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She'd turn to look at him, wondering where the days events went by like little droplets falling from a broken faucet.

The city had actually simmered down and the crazy talk had sort of slipped under the sheets. Then inmates found warmer spots and hoped that food would eventually be dropped. Somehow the crazy side of town had gotten it's own place and name, still a mystery to her how this had been managed but then again anything is possible with a city filled with so many cruel intentions.

Then again, everything had gone to shit in nano seconds.

She washed the blood from her hands before turning to look at him, bandages around his torso, blood staining the bed and his ragged breathing getting just the tiniest bit fainter. Harley had done all she could for now, sending out the kids to get the first doctor the could find and get him or her down here as quick as possible but for now, she'' drown herself in cheap whiskey and watch over him. It was a combination of things, a shoot out that was unexpected, a last minute thought to get away to buy time and just get out. He'd taken the worse from it and Harley still feels the ache in her arms from having to basically drag him back to the Steel Mill and he bleed so much, so fucking much.

What was gonna happen then? Batman probably knows where their hiding out by now, J always had a keen sense for squealers and he knew every single one of them by heart.

"You can't leave...You hear me? You can't just take me on this ride and force me off the god damn thing now" She was angry, she wanted everything to just burn apart or at least go back a few hours, tell him that facing Dent's guys wasn't necessary but alas he're he was, fighting with death's door and all she could was pray that the door handle was made of cement. She runs a finger over his lips, smeared red so lovely. "It was you and me, always. Fuck the rest, it's not important"  He stirs a bit, a small cough coming out and staining her hand and by now Harley can't hold back the tears, the slip by as quietly as they can.

"You're...Killing me off too soon, doll" His brown orbs appear in weak flutters. "Thought you liked me more than that" She wants to punch him but of course she doesn't. "Now why would I do something like that J? You know me better" A bit of her thick new yorker accent slips through but he likes it, secretly of course. "Hey, at least I didn't lose an arm, now that would have been tragic" She rolls her eyes shaking her head at his morbid comedy, the one she loves so much. "You're gonna be fine, I sent Dewey and Giggles for a medic, if they aren't here by sunrise I'll just get you to one myself"

He has to admire her efforts, her tenacity, that fucking spark she has that attracted him to her in the first place. "Harl, I don't think you're gonna be able to that" She crosses her arms and looks away. "Try me" And lord knows he has.

"Just give me till sunrise, ok? Just give till then, We've got one of the Tyger trucks hiding in the back and I managed to stop your bleeding so for once J just give this once chance and don't go leaving me like this...Leave me any other way but... not like this" It's scary just how much she means it, how wiling she is to get gun down by Tyger security or Penguin's gang hell she's willing to go up against the Bat on her own with nothing but her fist. "...Ok, fine"

She goes back to looking at him and those ocean eyes are red and puffy like a storm. "Don't die on me..." She scoots her chair closer to his side and her hands are on his face, gently of course. "This city isn't ready to just not have you, B-man won't be as fun anymore and do you really expect me to lead those retarded bunches of oats we call help? I'll end up setting fire to them all" He actually manages to chuckle with a cough though. "Then burn 'em all, get new ones" And Harley actually laughs a little, despite everything she manages to.

"What about me?" She runs her fingers though his bloody hair.
"You'll manage" He stares intently at her and she shakes her head.
"Where's the fun when the laughing partner isn't laughing no more?" He's seen sad looks on her, but nothing like this one.

"Then you laugh twice as hard for me" He wants her to promise, the look in his eyes tells her so.

Even though she doesn't confirm it, she silently promises him she will.

"Just...give me till sunrise" He promises as well.
Part two for Big playgrounds
[link]

As you can see it follows the Arkham City plot, with some changes since I didn't want it to be exact and it's way to fit these two properly. Bit sad this one, but in a mood :shrug: It will have a part 3, quite sure the last part.
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A/N- The 400(ish) words long piece of literature in between these symbols:  -*- is written in third person, omniscient, while the rest of the story is written in first person that bounces around between the main cast. This is here just to make sure you don’t get confused!




-*-



A pair of green eyes scanned the pictures in a therapist directory, flipping through page after page, staring at picture after picture- waiting to detect the perfect subject.
When suddenly the man stopped, and stabbed his finger in the middle of a page towards the end of the book.
“I want her!” He commanded at the other man in the room.
“I'm sorry, but she only handles patient paperwork and those sorts of things. She doesn't deal with high-class criminals, like yourself.” The opposite man quipped in a monotonic, English, accent.
“I don't care. I won't talk to anyone but her.”
“Why her?” The English man scratched at his chin.
“Don't psycho-analyze me, doc, I just want her.” The green eyed man tore out the page with his requested doctor and snapped the dusty book shut.
“I will put you through electric-shock therapy... again.” The doctor threatened.
The patient shrugged and rolled his eyes.
“I will hand your case off to Doctor Crane.”
Another shrug and eye-roll.
“I'll put you in a cell with Edward Nygma.”
The other man made a light scoffing noise and kicked his feet up.
“I'll... put you in a cell with Victor Zsasz.”
He rumbled with laughter now, “Are you kidding me? Zsasz is so much fun a parties! He can appreciate the pleasure in using weapons within the blade-and-handle family.” The madman laughed and his mouth opened into a grin, “You know, you're never going to win with me. Just get me Doctor Quinzel, and all will be good!” He clasped both hands together at the side of his face and smiled.
“Fine, Mr. Joker, I will get the doctor that you requested. Please wait while I make a few calls.”
“Alright, but make it snappy, Strange 'ole boy! I haven't got all night!”
~
Doctor Hugo Strange, head Doctor over Arkham Asylum's most notorious and criminally insane patients, walked down the blank hallway toward the nurse's station. Just before his finger connected with the call bell- he heard a fit of mad, verging on manic, laughter escape from the cell that he had just left the Joker in. He rubbed his gloved fingers against his temples.
This was going to be a very long night indeed.



-*-



1. Ready To Go~
~You've Got These Little Things
That You've Been Running From
You Either Love Them Or I Guess You Don't
You're Such A Pretty Thing
To Be Running From Anyone
A Vision With Nowhere To Go
-Panic! At the Disco (Ready To Go [Get Me Outta My Mind]



%Harley Quinn%



Vrrrr vrrr, vrrr vrrr.
I heard my phone buzz on my bedside table and my eyes fluttered open. Looking at the numbers on my digital clock I cursed internally; It was 1:07 AM, damn.
Sitting up, I grabbed my blackberry off of the table. It was the Asylum calling.
Pressing the answer button down, I mumbled my title and a brief greeting into the receiver.
"Hello Doctor, this is GCPD Commissioner Gordon speaking, I apologize for the late call but he requested you personally."
What? I thought, Nobody has ever called me doctor before. "Commissioner, I apologize, but it is one in the morning. I have no idea who or what you're talking about."
"Do you have a television, Doctor?" The Commissioner questioned warily.
"Of course, why?"
"You might want to tune it in to News Station 3, I believe Jack Rider-" I instinctively look to my left side-- sure enough Jack's gone,"- is reporting right now on tonight's events. Call the Asylum back at extension four-two-three when you understand." The phone line went dead.
I never did comprehend why policemen were so cryptic, but either way I grab the remote control and switch the TV to the appointed station.
Sure enough, I see Channel 3 News Anchor, love of my life, Jack Rider. His lips quivering against his hastily spoken words.
I turn up the volume, "… I say again, The Joker had been captured by Batman!” Jack beamed into the camera.
“When we come back, we'll go to Vicki Vale, live at Arkham Asylum with Gotham City Police Department Commissioner James Gordon." The camera zoomed out, and the screen switched immediately to commercials. There was one for Gotham city reality, the Real Housewives of Gotham, Wayne enterprises something or other, and then finally the news came back and I saw the blonde hair, blue eye visage of Vicki Vale.
"Hello, and good early-morning Gothamites. This is Vicki Vale reporting, live with GCPD Commissioner Gordon.” She took a breath, steam escaping from her pink lips when she exhaled.
“Commissioner Gordon what has really been going on, this fall night in Gotham?" Her voice had the exact blend of cockiness and confidence that a reporter should have.
"Well, Miss Vale, as you know the Joker was on another one of his schemes tonight. He was planning on setting off bombs all over Gotham, at every hour starting at five this coming morning." Gordon paused and licked his lips. "But as you can see, we all are still an explosion free Gotham, thanks to Batman."
"So, Commissioner, what you're telling me-- correct me if I'm wrong-- is that Gotham is finally safe from the infamous Agent of Chaos?"
Something clicked in my brain then, and I gaped at the TV screen.

Joker. He's going to be my first patient.

I jumped out of bed, not bothering to listen to Gordon's Gotham-Is-Now-Safe-Thanks-To-Batman speech. He's said those words far too many times for them to have meaning anymore. Especially when the situation involved Joker. It was a never-ending circle with him, the catch and inevitable escape. A circle that I was determined to break, even if it drove me insane in the process.

Running over to the closet I tore my fire-engine red dress off the hanger. I always saw myself in this dress interviewing my first Patient. Next came the only pair of heels I possessed, which were onyx-black stilettos.
Always dress to impress, even if the person who you are about to meet is a psychopathic murderer, right?
I nodded yes to myself, marching proudly to the bathroom.

~

After getting out of the shower, dressing, and carefully pinning my long golden-blonde hair into a bun, I slid my glasses over the bridge of my nose.
I'm ready to go.

Walking out into the main living area I immediately spot my doctor's coat hanging on the back of the door. I can hardly contain my excitement as I sprint over to it, almost tripping over my own feet several times on the way, and slide the gloriously pure and unworn white coat over my flaming dress.
I am perfect.
Spinning happily in a circle I faced the door again and when I noticed a piece of paper scotch-taped to the surface, I rip it away immediately recognizing the chicken-scratch scrawl of my fiance.

