks the UR itself. The lights up there are a bit dimmer than those down below.
Suddenly the doors of the UR are shoved open and in steps the Joker's personal Harlequin. Without pausing or saying a word to anyone she cartwheels over the bar, grabs a random bottle of alcohol, and starts chugging it down. "Ehhh... 'F' him! I don't needs em! Missin' my birthday!? FINE! I'll just have my own party!" Well this is the start of a fun night, isn't it friends?
Serenity slides in through the door slammed open by Harley after taking a few moments to ensure that it won't be slammed in the other direction or otherwise abused or thrown about. Ren then darts quickly inside and slides off to the side of the door to follow the source of the commotion. Ren 'blinks' upon seeing the tail end of the cartwheels (and the cartwheeler) but doesn't immediately approach. The fluorescent-mottled mollusc lingers near the door in a 'standing' posture, scratching at head gills while regarding the woman (and the people staring at her) with a puzzled expression.
The cartwheeler, also known as Harley, bleh's at the bottle in her hand, throwing it carelessly across the room. (Un?) Fortunately the glass is too thick to break easily and it just sends a foaming mess spreading across the floor. A few patrons dart out the front door past Serenity without a moment's hesitation. As expected a waitress comes up to greet Harley and try to defuse the situation, only for the costumed woman to pull out a large gag-pop gun and put it to the woman's face. "HE LEFT ME! Do you know what that's liiike?! After all tha work we put inta patching things up!? WELL FINE!! HE CAN JUST GO JUMP OFF A SHORT PIER!" The waitress isn't that brave and darts into the kitchen. At least a few more patrons leave. Harley grabs another bottle and starts chugging it. "Oh, hey. This'll do. This'll do..."
Serenity winces at the impact of the bottle and continues looking on, with more uncertainty as the numbers of patrons shrinks. Ren does, however, attempt to slide discreetly around the edge of the room for a closer view of the action. Discreet is something of a relative term when psychedelic colors and floating masses of water are involved.
Harley wobbles out to the middle of the mostly empty UR dining room and plops down in a chair at random, chugging her random alcohol. Kicking one foot up onto the table, the crazed woman slams the bottle down, causing a bit to fizz out of it. She covers her face with her gloved hands and sobs. "WHYYYYYY?!?" The waitress pokes her head out of the kitchen door, watching for the distraction and tries to make a run for it. Harley continues to keep her face buried but draws her gun again - aiming it at the woman. "I thought ya where my friend! CAN'T YOU SEE I'M A WOMAN IN NEED RIGHT NOW?!?" The woman screams and passes out. Harley just drops her head onto the table with a loud 'THUMP'. "See? Everyone just LEAVES me in the end!"
Serenity frowns upon seeing the waitress' reaction to the gun, looking quickly from Harley to the other woman and back. Ren makes a short crackling sound. That's evidently when Ren reassesses the functionality of that gun, quickly shrinking lengthwise and darting forward to hide under a table.
The crackling noise makes Harley dart around looking for the source, but of course Serenity has already vanished. Raising an eyebrow suspiciously, the clown hmm's softly before deciding to pick up the waitress and drag her over to a chair, turning it to face her own at the table. With another moment of pondering, Harley literally bounds over the bar, grabbing a length of hose and then tying the poor woman up. With a slight cough to clear her throat she sits back down. "Now where was I? ...oh yes! " And immediately the waterworks start again, "so that NO GOOD, SLIMEY, TWO TIMING..." Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh. "...adorable, insane Mistah J..." Oh boy...
The aquatic being doesn't seem in any hurry to see what this jumping is about, but continues hovering horizontally underneath a table. Ren is tilted sideways in order to press up against the underside without flattening the free-flowing water out of the feathery mane. Still, Ren does start to slide forward enough to catch sight of Harley's feet.
The door that leads to the gym slowly swings open and a middle aged man steps through. His couple of day old stubble was flecked with bits of grey, but his eyes still held the sharp look of an intelligent man. He takes in the scene infront of him quickly before pinching the bridge of his nose a bit as he obviously staves off a yawn, "Look lady, I don't know who it is you're yelling about but wouldn't it be better to call him or something? Some people are trying to sleep."
