“Taken down on February 2nd,”
Harvey Dent’s visitor said aloud as she wrote the words on his cast, “You really
are Fate’s bitch.”
“Don’t be catty, Selina,” he objected. He would have liked to point a
finger at her, tsk-tsk style, to hammer the point home. But the traction
table that held his limbs fast made any such movement a pipe dream.
Instead, he opted for eloquence: “From the riffraff of the Arkham
Infirmary, we expect scorn and abuse for our misfortune. Only this
morning, Catman organized a game of ringtoss around this cat’s cradle of weights
and pulleys, the object being to bring the cast on our left leg into contact
with the cast on our right arm. From his kind, we expect this treatment—no
less so because he does have a certain grievance connected with being left at
the side of the road somewhere in the Carolinas with a stolen BMW and a neo-nazi
auto mechanic name of Billy Bob Jonah Jim—but
from you, Selina, we hoped for a little sympathy.”
Cold green eyes surveyed him dispassionately. It made Harvey
uncomfortable. It made Two-Face horny.
“Sympathy? After what you did?
You’re lucky I didn’t bring the claws.”
“When did Pussycat become such a prude?” his darker half asked. “We’ve done worse. What did we do that’s so terrible, roughed up Bridge & Tunnel Boy a little?”
“It’s not what you did to Nightwing,”
Selina insisted, eying the knob that controlled tension on the traction table,
“It’s why you did it. Harvey, really, the Tattler? The Gotham
Tattler. You BELIEVED something in one of those gossip rags!”
“He told me to do it—No, we didn’t—Yes, you did!” came the frantic reply.
Selina sighed. What the tabloids had written, what some continued to
write, about Catwoman was too repugnant to utter. She didn’t care about
fools, the ignorant mob, but in her own circle, she took citing tabloids as a
And then there was Bruce.
Even if she put the Tattler angle aside, there was no question Harvey’s
little stunt extended Hell Month. Every night Batman returned to the cave
without finding Nightwing, his fury compounded. Rage and fear merged into
a dread that could bore through solid rock, through time and space, through
human flesh… a dread that could fasten to the spinal column and shake a soul
into a gibbering mass of slime. She’d seen him do it: to an Iceberg
snitch, a Crips tagger, a Maroni soldier, and a homeless guy who did nothing
more than take a refrigerator box from the alley where Nightwing’s communicator
was found. She’d never understood the way other criminals fear Batman—but
she’d never seen what he became in Hell Month… nor when someone he loved was
How was she supposed to ignore that? Write it off as one of Harvey’s
No, Harvey was her friend and she would always love him as such. But he
needed to be punished. It was that simple. Batman got to take his
shot, and now it was her turn.
Glancing at the knob again, Selina assured
herself the tension was such that Harvey couldn’t move his arms more than an
inch to either side. Then she smiled…
…for what he did to Bruce, for what he did
She reached into her coat, and took out the gift.
…and for what he did to her, nine nights
“It took some doing to get these for you, Harvey. They had to be
specially made; only one man knows how to do it. And he wasn’t at all
sympathetic when I told him who they were for, so I had to ask very nicely…”
She removed the napkin covering the basket and a rich, heavenly aroma tickled
“Double dipped, double chocolate chip. These are simply
the best cookies ever made… Doesn’t that smell delicious? I’ll leave
them right here on this side table. Enjoy!”