Harls,
I didn't want to wake you when I got called in to do a report on Joker... I don't think it's anything too major. Just that psycho up to his shenanigans again.
But hey, maybe you'll catch a break and be his psychiatrist this time. What has it been? Only a thousand ways that you've petitioned Strange to get a badge, and get out of that paper-pushing job?
Love you. Always.
-J

My heart skips a beat every time Jack tells me that he loves me and I pull out my phone intending to text him that I love him too, but find my phone already buzzing in my hand.
I shake my head, the Asylum again.
Right when I clicked “accept” the person on the other end was talking. His voice a deep, husky baritone.
"Doctor Quinzel. I am aware of the late hour, but the Joker is getting impatient." Oh.
"B-Batman?" I asked, dumbfounded, eyes widening.
"Yes, now, I will be in my vehicle at the front of your apartment complex in ten minutes. I will be personally escorting you to your interview with the Joker. Along the way we will be discussing his case file. Do you understand?"
"Yes sir. I would like that very much. I'll be seeing you in ten minutes." I could barely believe I was talking to The Dark Knight himself, let alone that I would be getting in his famous car in less than ten minutes.
There was a fantastic noise on the other end of the line and then sounds of a scuffle. A man's voice screamed, and another man, whose voice I recognized as Hugo Strange, yelled “Knife!”
Batman sighed, the end of the breathy sound coming out as a growl.
“Better make that five, Quinzel.”
My eyes widened further. What had just happened? “Uh, Okay. Goodbye, Sir.”
Batman mumbled something unintelligible.
“What was that?” My voice seemed to go up an octave.
“I said, 'Don't call me sir.'” Batman quipped and I blinked

A second passes before I realize that I’m just listening to the dull ring of the dial tone. I stow away my phone, internally bracing myself for- what may just turn out to be- the longest night of my life.
YES! This is where it all began, a whole year ago and now I am editing! This Chapter is complete (finally) and 100% edited!
On to the next one!
Gallery with all the chapters: naturefreak0.deviantart.com/ga…

PS- I adore comments and constructive criticism!
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A HARLEY QUINN/JOKER FANFICTION

______________________________________________________


"You think I'm pretty, without any makeup on. You think I'm funny, when I tell the punch line wrong. I know you get me, so I let my walls come down, dooowwwwnnnn! Let's go all the way tonight, no regrets, just love. We can dance until we die, you and I, will be young forever!"

Joker looked up from a newspaper he had spread over the lap of his dirty purple suit and looked at the closed bathroom door where, behind the rotted wood, Harley was showering and singing an annoying pop song about love at the top of her lungs. "That girl couldn't carry a tune with a bucket," he muttered as he looked back down to the paper. He circled the obituary of a death he had caused, a smile spreading on his dry, scabby lips.

"…You brought me to life, now every February, you'll be my valentine – valentine! Let's go all the way tonight, no regrets just love. We can dance until we die, you and I will be young forever!"

"Harley! Shut up!" Joker snapped as he threw his paper to the ground and stomped towards the bathroom. He rested his hand on the doorknob but didn't go in. He pressed his ear to the door and listened to the words of Harley's song.

"You make me feel like I'm livin' a teenage dream. The way you turn me on I can't sleep. Let's run away and don't ever look back, don't ever look back!"

Harley certainly had never looked back when it came to her relationship with Joker. She'd been his psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. She'd been an A level student with a scholarship to Gotham University for gymnastics. She'd petitioned the higher-ups for months for a chance to interview Joker. She'd gotten her wish and Joker had, in a way, gotten his.

Here was a girl so eager to make her mark on the world of lunatics that she had yet to build a wall between herself and her patients. She was young and naïve and oh-so-easily charmed. Harleen Quinzel was like putty in Joker's hands. Just the way he liked his women and just what he needed to break out of Arkham Asylum.

At first she acted professionally: she jotted notes, nodded her head, asked appropriate questions at the appropriate times, and kept her distance from Joker's advances. It wasn't long though before her naivety and, honestly, her academic arrogance, led her to believe she was making actual progress with the Joker. She believed that his lies were truths and she let her guard down and fell in love with Joker.

"My heart stops when you look at me. Just one touch, now baby I believe. This is real, so take a chance and don't ever look back, don't ever look back! We drove to Cali and got drunk on the beach. Got a motel and built a fort out of sheets. I finally found you, my missing puzzle piece. I'm complete!"

Joker wondered if she did have regrets. He wouldn't blame her if she did. That night when Harleen Quinzel died and Harley Quinn was born was a moment in the girl's life bigger than anything else she'd ever do. She threw away her family and friends, her career… her sanity. She adopted a life of crime and abuse in the form of bleached white skin, slicked back green hair, and a manic smile.

"Imma get your heart racing in my skin tight jeans, be your teenage dream tonight. Let you put your hand on my in my skin tight jeans. Be your teenage dream tonight!"

Harley had fallen madly in love with Joker and was willing to do anything for him. Her first night as Harley Quinn the harlequin she broke him out of Arkham Asylum – and has done many, many times since.

Joker, at first, had used her affection for his advantage, believing himself to be immune to the girl's stupid charms and bubbling laughter. All to quickly though he found himself staring at her stark white face when she wasn't looking and he very nearly purred when she called him Puddin'. He even found himself smiling at her pathetic attempts to tell jokes.

"The song has a ring of truth," Joker smirked as he went to sit back down. "You always do tell the punch line wrong, Harley."

"Yoooouuuu make me feel like I'm livin' a teenage dream. The way you turn me on I can't sleep. Let's run away and don't ever look back, don't ever look back! My heart stops when you look at me. Just one touch now baby I believe. This is real, so take a chance and don't ever look back, don't ever look back!"

They'd been together for years. Years and years. He was abusive and manipulative but she stuck around. Could she love him that much? It's possible that during the few and far between moments of playfulness he had had with her, she mistook his good humor for genuine affection and stayed because she thought he loved her…

Did he love her? He had certainly never said it to her. He hadn't even said it to himself. He thought he loved Harley, but putting the words 'I love you' together just seemed wrong and unnatural to him.

The shower and Harley's singing stopped. Joker heard the shower curtain rings scratch against the metal shower curtain rod. Harley's small feet shuffled across the dirty tile floor and flung open the bathroom door. Steam poured forth like the fog off a horror movie swamp and Harley emerged. She scarcely paid any attention to Joker as she headed for their bedroom.

Joker cleared his throat and Harley stopped to look at him. Her eyes lit up as a smile spread across her face. She loved him, it was easy to tell. His love was much more hidden, much deeper, much more… complicated. When he first began toying with Harley it had merely been to get his own way, but after so long with her he found it harder to manipulate her like he had in the beginning. Not because she was weary of his cruelness but because he was hesitant to do it at all. He was even horrified to find that she had found ways of manipulating him!

Maybe that was the mark of his love.

Was she able to see that though? Joker's heart lurched. Was it time to actually say the words?

"Harley?"

"Yes Puddin'?"

"I've got something to say to you."

"I'm all ears."

"I… just wanted to say… we've been together for a long time… I think it's time… I want tell you… that… I…" Harley looked on expectantly and Joker lost his nerve. Kind words were too hard. "Never mind."

"No, go on."

"I said never mind."

"And I said go on."

"You really don't know when to shut up do you, Harley?"

"If you wanted to shut me up you'd've done it all ready. You obviously have something to tell me, so you better tell me because I'm not gonna let up until you do."

Joker sneered. He forgot from time to time that Harley was actually intelligent. "I just wanted to say…" Kind words were too hard. Easier to go back to what he knew best. "I… just wanted to say that I think you are the most horrid creature I've ever crossed paths with and I regret every day that I don't kill you."

Harley cocked her head to the side with a thoughtful look on her face. After a moment she smiled.

"What are you smiling about, Harley? You're a cancer on my soul and I wish I could tear you out and label you medical waste! I wish you'd leave me alone – disappear off of the face of the Earth so I could have some peace and quiet! You're awful. You're dreadful. The next time you land in Arkham, I'll leave you there to rot! So tell me, after hearing all this, why the hell are you smiling?"

"I'm smiling because I know what you're trying to say."

"Oh, do you miss psychiatrist?"

"Yup. And you know perfectly well that I know."

"You don't know anything."

"Well, then correct me if I'm wrong."

Joker considered standing up to slap her across her arrogant face. But quickly decided against it. He couldn't say 'I love you' to her directly, but he could stay quiet and let her draw her own conclusions. He saw it as a type of neutrality. He was neither proclaiming his love nor denying it.

"Yeah, that's what I thought." She blew him a kiss. "I love you too, Puddin'." She bounced away happily without waiting for Joker's reply and he couldn't help but laugh. She was back to her old self, as she had first been at Arkham. Hell, maybe she had never changed from the girl he had first met... Maybe she'd been playing him this whole time...

"Harley… playing me?" Joker thought about it briefly before shaking the very notion of it from his mind. "That's even harder to swallow than her fairytale notion that I might even consider falling in love with her…"
here's a one-shot about how much Joker secretly loves his Harley! :D

i banged this one out in an hour and didn't proof read it so if it sucks (story wise or grammar wise) i'm very sorry - i'll fix it up over the next few days. i just had to post this because it's the first thing i've posted in weeks!

fyi, the song Harley sings is Teenage Dream by Katy Perry (as if we all haven't heard it enough to know immediate what it is!)

enjoy!

Disclaimer: i do not own Batman in any way and this is purely for entertainment purposes.
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She's nuts. I hate her. Sometimes. Never mind. Always. I was stupid to let a psychologist attach onto me. As if I didn't get enough pointless therapy in Arkham! I had to bring a doctor outside as my own personal advisor. Idiotic.

What is this? Its a journal. Me scribbling my "thoughts" on a paper. She's making me do it. She's watching me right now. I ask her what the hell to write, and she suggests writing my current actions. That's what I'm doing.

Now I'm out of things to write. But you know what's funny? I can't write that I'm staring at a blank piece of paper, because that would be lying. I can however, write "Fifteen minutes ago I was staring at a blank piece of paper."

Oh.

I know how to annoy her.

I am writing. I am writing. I am writing. I am writing. I am wr

She says that doesn't count. Now I have to sit here for another hour. Nothing is stopping me from leaving. Her glares don't intimidate me.

Hell with this.

---

Day two.

She made me write that. If this doesn't look like a journal, now, you're fucking blind.

She should have made me write Attempt Two. I'd kill myself before I waste an entire day giving my hand arthritis and writing my "feelings" down.

I hate therapists.

---

Attempt three.

I REALLY hate therapists.

This crazy bitch is going to get a whipping after this. Mark my words. Writing with one hand is hard, but I've had my left hand tied behind my back before.

Did you know I'm right handed and left handed? Want to hear the story? I'll write down the story. Short version.

When I was a teenager, I was on the run from a gang, I threw myself off a freeway ramp and broke my fall with my right arm. That resulted in a broken arm. I literally couldn't move my fingers to save my life. As a "postman" for the drug gang I worked for, I had paper and pens in my messenger bag. I managed to write a quick letter with my left hand to leave for my "friends" to find, telling them where I discovered the enemies' hideout was.