Harley Quinn's eyes dart towards the door to the gym as a new voice chimes out. "EXCUSE MEEE, PRINCESS!" She draws that pop gun of hers again and aims it directly at the man. It's cork and string sticking out of the barrel appearing not the least bit intimidating to anyone who's never seen the woman before. It is awfully shiny, though. "I HAPPEN TO BE HAVING A HORRIBLE WEEK!" She pauses to gesture towards her captive who seems to be stirring. "My FRIEND and I are tryin' ta make up for it with a FRIENDLY CHAT!" She points backwards towards the door with her thumb. "So if ya don't wanna be part of our girl chat I suggest ya HIT THE ROAD BUB!" The waitress finally comes to again and as soon as she realizes she's tied up she starts to scream, "OHGODSOMEONEHELPME!!!! IT'S HARLIQUENN!!" Harley's eyes narrow and she turns the gun on the woman. "HARLEY...QUINN!!! HARLEY!!! QUINN!!!! GET IT RIGHT!!!"
Serenity is busy dampening the underside of a table with wintergreen-scented brackish water, still rolled over on one side and shrunk to a more compact four-foot-long shape. Ren peers out toward Harley, starting to look a bit less terrified and a bit more confused as an unconerned Bruce steps out. But Ren doesn't wait to see if Bruce takes the offer. Rather, Ren takes that as an invitation to leave in a hurry. Retaining the horizontal posture and short height above the floor, Ren darts for the door in a ripple of alarmingly blue fins.
Bruce drops his hand from his face as he notices the hostage and his face sets into a grim look. His eyes bore past the gun and to the woman holding it, "I'm very sorry for..." his hand sweeps out as if he's looking for a word, "well, whatever it is that you're upset about. I can only give you one chance on this, ok?" His eyes flick to the gun, trying to ascertain if it's a threat or not, "I need you to put that down and let the woman go, ok? For all of our sakes, please calm down and seek mental help."
Harley's eye twitches at Bruce's final statement. "Oh, look. Someone thinks he's funny!" The costumed woman turns towards the entrance of the UR and fires her popgun. It's cork flies from the barrel and hangs taught because of the string tied to it. The bullet that comes out of the barrel is much more menacing as it impacts into the wall beside the door and hopefully missing Serenity in the process. "Nuh-uh-uh! Momma needs some hostages!" She turns back towards Bruce, aiming her gun with both hands on the grip now. "COME ON, HERO! I've gone toe ta toe with the Bat! What makes you think you're even CLOSE to his level?"
Serenity twitches at the shot and abruptly halts forward progress. It looks like some momentum-cancellation is at work on the water, and some nimble swimming at work on the aquatic being. Ren shifts direction like a helicopter and takes off in an equal hurry in a direction perpendicular to the sound of the shot, looking for another table to shelter under that doesn't already have an occupant.
Bruce closes his eyes at the sound of the gun and takes a few deep breaths, working to calm himself. He opens his eyes after a moment and focuses them back onto Harley. He clenches his jaw a couple of times as he silently counts to ten before speaking again, "Please, I'm begging you to put down the gun and seek some help." His eyes lock onto hers, his fists clenching at his sides, "You're making a hell of a mistake, lady."
The woman scoffs, "Yeah, that's what I thought. All bark and no bite!" She pauses and looks at the waitress observing the tears running down her face. "Hey! You stopped screamin'! I mean, really? Shouldn't you have screamed AFTER I fired the gun, not before hand?" The waitress just sobs loudly in response. Harley shakes her head. "Welp, this got dramatic fast, huh? WHO WANTS A DRINK!?" She ducks a little to see under the tables looking for Serenity, "Hey, fishy? Ya want somethin' ta drink?" Harley casts an eye at Bruce without turning much more than her head. "I'd get tall, dark, and moany something but he'd just try ta beg me for it." She does a brief cartwheel backwards to straighten up. "What are ya? Homeless? I can get ya some booze in a paper bag?" She grins, "Maybe you should just get yourself one of those signs that says like 'WILL EAT FOR FOOD'." Harley laughs loudly at herself. "No! No! WILL BEG FOR FOOD! GET IT! He's a begger! HAHAAHAHAH!!" It's not funny, and no one is laughing with you, Harle. "Shut up narration!" Huh?
