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Bruce (the Hyena) and Bruce (Wayne)

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Bruce Wayne heard about Harley Quinn having named her hyena after him from an article in the Gotham Gazette.

“DOES THE CLOWN PRINCESS HAVE A NEW LOVER?

Pet hyena named after new boyfriend Bruce Wayne? ”

After her breakup from the Joker, the public attention on her had greatly increased and the fact that Harley was not particularly shy in her admiration for that hunk of a man, Bruce Wayne, had offered Gotham’s gossip columns the perfect material.

Bruce’s first reaction was confusion, of course. Why name her pet hyena after him? Was it a threat? A provocation? Had she figured out Batman’s true identity? He wouldn’t put it past her. She had a PhD, after all.

But Alfred, as the ever-valuable voice of reason, assured Master Wayne that it was most unlikely that Miss Quinn had discovered his secret and if she indeed had done so , why would she reveal her knowledge to him so openly and not instead sell him out to one of his many enemies, including her clown of an ex-boyfriend?

While still a bit doubtful, Bruce agreed to Alfred’s reasoning and decided that the only way to handle this situation was going on the offensive.

So he thought, not as Batman, but as Bruce Wayne, Gotham’s resident billionaire, party boy, womanizer. And what would Bruce Wanye do? He would send Harley Quinn a black leather collar for her hyena, diamond encrusted with his (their) name : Bruce.
---
The neately packaged present, most politely addressed to Dr. Quinn, soon arrived at Harley’s apartment (the location of which was apparently not as secret as she thought but that was a problem for later, she decided).

“Give him a good pet from me. - B. W.” , the neatly written note atop the tissue paper read. Harley grinned as she unwraped the collar. It was beautiful, even though Bruce (the hyena) normally preferred pink over black.

“Come here, boy”, she called from her place on the sofa. Out the tin bathtub beneath her window came Bruce, running excitedly towards her.

He licked Harley’s face as she put his collar on him.

“What a handsome boy, you are”, she said, his face in both her hands. “Whose is a handsome boy? You are a handsome boy! ” She planted a kiss on his big, black nose.
---
A week later, when Harley took Bruce on his daily walk (part of which was normally spent with him chasing squirrels in Gotham City Central Park), the glistening glass of Wayne Tower caught her eye. Her thoughts wandered to its owner, Bruce Wayne.

She had seen him in person twice at this point. Both times had been at charity events, which Mr. J had decided to turn into very public and very violent declarations of his intention to bring chaos over Gotham.

Bruce Wayne had been silent and collected in those situations, she remembered. The first time , at the Annual Wayne Foundation Ball, she had even seen him put himself in front of a woman who would otherwise likely have been shot. The bullet had grazed his left shoulder and he had stumbled backwards towards a wall. When Harley had diverted her attention for a second, Bruce Wayne had suddenly disappeared.

Batman had entered the scene only a few minutes after, forcing her and Mr. J to flee. When she had glanced back at Batman one last time, she had seen him discreetly roll his left shoulder. It was quite curious, she began thinking, when she was suddenly startled out of her thoughts by a high - pitched scream.

Bruce (the hyena) had apparently decided to go for a poodle instead of a squirrel today and was chasing him around the park. The poodle’s owner, an elderly woman with her white curly hair piled high on top of her head, watched in horror.

It took Harley a good half an hour to get Bruce back on his leash and the poodle, uninjured but deeply shaken, back into his owner’s arms. Harley even apologized to the old lady but she said nothing in return and instead kicked Harley in the shin. That’s Gotham for you. People don’t even know how to say thank you anymore.

In the evening of that day, when Harley was getting ready for a night out in Gotham’s club scene, she came to a conclusion that had already occurred to her more than once: that one can never wear enough accessories. So she bent down to the hyena sleeping at her feet, pet his head, took of his collar and put it on her own neck.

While it was still a bit loose, even though she had already tightened it as much as possible, it nicely matched her shiny, silvery jacket. When she caught sight of the glittery letters spelling “Bruce” on her collar in her mirror, she rembered the thought she had nearly had back in the park today. Well, she didn’t exactly remember the thought, just that she nearly had had a thought, one that unexplainably felt quite important but for the life of her, she could not remember it anymore.
---

The next morning, when both Bruce Wanye, in the dining hall of Wayne Manor, and Harley Quinn, in her small flat over Doc’s restaurant, were reading the newspaper over their breakfasts (a Salmon - Avocado Egg’s Benedict and an egg sandwich from Sal’s, respectively), they both could not help but grin at the latest headline in the Gotham Gazette:

“PUBLIC DECLARATION OF LOVE

Harley Quinn proudly wears boyfriend’s name around her neck. Engagement already planned. "