And what do ya know? My handwriting was actually legible enough for them to actually find the address and save my ass, their main intention of course being to bring down the rivals. I wasn't a hero. In fact, my former "friends" actually became the ones hunting me down next. Thats how life works.

Happy Harley? I wrote a whole fucking novel. Even though you duct-taped my mouth shut and tied me to the god damned chair.

---
Attempt Three and a Half

She rolled her eyes at my story. She said it doesn't count because it wasn't true. So now I have to write another story. Twice as long. And true.

She's using that as an excuse. She has no proof if it's true or not. She just wants to push me, to make me write more.

So lets get this damned thing over with. I'll write a story that's impossible for her to claim a lie. How we met.

Harleen Quinzel cheated through her career and slept her way through school to become one of the top doctors at Arkham. Little slut. But a goody-two-shoes slut, as impossible as that sounds. Somehow she'd been free of drugs, free of any accidental pregnancies, free of any criminal charges. She kept her relationships with her "boyfriends" (a.k.a. professors) a secret. Somehow, she got away with it. Never got in any trouble, never got caught, never got killed. A genius little cheater.

It's because of her innocence. Her genuine childish smile. Her happiness. Her playful radiance. No one would have guessed the little angel to be such a devil.
She wasn't putting on a mask and deceiving her surroundings from her inner sins, no. She wasn't open about it, but no one ever suspected her enough to give her a reason to classify what she did a dirty secret. She worked hard to get to where she was when I was brought into Arkham, but it wasn't the studying, book-work kind of hard work. It was the bed-rattling action.

I didn't know any of this until after she became Harley Quinn. I was didn't believe her at all when the conversation arose. But then again, she's never lied to me.

Halfway done.

In our first therapy session, she was just like any other doctor I'd driven to suicide or insanity. She was pretty, I'll admit. Cute. Petite. Different. A misplaced child in a serious adult atmosphere. Did she intrigue me? No. She disappointed me. I knew my job would be way too easy with this one. I could break her with a single sentence, without her ever opening her mouth.

I was angered at the pathetic excuse of a doctor presented to me. I thought about what I could do to make this one last longer than five seconds. I thought about how to make her fun to play with. No one wants to play with a child that cries the moment you touch it.

It was tedious and painstaking, but I made her last, I gently let her "befriend me", I held back the urge to crumple her up and toss her in the overflowing trash bin and call "Next!" for another challenge.

Just as I was about to give up on the boring game, I saw the sparkle in her blue eyes and the blush on her porcelain skin. She was in love with me. That started a whole new ball game, one that continues to this day.

Now, now she's fun to play with. Because now she is a challenge to break.

I'm still tied to the chair, by the way. Yep. Duct tape still here. My arms have been sore for the past two hours, tied like this. I hope you're happy Harl.
The result of one of Harley's therapy exercises. I thought it was funny and kind of sweet. I might put a couple more of these up. Not much though :shrug:

2: [link]
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She hummed in the passenger seat, and Jonathan knew she sensed the heaviness in the van. Yet he didn't know how to dispel it. What could he do? Open his mouth and let everything just seep out? No, she was smiling, she was happy, and that was all that mattered to him.

"Jonny, is something wrong?"

His eyes glanced over to her. He shook his head even though internally he was nodding, 'Yes, how come you wanted to come back again? You are a glutton for punishment? Can't you see he's just using you?'

"No, I'm fine, Harley. Just watching for the Batman."

Harley sighed, "Jon, when you're upset you really stink at lyin'. I hope ya know that. Something's wrong." His hands tightened on the steering wheel. "Jon, we're friends, you can tell me. Did Jay hurt you? You can tell me, I won't tell on you. Everyone's got to let out a little steam."

"I suppose they do," he said with a mild edge to his voice, tipping Harley off that he didn't want to talk about it any further. "Joker didn't do anything. To me." He didn't look at her, only focused on driving her, remembering the Joker's voice on the phone when he had called him to ask where to bring Harley.

"Oh, Jonny-boy, did my Harls reject you? Or maybe…I bet ya didn't even tell her. You knew she'd tell you no didn't you? And you just couldn't let your little hopes be crushed. I don't blame ya, Jonny, not a bit, it takes a lot to admit defeat."

He clenched his jaw. Cocky, yellow-toothed bastard! He wasn't admitting defeat because he didn't want Harley to crush him like many of the women before her. He wasn't afraid of heartbreak; he'd had his share, and endured every agonizing moment. In fact, he wasn't telling her because love was overrated.

Love did nothing but expose your vulnerabilities to the cold extremities and open you up for attack. It blinded you and landed you at the mercy of people like Sherry and the Joker. They placed their hands about your neck, teased you with sweet promises and then like a snake they injected poison into your veins, left you for dead, and laughed about it.

Love was a lie. It was—

Who was he fooling? Jonathan sighed and pulled up to the rundown theatre. Lights shone from within, casting a yellow glow upon the dirty asphalt.

He heard Harley begin to move; she'd been quiet since his last statement. He turned just in time to hear the van door open. His eyes met hers, both blue, but hers much more vibrant and alive than his, he thought.

"I saw the marks on your neck," he whispered to her. Her eyes widen and he expected anger; she'd reacted like that before, but instead it seemed she just deflated. Her face fell and she looked away from him.

She grabbed her bag from his floorboard and wordlessly turned around, beginning to walk away. In an instant Jonathan got out the van and followed her; he'd not let her get away. She quickened her steps, he matched it. Suddenly she ran, but his legs were longer than hers. He caught up to her and grabbed her shoulders.

It all happened in a few seconds. Her bag fell to the ground and he twisted her around until she was facing him. They were at the theatre entrance, but it didn't stop him. He pressed her against the door.

"Goddammit," he glared at her, searching her face, "do you honestly think he loves you? He doesn't, Harley, and you know it. All he wants is to secretly laugh at you as you crawl back to him time and time again. You think he's only the one who cares about you, accepts you?"

He scoffed at her, "For being so smart you're so blind, Harley. The Joker doesn't love anyone but himself and he's been that way for a long time. I can't tell you who he was, but he's not and will never be the man you want him to be. He's just going to keep hurting you and belittling you until he finally grows bored and wants a new bauble."

His chest constricted at the tears that gathered in her eyes. He knew he was crushing her heart, but he couldn't—no he wouldn't—stand by idly any longer and watch the Joker tear her apart. She was his friend. He loved her for Christ sakes!

He realized in his perusal of her status that he was breathing fast, on the brink on tears himself. He didn't stop himself, though. If he fell into hysterics, screw it then. He leaned closer to her and brought a hand to her cheek.

"And do you know what he'll do once he's done with you," he whispered and she bit her lip; his eyes locked on the movement and leaned his forehead against hers, pressing himself closer. "You know what'll he do, and it's up to you to end this before it gets ugly. Harleen," he breathed against her lips, "you deserve so much more than he can give you, remember that."

He hesitated no longer; as soon as the last syllable left his lips he pressed them against Harley's. He didn't kiss her with hunger or violence, like he surmised she was use to. His mouth was gentle, soothing, but nonetheless passionate. She tensed slightly beneath his ministrations, but didn't fight him.

When he pulled back, his contact having been brief he only paused a moment to stare into her eyes. He hoped his kiss had promised her what he couldn't voice and his gaze had related that it was her move now.

He turned around and walked back to his van hearing the building door close soon behind him. He'd let his guard down, Scarecrow had bowed to the Harlequin. Now the choice was hers.
For far too long he'd watched her torn down. He told her his heart, placed it in her hands, and left her with a choice. It was her move now. Obvious Jon/Harley. Sequel to Cat's Cradle [link]


Disclaimer: I blame all my fans and Christopher Nolan, DC, and Warner Bros. Without you I wouldn't have to disclaim my ownership of anything. xD! Thanks for creating Batman and the movies!
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CHAPTER 37

It took me a couple of seconds for her words to properly sink in. When they finally did, i began blinking owlishly.

"You can't be serious." I deadpanned, a smirk slowly creeping across my face. Roxanne looked as if she was trying not to take offense.

"I'm as serious as a heart attack."

I couldn't help but laugh a little. "Roxanne, the Joker absolutely abhors your very existence on this Earth! How do you expect to sneak him out of the mansion, UNSEEN, without his complete cooperation?" I was aware that this was a very trying situation, but I couldn't help but see the obvious humor in her idea.

Roxanne frowned. "Well, shouldn't the fact that I'm going to be the one taking him out only further encourage him to leave?"

I opened my mouth to respond, but I was interrupted. "AND, what other choice do you have, hmm? This will be the first time Bruce has left his own home in almost SIX days! When else will we receive such an opportunity?"

"We could always wait until Bruce has to leave agai—"

"You plan to hold The Joker in BRUCE WAYNE'S mansion longer than absolutely necessary? Are you insane? Don't you remember just how many CLOSE CALLS we've had since we began holding the Joker hostage?" Roxanne shrilled. "You wanna continue to risk it just because you don't trust me enough to pull off the escape mission?"

I back peddled quickly. "Girl, it's not that I don't trust you—"

"Then why else would you be arguing against this?" She demanded.

"Look at your circumstances!" I argued back. "It's a nearly impossible task for two people, let alone one!"

Roxanne glared at me. "It was my plan from the beginning. How do you know just how plausible it is?"

"Roxanne—"

"LISTEN TO ME!" Roxanne yelled in frustration. "You have. No. Other. Choice. Do you understand that? This is literally the only opportunity we're going to get to properly execute the Joker's escape! You can't cancel on Bruce at this point without appearing suspicious, and we can't keep the Joker here any longer, because with everyday he's here, the higher the odds are that we'll be caught!"

Roxanne's chest was heaving by the end of her emotional rant, and she looked close to tears. It was obvious that this little argument was not only angering her, but hurting her too. I could also clearly see that she perceived my lack of trust in the situation to really be a lack of trust in her. No wonder she felt so passionately about this.

I thought carefully before responding to Roxanne's outburst. Here was the girl that literally risked her life twice to save me from the very thing I'm trying to protect, and now, she's doing it again, aware that her actions might result in the deaths of more people, because she thinks I love him, and she wants me safe.

I couldn't let her do this. I wouldn't let her do this, but something in her eyes told me that this time, it didn't matter what I said or did; she was going to smuggle the Joker out of Bruce's mansion tonight.