There's a general shuffling of people on their hands and knees as Harley leans over to look under the tables. Ren 'blinks' at Harley upon coming face to face with her, but doesn't make any noise in response to the question. Rather, Ren ruffles foreshortened fins in a smooth station-keeping motion that might aid in moving any direction. And in fact, Ren is tending to drift just /slightly/ to one side of Harley while her attention is directed to Bruce, but evidently decides to avoid making another break for it when Harley straightens up.
During Harley's tirade, Bruce kept his eyes closed, his head hanging in what outwardly almost seems to be defeat. A slight tremble runs along his body for a moment as a thrill runs along his spine. He feels the adrenaline begin to loose somewhere deep inside but tightly fights to keep it under control. His eyes open again, his face beginning to betray the emotions that stir beneath the surface. He takes a deep breath through his nose as his irises slowly turn green, locking onto the mocking jester, "Last chance."
The costumed clown laughs at Bruce's final request, dashing over to put her arm around him and kiss him on the cheek. Yes, seriously. "Aww, don't feel bad. Just because ya can't stop a poor defenseless wittle girl like me doesn't mean you're less of a man." Her voice loses that sugary-sweet sound she was just using in favor for a dark and more serious one. "Yer just another homeless LOOSER!" Shoving him towards the stage Harley prances over to the bar, leaping up and resting her bottom on the top of the counter so she can grab something else and start guzzling it. "Yeeeeah, after two weeks in Arkham I needed this! Criminally insane my patootie." The woman grins and throws the bottle over to Bruce. "HEY BUM! SING US A SONG BEFORE I HAVE TO GIVE OUR WAITRESS A NEW HOLE IN HER HEAD!" The woman expectantly starts sobbing louder.
The door jingles cheerfully as the nekojin brother of the late Samantha Li-Bogard slips in, only to find himself in the middle of...quite an interesting scene. He freezes, becoming as still as a statue (save for an irritated twitching of his tail), watching everything play out. Mostly, he's got his eye on the gun-toting woman, one hand resting on the scabbard on his back while cat-like red eyes focus. What on earth did he just walk into? Slowly, Sai Faoh begins to edge around the restaurant, keeping his back to the wall as well as he can manage, all without uttering a word...all the while, his hand is gripping the hilt of the sword that he has owned since his birth.
The bottle shatters against Bruce's head, but it's obvious the man doesn't feel it. His body begins to grow rapidly, his skin darkening to a vivid shade of green, his features get larger and more coarse as his muscles tear through his shirt. His growth spurt stops as the man stands at about eight feet in height, his pants tight against his heavily muscled legs. The creature gives a couple of rough breaths as he glares across the bar at Harley. His eyes narrow in a deep set anger before a roar looses from his lips, the sound loud enough to knock over the nearest tables.
Harley gets distracted by the catboy walking in the door. "Well, well, well... SOMEONE didn't get tha memo! This is a PRIVATE PARTY Kitty Cat. Why don'tcha..." And over the bar she goes as the sound suddenly gets turned up to eleven. Harle peers over the bartop and sweatdrops heavily once she can focus on the huge green-"OHSHIT! IT'S THE JOLLY GREEN BANE!!" The woman whips out her gun and starts blindly firing at the Hulk. "I'M SORRY MA! I'LL EAT MY SPINNACH FROM NOW ON!" Well, she fires once and then clicks the trigger a bunch. Not the best plan, eh Harley?
Serenity frowns worriedly as Harley teases Bruce but doesn't make a move from under the table. Ren rolls again onto one side in order to press up against the underside of it within the thick cloak of water. Sai's entrance doesn't seem to register, but the roar certainly does. Ren shrinks to a compact form again, undoing whatever relaxing had happened in the few moments prior. Those hiding under the tables that Bruce blew over go running for new cover.