"Is there anything I can say that will change your mind, girl?" I asked softly.

Roxanne stared at me and shook her head.

I inhaled deeply and tried to ignore the large pit in my stomach before I uttered the magic word.

"Okay."

Roxanne recoiled as if she'd been burned. "O—Okay?"

"What did you expect me to say? I can't really answer any other way because you're just going to argue." I said. Roxanne squinted as if she expected there to be some sort of catch.

"Listen." I continued. "You're right. This situation calls for a little bit of faith in the impossible, and, really, who else could I possibly trust for such a situation than my best friend?"

Roxanne didn't say anything for a few seconds, but to my utter horror, I watched as her eyes began tearing up.

"Oh my God! How did I make you sad?" I gasped, growing terrified. "I thought this was what you wanted! If you're scared, you know you don't have to do—"

I was cut off by Roxanne's sudden laughter. Her laugh was thick with emotion, though, and I could tell that she really was about to cry.

"No, Katherine." She said, smiling through her tears. "I'm not sad. It just, uh," She took a shaky breath. "Knowing that you actually trust me with something like this . . . it—you can't possibly know how much it means to me."

My face softened and even I was tempted to cry.

"Roxanne. I'll always trust you! You're my best friend! I will never trust anyone on this Earth as much as I trust you! So don't ever think that my trepidation is due to a lack of faith, because that's simply not possible."

Roxanne gave me a watery smile.

"Right. You girls both have vaginas, and you love each other. I get it. Can we please quit it with the uh, sappy friendship chick flick, now?" The Joker piped up, effectively killing the mood and scaring us beyond reason.

God, we really have to get another room to talk about these things! It took us a few beats to regain our composure and absorb the fact that our touching moment had been effectively ruined. Roxanne was the first one to speak.

"Joker, we're trying to help you. Can you at least allow us these few moments to be best friends?" Roxanne sighed.

"Can you at least take that 'best friends' shit somewhere else? I thought I was going to uh, vom—mit." The Joker retorted.

Roxanne rolled her eyes so hard I actually thought for a moment that she'd hurt herself.

"Well, now that you've been properly informed of our plan," Roxanne said, her words oozing sarcasm. "I suppose you now realize that you have to cooperate in order for this to work?"

There was a silence behind the door, as the Joker said nothing for a few moments. Eventually, we heard him clear his throat.

"So, Kitty, don't you have to get ready for your oh-so-special date with Brucey-boy?" The Joker randomly said, ignoring Roxanne's question. He sounded way too calm yet almost mocking; a clear indication of his displeasure at the idea. I froze as dread began to seep into my heart, and I closed my eyes slowly, willing the embarrassment to go away.

"It's not a date!" I replied as vehemently as I could.

The Joker just snorted. "You're uh, kinda naïve, Kit Kat."

"Joker—"

"Are you not at all familiar with his uh, rep-u-tation?" The Joker asked condescendingly. He didn't, however, give me a chance to reply. "Because if you, were . . . you'd know that the playboy sleeps with all the women who go with him to his little dinner parties."

My eyes widened upon hearing the end of the Joker's statement. The problem was that EVERYONE was familiar with those rumors. How could anyone NOT be? So why had I agreed to the da—to accompanying him to the party? I didn't really want to believe that I subconsciously (or worse, consciously) wanted to sleep with him, but at the moment, I couldn't manage to formulate a proper excuse for myself.

And the Joker knew that.

Luckily, Roxanne came to my rescue. "What was she supposed to do when he asked her to the party? Say no? Don't you think that she would've appeared suspicious?"

"Oh, I completely agree with the logic of saying yes, princess." The Joker replied, sounding amused. "I simply believe that our little mouse should know just what trap she's fallen into."

I shook my head and began to feel a bit ridiculous standing in my room, talking to a partially opened closet door. The Joker was right. I did need to get ready for my da—outing with Bruce.

I strode over to the door leading into the hallway, opened it with very little hesitation, and left the room.

Roxanne, as always, was right behind me.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Joker sat fuming in his little corner in the closet, feeling all the more like a child who's been forced to share his favorite toy.

'Except she's more than just a toy.' A distant voice whispered in the back of his mind.

The Joker's face twisted into a snarl as he violently forced the voice into the deep recesses of his mind. The girl was merely an object to him. Perhaps, the object of his affection, he might concede, but a trophy, nonetheless.

The Joker, in that moment, came to a conclusion.

He carefully slid his hands, which were bound tightly to his back in what was actually an impressive knot, slightly upwards, and performed an intricate series of twists until finally, after a few minutes and a serious case of Indian Burn, his hands sprung free.

Next he carefully slid one hand out of the clothes that had been binding him for four days, and reached to pull a small device out of the back of his left shoe. He unfolded it carefully to reveal a cell-phone like device with only two speakers, and three keys on it. Smirking lightly to himself, he pressed one of the buttons, and put the device up to his ear.

It rang about three times before a gruff voice answered.

"What?"

"Missed me?" The Joker replied sweetly. He was rewarded with a series of loud spluttering and coughs.

"Boss! It's really good ta hear from ya—"

The Joker rolled his eyes at his goon's blatant attempt to kiss his ass.

"I don't have the uh, time for your bullshit, Chuckles. Get a pen. I'm gonna need a few things tonight." The Joker licked his lips and smiled cruelly.

"Tell me. How do feel about entertaining a few party guests, hmmm?"
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

"There's still time to cancel before the party, right?" I asked Roxanne desperately, as she began to detail all the different beautifying procedures that I was going to have to endure in order to look presentable on Bruce's arm tonight.

Roxanne's head whipped around so that she could look directly into my eyes.

"No. There is absolutely NO time, because YOU already said yes, and YOU are going to be on HIS arm, TO-night, come hell or high water. Yes?" Her eyebrows were raised, and she seemed like she was daring me to say something against it.

In any other circumstance, I would take her up on it, if not for anything else than the fact that my knee-jerk reaction to a blatant command is anger and rebellion, but for this instance, I knew that she was just trying her best to help me, and so I stood down.

As if someone had just thrown a switch, Roxanne went from intimidationg to docile within the span of a few seconds.

We continued down the seemingly endless hallway inside of Bruce's mansion in search of all of the spa facilities that he'd mentioned to us earlier in our stay.

If only either one of us actually knew what floor we were on in the God-only-knows-how-many-stories-tall mansion.

Roxanne suddenly stopped us and looked around. "Do you think we might have passed it?" She asked me.

I sighed, and was about to reply with some sarcastic remark before we heard someone clearing their throats behind us.

Roxanne and I simultaneously gasped and spun to identify the mysterious intruder. The man had shock-white hair, was balding on the top of his head, fashioned a well-trimmed black mustache, and sported an expensive looking butler's outfit.

When we finally realized who we were looking at, we both exhaled in relief. "Alfred," Roxanne breathed. "Good God, make some noise when you walk, please. You almost gave me a stroke!"

"Might I inquire as to what you two ladies are up to?" Alfred asked politely, smiling a bit.

I don't know why I began to blush a bit then. Perhaps it was the way that the light British lilt in his voice made everything he said sound as if he'd just caught two children stealing from their mother's cookie jar.

"Um, we were just . . ," I began. I then looked to Roxanne for help.

She didn't fail to come to my rescue. "Katherine has a date with Bruce tonight at eight, and so we were both in search of the spa in order to get her all dolled up." Roxanne said while grinning at me.

I glared back at her mildly. I knew that she didn't need to delve that deeply into our plans.

But Alfred merely smiled. "Ah." He said, not at all phased by that little snippet of information, "Well, you're never going to encounter it down this particular hallway." Alfred turned around and gestured for us to follow him.

"Come. Master Bruce has already taken care of all the preparations. He encourages you to help yourself to whatever facilities you require as well as any gowns either of you might fancy."

"Either of us?" Roxanne squeaked, before catching herself and looking thoroughly embarrassed.

Alfred only smiled demurely at her. "Why yes, Miss Jackson. Either of you." Roxanne looked as if she was barely restraining the urge to tackle Alfred into a hug. I, however, knew that such a reaction would result in nothing more than extreme awkwardness, and so I linked arms with her, effectively preventing her from mauling Alfred.

Alfred observed the subtle motion with slight interest, before turning on his heel to direct us to whatever wonderful experience that Bruce had in store for us.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

We had arrived at the spa area in Bruce's mansion sometime in the late morning, and we didn't exit until two hours before eight. Another hour and forty-five minutes were spent deciding what to choose in a closet that literally held every type of evening gown color and style in existence.

When had finally selected one, and Roxanne stood behind me in my room admiring my appearance as I stared at myself in the mirror. I do not believe—no, I definitely cannot recount any other circumstance where I loved a mirror as much as I did in that moment. I twirled and peered at myself from every angle I could, hassling Roxanne to check for any unnecessary or otherwise unfavorable exposures, and after what was likely the seventeenth time I asked, I felt satisfied that everything was intact.

"You're going to give Bruce a heart attack." Roxanne stated with absolute seriousness. I feared for a moment that Roxanne might unintentionally begin crying, not because she felt emotional, but instead because she was keeping her eyes open so long drinking in my dress that her eyes began to water.

Well, I suppose she might've been emotional. Even I was getting there myself.

But of course, a certain closeted hostage who just couldn't help but break the silence interrupted my moment.  

"Did someone uh, die in there? Why are you two so qui-et?" The Joker asked from his place in the closet.

Roxanne looked questioningly at me, and because of our strong sister-like bond, I knew that she was asking me if she could open the closet and let the Joker see my appearance.

My newfound confidence overshadowed my fear and in a moment of insanity I found myself nodding my head minutely.

Roxanne grinned spectacularly and pivoted on her heel to stride toward the closet door. With very little preamble, she turned pushed down on the elaborate silver handle of the door and swung it open. The Joker looked up.

"Finally! A guy's gotta be able to breathe in some fresh air every . . . once . . ." The Joker's exclamation trailed off as his eyes finally landed on me.

I could see that he was looking at me through the mirror, so I took a deep breath and turned to face him.

For once, in my entire time observing and analyzing this madman, his face showed absolutely no indication of his mood, or any other emotion I could recognize.

His eyes trailed from my small black wedged heels to my shapely, smooth calves, to the hem of my hunter green satin dress that fanned out from my waist, which was accentuated by a light green sash that wrapped itself around my body, just below my chest and tied together in a bow behind my back. His eyes then paused for a second on my chest where the deep diamond-shaped neckline exposed a generous amount of cleavage and ended at the base of my neck, where a pearl necklace also sat.

When he got to my face, which was illuminated by the best make-up money can buy; my dark, purple, silvery eye shadow and mascara made my hazel eyes pop out and my hair was done up in an elegant French twist with a few strands of curled hair that fell in my face and behind my ears.

No one made any noise, and I don't think that I was breathing at all.

Finally, the Joker's eyes locked on mine. His pink tongue darted out to lick his lips before smiling cruelly at me.

"So," He said. "Looks like you're finally going to whore yourself out to the man with more notches on his belt than a punk rocker wannabe." He snorted maliciously and I felt my heart drop into my stomach.

He cocked his head to the side and grinned. "I always thought you to be a classy kind a gal, though, Kitty. Shame."

I couldn't take another second of this. Without waiting for him to say anything worse, I turned and stormed out of the room and into the hall. I was going to wash this make-up off my face and tell Bruce that I can't go.

Roxanne watched the entire interaction with outrage. She turned around to face the poor excuse of a clown and glared with as much venom as she could muster.

She didn't have to say anything, because she knew that the Joker could see it in her eyes. The pure, unfiltered hatred that resonated from her person alone could melt steel. She thought that he was a monster.

Without another glance, she raced out the door, slamming it behind her.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

The Joker's mood quickly turned black as he listened to the sound of the door slamming shut as it echoed off the walls of the room.

"How dare she look at me like I'm some kinda scum on her shoes." He promised himself that he would take extra care to find a way to make her regret her actions until she begs him to kill her.

The Joker tried not to think about why it was that the girl's look angered him so much. It wasn't as if every single fucker in Gotham didn't already hate his very existence on this Earth.

It couldn't have been that he felt . . .  guilty. The Joker snorted loudly. Guilt was something he used to manipulate others. It's how the simpering idiots in this town lost their sanity.

Guilt. What a ridiculous notion.

However, in his mind, the devastated look on Kitty's face replayed over and over again, each time twisting the Joker's stomach in a way that he didn't even wanna begin to analyze.

"The bitch deserved it." The Joker muttered nastily. Even the thought of Katherine hanging around that rich, coddled, playboy who is notorious for being unable to keep it in his pants long enough to allow blood to flow back into his brain, annoyed the Joker to no end.

The Joker thought about just how goddamn EXCITED Kitty looked about going on the date with the loser: how her skin was literally glowing, and how her big smile lit up her entire face, and the Joker's blood began to boil.

Finally, the Joker thought about that rich prick showing off his Kitty to all the other uptight wealthy cowards who'll spend the entire night flirting and flashing their cash at her, and complimenting her on her fucking stunning dress, and—

The Joker began to seethe angrily. He was NOT about to let some pampered playboy steal HIS property from him. He was THE JOKER for fuck's sake.

With that, the Joker decided that he wasn't going to wait any longer. He had a party to attend.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

"Babe!" Roxanne yelled, running after me at a full sprint.

I was power-walking at a pace that people usually jog at, so I reached the bathroom just as Roxanne caught up to me.

"Hey! Katherine, stop!" Roxanne grabbed my arm and prevented me from going into the bathroom.

I pulled my arm out of her grip easily and didn't look at her while I tried to get the door open. Roxanne slammed it shut with her hand.

"What are you doing?" She shrilled.

"Let me go in." I responded emotionlessly.

"Not until you tell me what you're doing." She said stubbornly, glaring and slamming the door shut every time I made a move to open it.

I looked at her angrily. "I'm not going to the party."

"LIKE FUCKING HELL YOU AREN'T!" She exploded, her face contorting to match the ferocity of her disbelief. "What about the plan?!"

When I didn't respond, she got in my face and forced me to look at her, which I did so, albeit reluctantly. Her face softened.

"Girl, you look beautiful, and you know it—well, you knew it, before that fucker told you otherwise. Which, he so clearly did, because you looked so good!"

I looked away. I didn't want to admit that I was hoping that Joker would express some kind of interest, make a playful sarcastic comment, anything besides insult me like that.

Was he being jealous? He did take his time drinking in my image, but was that more out of shock than desire? I just didn't know.

"Katherine." Roxanne insisted, once again forcing me to look at her. "Don't you dare back out of this. Can you imagine how Bruce will react once he sees you? He's been panting after you like a puppy in heat for almost a week now, and I wouldn't be surprised if it would take a crowbar to pry his hands off of you tonight!"

She smiled at me. "I've never seen you look so confident when staring at yourself in the mirror, and you're going to let all of that go JUST because the Joker found himself in a fit of jealousy?"

"Roxanne—" I began wearily.

"Look! I know you're disappointed, and I get it. TRUST ME. But right now, at the very least, you need to think about your blossoming career as an artist, and how that's all being jeopardized. Think of your LIFE. And mine!"

I looked at Roxanne's face as she so desperately said this, and immediately I felt bad. Here I was once again throwing her to the sharks because of my pride and my ego.

At the very least, even if the Joker thinks that I'm dressed as a prostitute, and even if Bruce might share that sentiment, I have to attend the party; For her sake.

Slowly, I released all the tension I held in one long exhale, and nodded.

"Ladies?"

Roxanne and I both snapped our heads at the sound of the voice. It was Alfred, and he was smiling slightly.

"Master Bruce is waiting for you in the foyer." He stood patiently, waiting to escort us.

Roxanne looked at me. "Are you ready?" She asked cautiously.

I took another breath and nodded, smiling slightly.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Bruce was standing at the bottom of a long, luxurious staircase, checking his watch and his breath and looking all the more adorably nervous.

I smiled slightly when I saw him, and Roxanne ran down the staircase without me.

"Bruce?" I heard her say. Bruce spun around so fast that I almost didn't see it, and when he saw Roxanne standing there he exhaled and smiled a bit sheepishly. I heard Roxanne laugh.

"Don't worry, it's fine. I take it you would like to see her?" Roxanne joked.

Bruce chuckled. "If that's okay."

"It's more than okay . . ." Roxanne said, and swept her arm towards the staircase, I took that as my cue to reveal myself.

I walked out slowly from the wall I was standing by, to perch myself at the top of the staircase. Bruce turned his head to follow the direction of Roxanne's arm, and once he spotted me, his eyes widened and his eyebrows flew into his hairline.

Slowly, I descended the stairs, feeling a bit nervous with Bruce's eyes on me, and I had to look down a bit in order to avoid his hot, intense gaze.

However, on the inside, my heart was flying. The way that he was looking at me made all the previous thoughts of me resembling a hooker, or looking trashy, take a running jump out the window.

I found myself beaming and I couldn't stifle my grin even if i wanted to.

Finally, I reached the bottom of the stairs and approached Bruce. He stood there, still clearly astonished, drinking in my appearance like a man dying of thirst.

"You look . . ." Bruce uttered, incapable of finding the words.

"Fantastic?" Roxanne supplied from where she stood.

"Absolutely marvelous?" Alfred volunteered. I hadn't even noticed that he was in the room.

"Unbelievable." Bruce breathed.

I smiled and tried in vain to hide my blush. "You don't look so bad yourself."

And he didn't; he looked the opposite of bad. He wore an all black Armani suit with white cuffs, golden cuff links, expensive-looking black shoes, and a dark green tie. (I wonder if it was just a coincidence that we happened to match?)

But his hair was parted to the side and combed to perfection, and as always, his chiseled face, brown eyes and dark eyebrows were entrancing.

Roxanne coughed after a moment of letting us stare a one another.

"Don't you two have some sort of engagement to uphold, or something?" Roxanne asked suggestively.

Bruce and I blinked, and stepped away from one another momentarily. He straightened up his tie while I smoothed out my dress, nervously, and we were both smiling inwardly. And, well, outwardly too.

Bruce offered his arm to me.

"Are you ready to go?" I looked at Roxanne silently asking if she was sure that she was going to be able to initiate the "plan" and she nodded encouragingly once, affirming that she would.

I looked up at Bruce and smiled. "I am. Shall we?" I placed my left arm in the crook of his right elbow.

Bruce laughed. "Oh we most certainly shall."

"Have her home at a decent time, you hear?" Roxanne mock-scolded.

I rolled my eyes and grinned at her. Bruce however, just smiled mysteriously to himself and led me to the entrance of the mansion.

There, Alfred already stood, holding the door open for us to both exit out of. I turned one more time to wave at my best friend as she stood alone, right where we left her, and smiling like a proud parent.

An impressive Mercedes car sat at the bottom of the driveway leading up to Bruce's house.

I couldn't stop the 'Oh my God' that left my mouth when I realized that we would be driving in such a magnificent vehicle to that party. Part of me hoped that the ride would take a while, so that I could further enjoy myself  during it.

Bruce flashed me a 1000-kilowatt smile.

"Wanna drive?"
OH. MAH GAWD. Back from the dead, people. FInal's week almost killed me, BUT HERE I AM NOW. NO EXCUSES. And I apologize in advance to those people that tried to send me deviant art messages; the only time i ever had to open a laptop was to write an essay or two, or do a few research papers. (I know. Be VERY jealous) But honestly, I hereby give ALL of you permission to spam me NONSTOP until i update because it is SUMMER, and I literally have NO excuse to postpone writing anymore.

-P.S. I missed this place, and all of you . . . you know, if that counts for anything . . . :P

~SO MUCH FREAKING LOVE, Rookielyfe777

COMMENT, CRITIQUES, AND POSSIBLY CAVIAR are all WELCOME!!!


Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: [link]
Chapter 7: [link]
Chapter 8: [link]
Chapter 9: [link]
Chapter 10: [link]
Chapter 11: [link]
Chapter 12: [link]
Chapter 13: [link]
Chapter 14: [link]
Chapter 15: [link]
Chapter 16: [link]
Chapter 17: [link]
Chapter 18: [link]
Chapter 19: [link]
Chapter 20: [link]
Chapter 21: [link]
Chapter 22: [link]
Chapter 23: [link]
Chapter 24: [link]
Chapter 25: [link]
Chapter 26: [link]
Chapter 27: [link]
Chapter 28: [link]
Chapter 29: [link]
Chapter 30: [link]
Chapter 31: [link]
Chapter 32: [link]
Chapter 33: [link]
Chapter 34: [link]
Chapter 35: [link]
Chapter 36: [link]
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CHAPTER 39



Time seemed to freeze around us.