The catboy freezes briefly as he is addressed, though his eyes are more on the guy who just turned into something green and angry looking and very big. That doesn't look like a fun thing. Thankfully, that roar gives the feline fellow a good opportunity, and faster than most normal eyes can register, he is behind the bar...and behind Harley. His sword is drawn silently, and from his robe a slip of paper is thrown into the air; swinging the sword up, he stabs said piece of paper. "Raitei...Shorai." His incantation certainly isn't audible over the sound of shouting and gunfire...though the electricity that crackles toward Harley is certainly an attention grabber.
"HULK SMASH CRAZY CLOWN GIRL!" The shouted exclamation is the only warning before the Hulk grabs an upturned table and hurls it across the bar towards Harley and the catboy, even if it wasn't intentionally aimed that way.
"OH CRAP!" Harley leaps towards the door and over the bar half a second before the table smashes behind her. This wasn't the plan! "BIZZARO BANE! RUN FOR YOUR LIIIIIIVES!!!!" It takes a good moment before the voice in Harley's head reminds her that she didn't actually jump. Someone's electricity attack stopped her dead in her tracks. The table made contact with her face and an audible "EEEP!" was all that was heard before Harley decided to take an impromptu nap. In fact in her head she stands on the bar looking down at herself and shaking her head. "Come on, Harle. Get up! Big green is still standing there! Harley!? YO! Aaaaaaah, crap." Yep. That about sums it up.
While the sounds coming from above and to the side are anything but reassuring, Ren doesn't have anywhere further to go. The aquatic invertebrate only flattens, as much as is possible for someone without a rib cage, against the bottom of the table.
Cat reflexes are a good thing. Leaping up, Sai ends up...hanging from the rafters, eyes wide as he stares down at where he once was. Blinking a few times, he pulls himself up, knocking a few of the Prinnies down at Harley's head as he does so, and crouches up there. Another piece of paper is pulled out...then tucked back away as it turns out that Harley is knocked out. Well, that was easy. Tail swishing, Sai remains up there, sword still drawn as watches quietly to see if any further action is needed.
There's a soft moan from the clown as she painfully digs herself out from under the thrown table. "Owwwwiieeeee." She tries to stand, moving away from the bar slightly and leaning against the uniform closet for support. "Jeeze, aAaany one get the nuMBer of that truCk?" The woman shakes her head as that voice in her mind keeps yelling out at her. oO(GET MOVING, HARLEY! GET-OH, hey that fish just called your mother a hamster!) Harley shakes her head, "Wha-?" oO(AND YOUR FATHER SMELLS OF ELDERBERRIES!) Well folks, we might as well just throw Harley in front of a bus. She's done for the evening.
The Hulk clears the room in the blink of an eye bellowing with rage as he goes. His fist closes about Harley's shoulders as his palm connects, oddly enough shielding her from the walls that the Hulk then continues on through to exit the Restaraunt.
Serenity waits for some moments after the crash, remaining still until cued to motion by the beginnings of a murmur among the patrons under the tables. After seeing some other stand, Ren cautiously slides out from the hiding spot, flowing into an upright posture while looking about cautiously.
Don't forget about the waitress! The poor woman lays on the floor, still tied to the chair she was roped to with the bit of hose Harley had found. She cries uncontrollably, unable to do anything else.
Upon being untied, the woman pulls her knees up and hugs them - not really ceasing her sobbing until Serenity pats her on the shoulder. The waitress looks up and nods at her words before simply letting her head drop on her knees and mumble, "I th-think I quit. This isn't w-worth the t-tips." Can't hardly say we blame her, eh folks?
Serenity offers a smile and a nod to the fellow who took the steak knife to the bindings. Ren remains at the 'kneeling' height afterward and leaves the fins on the woman's shoulders. Ren looks to be seeking comfort as much as offering it. "I've yet to see anywhere safer, I'm afraid," Ren remarks uncertainly, rubbing head gills with the left fins. "Better with community than without, hh?"