The Joker's kiss was everything I'd ever imagined, and at the same time, nothing I'd ever felt. It was almost as if he'd sucked the air right out of my lungs with the first graze of his lips, because I felt so lightheaded while he kissed me that I feared for a second I might float right out of the room.

The shock of his actions rendered me completely unresponsive to the kiss at first, however, and the only thing I could do at that moment was to stare with my eyes wide open. The Joker had his eyes closed, but when he didn't feel me respond, he increased the intensity of the kiss by pressing his lips harder on mine, and shoving one hand in my hair to keep me in place.

THAT got a reaction out of me. I couldn't fight the low mewl that escaped my lips, and the noise allowed his tongue to slip between my lips and explore my mouth. To my surprise, he tasted somewhat sweet as his tongue swept around inside. Finally, my eyes fluttered shut from the sensation, and that's when I began to kiss him back.

My sudden responsiveness made the Joker growl and snake his free arm around my waist, pulling my body flush against his so that I could feel every inch of muscle through his expensive deep black tux, as well as the growing hardness between his legs.

Our lips melted together perfectly as we moved in sync and our tongues battled for dominance. The weeks of temptations and innuendos and barely repressed sexual desire came boiling to the surface through our lips, and the passion of it all absolutely swept me away.

The kiss made me see bursts of light behind my eyelids, and in the back of my mind, I realized that I couldn't for the life of me, remember my name, or anything else for that matter, because apparently, my brain was melting. I couldn't get over how good it felt; I didn't know that kisses could actually make my knees weak and my heart threaten to leap out of my chest. THIS is what all the romantic novels and smutty books that Roxanne was obsessed with were writing about. THIS is kissing.

The duration of the kiss felt like hours to me, when in reality it was just enough time for every single guest in the room to get over their initial shock. I had time to process a dark energy approaching me from behind before a pair of strong hands grabbed me by my waist, and threw me down hard on the granite-tiled floors.

Nothing would have worked better to shock me out of my hazy state of mind short of dousing my entire body with cold-water shot from a fire hose. I then raised my head and turned just in time to see the Joker get cold-clocked by none other than Bruce Wayne.

The look in Bruce's eyes were nothing short of feral as he glared ferociously at the man I'd been kissing passionately not three seconds prior.

It was then that I'd noticed the room had been completely silent throughout the entire ordeal. Every guest was looking on as if they'd just received box-tickets to the world's most highly anticipated event. The women all collectively gasped at the sight of Bruce punching the Joker, and the men flinched.

Bruce stood over the Joker who was clutching his chin, a large, triumphant, unmistakably sleazy grin plastered onto his face. Bruce's body was coiled tightly with barely restrained fury, and I could even see his fists shaking with adrenaline.

"No, no, no no, Katherine, YOU IDIOT. What the FUCK have you done?!" I berated myself. I desperately urged the world to stop spinning and my limbs to quit imitating heated jell-o because I had to do something to fix this, dammit!

My head snapped back to the scene between Bruce Wayne and the Joker when I heard everyone in the room gasp and shriek with terror.

The Joker was now fully smiling up at Bruce, his hands no longer covering his face, and I, just like everyone in the room saw the absolute last thing we wished to see.

Whatever make-up the Joker had used to camouflage his scars were wiped off and smudged all about his face, revealing the hideous marks trailing from the corner of his lips almost to his ears. And the fact that the Joker was smiling so wildly only emphasized his scars, and strained the stitched skin that held his smile together.

"Ha, Ha, Ha," The Joker said, smile still in place. "Hee hee. Oh ho, ho, Ohhhh, Brucey-boy . . . why the uh, long face?" The Joker mocked. He seemed entirely unfazed by the fact the Bruce looked murderous.

Bruce's fists were clenched even tighter. "You like taking advantage of innocent women, Joker?" Bruce sneered. "Or should I call you Jack?"

The Joker raised an eyebrow at that, glanced at me still lying on the floor, struggling to regain my equilibrium, and then glanced back at Bruce, his grin expanding further as his eyebrows furrowed.

"Hmm, strange. I don't appear to recall any uh, resistance when I kissed your date there, Mister Wayne. How interesting that you say that, though. Maybe you and I aren't referring to the same kiss . . ." The Joker paused, and relished in the twitching of Bruce's mouth the more he spoke.

"This like watching the countdown of a ticking time-bomb," I thought to myself as I observed their conversation. "If I could just get myself up on my elbows, I could . . ."

"But then again, YOU weren't the one kissing her—"

"AGH!" I wailed, falling back to the cold floor. My right shoulder throbbed painfully and I realized that when I fell it must have been dislocated.

The sound of my agonized wail caused every head in the room to turn to look at me. Bruce however, was the only one who actually paused and lost his guard when I screamed. The Joker, ever the opportunist, took advantage of Bruce's momentary lapse of focus, and tried to kick Bruce's feet out from under him.

Bruce didn't turn in time to dodge the onslaught, but he did manage to impressively cushion the blow by spinning mid-air to land on his hands instead of his back. The Joker got up quickly and made a move to kick Bruce in the ribs. Bruce caught the Joker's foot, however, jumped up to his feet, and shoved the Joker backwards.

The Joker then began to laugh, and pulled out a knife from a secret pocket within his tux.

"You know." He growled, licking his lips. " You fight awfully well for a pampered rich kid."

Bruce pulled up his fists to his body in a boxing position. "Yeah, well. I've picked up a few tricks."

The Joker grinned. "Ooh. I do like tricks." He purred. He glanced to the side of the room where I sat, before looking back at Bruce.

"Speaking of tricks . . ." The Joker's hand shot in and out of his inner tuxedo pocket with lightning speed as he pulled out a handful of pellet-sized balls. The joker burst out into his signature laughed as he tossed the balls into the air.

The room was filled with panic as the balls exploded on the floor, and smoke billowed up from each small pellet as the room filled with dark gray smoke. People began screaming and scrambling to find the exit before some terrible catastrophe went down.

But before the smoke could obscure Bruce's vision of the Joker, he launched himself at the clown and tackled him to the floor.

Bruce straddled the Joker and reared back his arm to unleash a series of blows to the Joker's face.

Finally, Bruce stopped and grabbed a handful of the Joker's tuxedo, forcing the Joker's face up.

"Cute trick, but did you really think that it would succeed in distracting me?"

The Joker's eyes rolled in his head for a few moments before he began to laugh. He looked at Bruce, and smiled.

"Who said anything about distracting you?"

Throughout the entire ordeal, I had been clutching my arm to my body and struggling to regain my balance. Finally, the sight of the Bruce attacking the Joker forced enough adrenaline through my veins to allow me to stand up with minimal difficulty.

"Oh, God." I thought desperately. "Bruce is going to get hurt, I need to get—"

My thoughts were interrupted as two cloaked, masked figures flocked each side of my body and grabbed me by my arms.

I screamed as the masked figures then proceeded to manhandle me and force me in some direction, away from Bruce and the Joker.

I tried kicking away from them with everything I had; I was using my arms, my legs, my feet, my head; anything and everything I had. Hot, and severe pain shot through me when my struggling only served to dislocate my arm further. Any movement I then made caused tears to well up in my eyes and a scream to rip from my lips. I had no choice but to allow the figures to lead me away as my right shoulder throbbed angrily for fear that I would pass out from the pain.

Bruce heard me scream and reflexively turned in the direction of the sound. The Joker's legs then came up around Bruce's torso and the Joker used Bruce as leverage to swing his entire body up and pin Bruce to the floor, sharp little knife still in hand.

"Oh, Brucey, Brucey, Brucey. Such amateur-like behavior . . ." The Joker scolded. "Didn't your mommy ever tell you to uh, stay away from women?" The Joker then pretended to pause before gasping dramatically.

"OH, that's right! Your mommy was murdered!" The Joker laughed hysterically, and Bruce growled as he fought to free himself from the Joker's hold.

"Whoa! Hold on there, big boy," The Joker said, grabbing Bruce and slamming his head on the hard floor. There a small knife still poised in the Joker's hand, and he pressed it against Bruce's throat.

Bruce coughed and glared up at the Joker. "And what about you?" Bruce asked.

The Joker tilted his head. "And uh, what about me?"

"You don't usually go around dressed up in your Sunday best and kiss other people's dates." Bruce stated. There was a steel glint in Bruce's eyes as he remembered the kiss.

The Joker seemed to be remembering it too, because a slow grin crept up one of the corners of the joker's mouth.

"Hmm . . . and uh, why don't I do that again?"

Bruce smirked. "You like her."

All signs of amusement vanished from the Joker's face as he stared into the Brown eyes of Bruce Wayne. Bruce's smirk grew.

The Joker scoffed, and that scoff then turned to laughter.

"Oh, Bruce. Grasping for straws now, are we?"

"You LIKE her, don't you?" Bruce accused.  "That's why you kidnapped her and that's why you kissed her."

The Joker licked his lips and his eyes narrowed in a rare expression of genuine fury. "You're treading on veeeeery thin ice, Mister Wayne . . ."

"How does it feel, Jack?" Bruce said, the Joker flinched at the use of that name. "How does it feel to be weak?"

With that, Bruce forced his head up and it made contact with the Joker's nose with a sickening crack. Bruce then used his leg to land a blow to the Joker's ribs, effectively forcing the air from the Joker's lungs.

The Joker kneeled on the floor, clutching his ribs, and wheezed, trying to get the air back in his lungs.

Bruce took this opportunity to get to his feet.

"You see, Joker," Bruce began, not sparing the gasping clown a glance. "The thing about love . . . is that it leaves you vulnerable; It makes you human." Bruce said human like one would say cockroach. "You can't even defeat a 'pampered playboy' like me, and you know why?"

Bruce turned around to face the Joker and deliver the final blow only to see him pull the trigger.

A loud gunshot reverberated within the walls of the elegant dining hall.

There was no sound from either man save for the Joker's soft wheezing as he clutched the rifle gun in his left hand.

Bruce touched the small hole in his suit with his right hand, before collapsing to the floor.

A few moments went by before the Joker finally had enough oxygen to pull himself up from the marble floor, and get to his feet. He staggered forward, slowly heading towards Bruce's body.

Without a second glance, the Joker picked up his feet a bit more, hurried past Bruce, and headed to the door. The joker leaned on it heavily, before chuckling quietly to himself.

"You know what's funny, Brucey?" The Joker asked, a smile crawling across his face. "I've never been referred to as a . . . human."

With that, the Joker exited the room with Bruce still facedown on the floor; the sound of the heavy mahogany doors closing echoing behind him.


I winced and hissed loudly as the goons continued to drag me around, and the pain was starting to grow unbearable.

I had no idea why the goons were leading me UP the stairs to the top of the building. It didn't look like the plan was to necessarily LEAVE the building, and I wondered why, but I was in much too much pain to be concerning myself with it at that moment.

My momentary lapse of focus caused me to slip on one of the infinite stairs, and the goon holding my injured arm pulled me up, exacerbating my pain to the point where I couldn't stop myself from crying out loudly.

"AY! Robbie! Be a bit more careful, dipshit!" The other goon hissed angrily. "She's the boss' so don't break her."

'Robbie' scoffed indignantly. "The bitch fell, what am I s'posed to do? Fly her up the stairs?"

"Stop bein' a smartass. You wanna piss off the boss?"

Robbie didn't answer.

"That's what I thought. Now shut up and stop bein' an asshole."

I think that Robbie must've muttered something about the goon's 'mama' under his breath, but it was ignored and we continued up the stairs.

The persistent throbbing in my arm died down to a low thrum of pain by the time we reached the roof of the building, yet I couldn't risk injuring it more by trying to escape the two goon's iron-like grips.

The goon on my left open the heavy door and shouldered his way through, pulling me behind him by yanking on my uninjured arm. When all three of us were through the door and to the roof, the goons started pushing me forward.

My eyes widened dramatically, and I opened my mouth to yell out or scream when I realized that we were approaching the edge of the roof.

The height of the building was DEFINITELY enough to kill someone three times over, so there was no hope of getting out of THAT alive.

THEN I began to pull and writhe and twist out of the goon's grips, ignoring the sharp, white-hot pains in my right arm.

The goons didn't budge, though, and they only continued to pull my body at the same pace.

My eyes were closed during the struggle, however. So I failed to notice the dark green and purple couch near the edge of the roof and shrieked at the top of my lungs when the two large goons suddenly flung my body in the air, only to land safely on the furniture.

My head was spinning and my breath was coming out in short gasps as I filled my lungs with the air that had whooshed out suddenly from screaming so loudly. It was then that I absorbed the reality that I had not been flung off the roof and sent to my inevitable death, but was seated within a somewhat strangely . . . casual living room setting?

Alongside the green chair was a deep purple loveseat and a small brown coffee table resting upon a giant red-spotted white rug.

To say that I was confused would be an understatement. Curiously I glanced at the two goons who stood a few feet apart from one another with their hands behind their backs and their legs firmly shoulder-width apart.

They said nothing, nor did they even grace me with a look as I sat there awkwardly.

Since it appeared that I would be waiting for a moment, my mind wandered in a direction that I truly resisted.

Bruce.

The Joker.

The Kiss.

The Fight.

I stood up straighter as the hairs on my arms rose. Fear and anxiety bubbled in my stomach as I contemplated what might be happening to Bruce at the hands of the Joker. Was there any chance that he'd survive the encounter, or would his name be added to the exceedingly large list of casualties at the hands of that . . . maniac?

I had no doubt in my mind that Bruce would be harmed, though. With literally nothing and no one to defend him, the best that Bruce could hope for would be to get knocked unconscious and left relatively alive.

With a tinge of regret, I doubted that Bruce would be able to find it in his heart to forgive me for that kiss, though.

"What did you possibly expect letting THE JOKER, kiss you like that?" I asked myself.

There was a split second of denial. A moment where I fought against the truth; that I, Katherine Quinzel, let myself fall prey to the Joker's lips.

But in my heart, I knew that I honestly just couldn't help myself. The act was just so forbidden and taboo and sinful—My mind simply short-circuited and I was helpless against it all. The feeling was like nothing else I'd ever felt. Not with Bruce, and not even with my first, Malcolm. I've never had every nerve in my body simply catch on fire from the sheer intensity of just one kiss.

And I let him kiss me.

But what does this mean, exactly? Against all odds, do I truly hold feelings for the Joker?

I wasn't aware of the amount of time that had passed before my contemplations were once again interrupted as a loud BANG erupted from the other side of the roof.

My head swiveled around, and my eyes instantly locked with the almost glowing onyx pools of hate that were the Joker's eyes.

His face twisted into the nastiest snarl, and at that moment he looked like a demon from hell, and growled furiously.

"Jesus, who THE FUCK'S idea was it to make these buildings so GODDAMN TALL, with so many fucking STAIRS?" The Joker fumed.

His chest was quickly rising and falling, and his right hand clutched his torso tightly as he began to stagger over to where we all were.

No one was stupid enough to say anything about his injuries, though. And my heart dropped like lead into my stomach as I realized that he must've been injured fighting Bruce.

Whether or not my concern was aimed at the Joker, or at Bruce, I didn't want to think about.

The goons parted so that the Joker could walk over to the purple loveseat, where he fell unceremoniously into the chair.

He spent a good minute or so just breathing with his head craned up, staring blankly at the night sky before tilting his head to acknowledge my presence across from him.

He flung his arms wide open and gestured to the quaint little arrangement.

"Do you, uh, like the digs?" He asked.

I looked about the arrangement once more.

"It's . . . tasteful."

It was best to say very little in the moments where the Joker's mood couldn't be determined.

The Joker scoffed and lowered his arms. "Yeah, What a uh, dumb question. Of course you like it! That couch is the only thing between you and thousands of feet of . . . no-thing."

I couldn't resist the urge as my head began to turn and I saw that the couch was, in fact, the only thing in between the roof and me.

'Is this how the Joker wants to kill me?' I thought morbidly as I slowly turned back around and met the Joker's eyes that were dancing with malice.

The Joker licked his lips. "You know, Kitty. I think it's been too long since you and I've had a little . . . heart-to-heart chat, dontcha think? I mean, look at you!" The Joker's eyes roamed slowly over my body and left a trail of goosebumps everywhere that his eyes met my exposed skin. "You landed yourself the most highly desired date in the city, AND you uh, made out with Gotham's most notorious criminal—all in . . . one day!"

The Joker smiled. "You must be feeling quite . . . special, hmm?"

My lips curled sarcastically. "I'm not quite sure about the choice of the word 'special' . . ."

The Joker grinned before looking away mock-thoughtfully.

"Well now that just uh, that won't do, now will it, Miss Quinzel? Hmm . . ." The Joker looked back up at me, and this time, his onyx eyes searched directly into my hazel ones.

"See, ordinarily, I'd ask you to uh, put in your two cents, but you seem to be a bit . . . distracted . . ." The Joker licked his lips without breaking eye contact with me.

"Now, uh, why. Would. THAT. BE, hmm?" The Joker asked with a devious smirk. He stood up slowly from the purple loveseat and began to saunter over to where I sat on the green couch.

"What could have possibly dragged your attention away from this, uh, mysterious and dastardly-handsome mad-man, Kitty?" The Joker flopped down right next to me on the deep green couch, and leaned in so that our faces were only about a foot apart.

"I'm not—"

"Shh . . ." The Joker said, placing his purple-gloved index finger on my lips. "Don't lie to me Kitty, you KNOW I don't like liars . .  ."

I blinked rapidly. 'He's going to do it again.' I thought, excitement bubbling up from my stomach. 'He's going to kiss me again, and help me, God, I'm going to let him.'

He was closing the distance between us until our lips were literally inches apart, and I fought. I fought against my feelings. I didn't want the butterflies to be fluttering in my stomach, or for the warmth to spread inside me. I didn't want my muscles to relax around him, or to be pulled so deeply by him.

I wanted none of it, yet even with every inch of my willpower, my body would not obey my commands, and soon I felt my eyelids begin to flutter shut as I waited for the electric jolt that resulted from such contact.

"Are you worried about Bruce?"

My eyes snapped open and my mind was shocked into alertness.

"Wha—wait, wha—" I spluttered, trying to make sense of the unexpected question.

The joker's eyes were burning holes into my skull with the sheer intensity of his gaze.

"I saw you with him, kitty." The Joker growled furiously. "The way you laughed with him, the way he fucked you with his eyes . . . I saw you giggle and flirt, as the playboy took my things."

The Joker's hands shot out and grabbed my face tightly, tangling themselves in my hair and completely messing it up.

"Joker," I pleaded, fear polluting my mind—I couldn't get any words out.

"YOU BELONG TO ME!" The Joker roared. His chest rose and fell and he was heaving angrily. "He CAN'T touch you because you ARE MINE!"

With that, the Joker crushed his lips to mine. This kiss was NOTHING like the first one. Everything was so raw and passionate. I tasted blood in my mouth as I felt the Joker nip and bite my lips ferociously before using his tongue to lick the injuries.

I whimpered at the pain and put my hands against his face to try and push him away from me.

Something wasn't right. The Joker had never acted this way with me. He was rough and violent, but almost . . . crazed. Desperate even.

The Joker growled when I almost succeeded in pushing his face away. He then removed one hand from my hair to snake his arm around my waist and pull me to him tightly, making me extremely uncomfortable because I was leaning really far back in his arms.

"MINE." The Joker growled against my lips, making my face flush and my heart race.

I didn't know what to do. He was everywhere. I could feel every inch of his body, regardless of all the clothes he was wearing, and the scent of gunpowder and something spicy that coated his body threatened to consume me.

When his tongue finally swept into my mouth, I moaned loudly. All of these emotions, these feelings, my senses, EVERYTHING was too much.

I couldn't handle what I was doing. How many people I was betraying.

People like Bruce.

My eyes shot open, and with a strength I didn't posses, I shoved the Joker away from my face and down onto the couch.

I was panting and heaving, and my entire body was coiled, and ready to, if necessary, fight.

But the Joker just laid there where he fell, with his eyes wide open, panting as heavily as I was. He just looked so . . . disoriented. He stared up at the night sky and blinked from time to time.

I realized I'd completely forgotten about the goons' presence on the roof with us, but when I looked around it seemed as if they'd left sometime ago while the Joker and I were . . . doing what we were doing.

I had no clue as to what I might've been expected to do in that moment. The Joker wasn't saying anything. I wasn't saying anything, and anyone could've cut the tension with a fucking knife.

After a few minutes of dead silence, the Joker let out a small chuckle.

The sound instantly put me on even higher alert.

The chuckle was soon joined by another, and then another, until finally, the joker dissolved into a borderline crying fit of laughter.

"Look at me!" he exclaimed, flinging his left arm to cover his eyes. "I'm weak! The playboy . . . that asshole was right. She's made me weak . . ."

I had no idea what he was talking about, or whom the joker was referring to, but the mention of Bruce sent a sharp pang in my heart.

My hands began to shake, and I looked down at the floor.

"Is he alive?" I asked quietly.

The Joker snorted crudely. "Not unless the poor bastard's immune to bullets."

Moisture began to collect in my eyes as the numbness began to spread. The Joker's words couldn't be clearer: Brice is dead. I killed him.

Bruce is dead, and it's my fault.

My fault.

MY fault.

Me.

I'm responsible for the death of the man that rescued me, and allowed me a place in his home. Oh God, Alfred, he—I killed Bruce and I—

The tears began to fall in earnest now. There was nothing I could do about this. I KILLED A MAN all because of my deceptions.

Will Roxanne ever be able to look at me the same way?

I sniffled.

Huge mistake. The Joker flung himself up into sitting position so quickly that I actually screamed.

The Joker looked disgusted. His face with curled with repulsion, and he regarded me with so much hate that I flinched away.

"You're . . . crying?"

I didn't respond. I couldn't look at him, and I still couldn't stop the tears.

There was a pause.

"Did you love him?" The Joker asked me. His voice was quiet, and seemingly calm. And he sounded so sane in that moment that I managed to glance up at his face, which was now a mask of indifference.

Did I love Bruce?

I admired his power and charm and way with people, as well as his strength that emerged from the death of his family.

I liked the way he smiled, or how he would say my name. I felt a great debt to him for giving my best friend and me a place to stay in our time of need. I liked his sense of humor, his sense of style, the almost mocking-quality to his voice . . .  but did that mean I loved him?

"No." I said, just as the thought crossed my mind. I didn't love Bruce. I couldn't love him.

I couldn't love Bruce because I was already in love with the Joker.
URRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGG . . . .

Yes, well. WOW.
It HAS been a while, and I suppose you could chalk it up to anything, but i had been going through a few things things in life that kinda sorta totally prevented me from writing. . . ENOUGH EXCUSES THO. Here is the chapter FINAL-@%#$ING-LY. AND I'LL GET THE NEXT ONE OUT TO ALL OF YOU AS SOON AS I CAN.
I just hope you all know that I thought of all of you, and I didn't forget about this, AND THAT I WON'T FORGET ABOUT IT. This story WILL have a conclusion. :)

-SO MUCH LOVE -------> (YOU) LOVELY AMAZING PEOPLE~!
Rookielyfe

OH, AND MERRY CHRISTMAS~!!!

so, you know . . .. COMMENT, CRITIQUE, (DON'T) CRY!

Chapter 1: [link]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: [link]
Chapter 7: [link]
Chapter 8: [link]
Chapter 9: [link]
Chapter 10: [link]
Chapter 11: [link]
Chapter 12: [link]
Chapter 13: [link]
Chapter 14: [link]
Chapter 15: [link]
Chapter 16: [link]
Chapter 17: [link]
Chapter 18: [link]
Chapter 19: [link]
Chapter 20: [link]
Chapter 21: [link]
Chapter 22: [link]
Chapter 23: [link]
Chapter 24: [link]
Chapter 25: [link]
Chapter 26: [link]
Chapter 27: [link]
Chapter 28: [link]
Chapter 29: [link]
Chapter 30: [link]
Chapter 31: [link]
Chapter 32: [link]
Chapter 33: [link]
Chapter 34: [link]
Chapter 35: [link]
Chapter 36: [link]
Chapter 37: [link]
Chapter 38: [link]
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%Harley Quinn%

"I don't know how to drive stick." I say flatly, eyeing inside the car warily.

Joker rolled his eyes at me, leaning on the open door, "'Course ya do."

"I really don't-" I laugh shakily at myself "- I didn't even have a driver's license until four years ago... that was one helluva process.."

"What do you mean by that?"

"I didn't have a proper birth certificate when I went to the DMV. Got burned in some sort of dormitory fire- at least that's what Jack told me." Joker gave me a puzzled look.

"Shouldn't you be able to decide that for yourself? I mean- shouldn't you be able to remember a fire that caused so much trouble for you?"

"That's the problem, isn't it? I should- " I slide into the driver's seat and slam the door "- but I can't." I said more to myself more than anyone else.

Joker swung open the door on the side opposite and slid in while chuckling under his breath. "You know what I love?"

"What?" I say wrapping my hands over the steering wheel, clutching it so hard that the skin on my knuckles were turning white.

"I love that you are sitting in the drivers seat regardless of your skills with the stick shift." He says with the quirk of an eyebrow.

"D'you wanna switch?" I ask relaxing my hands.

"Nah, I'll just teach you."

"You'll... what?" Oh damn. Not here, not now...

"Teach you? Which word are you having troubles with? Teach or you?"

But I wasn't listening anymore; I was starting to remember- and something that has been long since forgotten.



I sat on the floor with my head in Selina's lap. She was twirling my hair in her fingers as I cried; It was a feeling that was something of a comfort to me- Jason always would do that when I was nervous or scared, and at the moment I was both.

"Harley, Harley... Jason will be okay. He just got knocked out... the doctors will be able to fix him. He'll be fine. He'll be fine." She cooed in my ear.

"It's all my fault! If I would have just listened to the damn driving lessons he was giving me-" I balled up my fists in anger "- instead of fantasizing about making out with him I would've never wrecked the car!" I wailed.

"It's going to be alright. It isn't your fault. Anyone who looks at Jason just wants to make out with him. If anything it's your own fault for being too damn cute, and catching his eye." She rationalized.

Selina slipped her hands under my arms and pulled me into her lap and onto the couch in the gray-on-gray waiting room in the lobby of Gotham General Hospital. I scooted up so that I was laying on the couch with my legs dangling over Selina's lap. I flung my arm over my eyes dramatically.

"He's going to be totally fine. I've gotten worse injuries falling out of a tree- remember when I was twelve and I tried to climb up that really uber tall tree in the schoolyard and fell out, broke my arm, knocked myself and Joesph out because I fell on him?" Selina said playing with the hem of my pants.

"Oh my god, was that hilarious! Well, it would have been funnier if you didn't fall out and break your arm, Kit-kat." I heard the voice that was like air to me- the voice that I was praying to hear again- and flung my arm from over my eyes.

"Jason! Oh my goodness! Are you okay? I'm so sorry!" I flung myself off of the couch and into his arms. "I should have listened to you- I am so awful with stick shifts, you got hurt! I'm so, so, so, Sorry! I will never ever, ever, forgive myself!" I was sobbing now staining his green t-shirt with tear marks.

"Whoa, whoa! Cool your tits, woman. I am completely fine. If I wasn't, well, I wouldn't be here letting you snot on my shirt. I would be in the morgue, okay? So calm down."

"I guess so... Rather a crude way to tell me that you're fine... but that's you. Also, cool my tits? Seriously?" Selina laughed in the background.

"Yes, seriously. Now look at me. I wanna see your beautiful face." Jason said sickeningly sweet-like. I shoved my face harder into his chest, knowing that my face was not beautiful right now.

"Oh, come now Harley. Just let me look at you."

I heaved a sigh, knowing that if I didn't relent Jason would just do what he pleased. I tipped my head back and looked into his bright green eyes, alive with plans of possible- and upcoming- adventures...



In the present, my head snapped over to where Joker sat playing with one of his switchblades, flicking the sharp end in and out. His bight, mischievous eyes fixed on me.
A pair of bright green eyes that were now disturbingly, hauntingly, familiar to me.

I gulped. "Whatcha you doin'?" I ask, my voice sounding vulnerable and hoarse.

"Playing with knives, while you mumble to yourself about some boy named Jason." Joker wiggled in his chair "Whose he?"

"Nobody. Just a figment of my imagination." I say distastefully.



*Joker*  

God. Damn. It.

Why can't she just get it already?

It isn't like it's that hard to remember. It was only like, ten years ago.

"Get out." I say plainly.

"What? Was that the wrong answer?"

"Yes. Get out."

"Why should I?" Harley says stubbornly.

"Because I have twenty eight knives,one razor blade, and I think a potato peeler in different places on me right now." I shrug my shoulders.

"You wouldn't cut me."

I thought for a minute about that sentence. "Interesting, you didn't say that I wouldn't hurt you. Just that I wouldn't cut you. Why?"

"Who's the psychologist now?"

"Still you. Answer the question."

"Because there are a lot more things you can do to me besides physical harm to hurt me."

"Like what?"

"Push me away." Harley says averting her eyes.

"Now why would I push you away?"

"You already have."

"I only told you to get out because I want to drive. I don't want you wrecking my brand new car." I lie.

Harley misses a beat in our banter, tugging on a strand of her hair and twirling it nervously in her fingers.

"Harley."

"Yes?"

"Why did you come to the warehouse in the first place?"

Her crystal like blue eyes fill with tears.

"I-I don't know, I think... I think the original plan was that I wanted to thank you for dealing with Jack."

I opened my mouth to say something, but was cut off by a scraping noise coming from the drivers seat of the car, followed by seven quick raps on the window.

I made a growling noise low in my throat. I could alredy tell who was on the other side without even looking through the tinted windows.

"Eddie." I hissed between clenched teeth. "Drive, drive, drive!" I command Harley.

She fumbles with the controls for a moment, then she revs the engine.
She turns her head over to me, with a triumphant look about her, as the driver window starts to roll down and the engine stalls. Shoulda guessed.

"You know, I wasn't quite sure that this was your car, Joker. But the electric yellow with purple and green smiley faces really did it in for me- y'know, along with all the other factors. Such as it being in the front parking lot of your extremely infamous warehouse, the license plate that reads S-l-@-r-M-c-n, and the little bit of blue tarp that is soaked with blood hanging out of this-" Eddie paused and rubbed his long question-mark shaped cane along the side of the BMW. "-impressive specimine of a car's trunk." Eddie poked his head into the cab of the two seater sports car, looking extremely pleased with himself. He wore a pair of green tinted rectangle glasses and you could see the beginnings of a lime green dress shirt with yellow question marks patterned on the wrinkled fabric.

"Well, I am the Joker. I put the laughter in slaughter." I expected Ed to laugh at that one; but instead he scooted his glasses to the bride of his nose and was flicking his chocolate colored eyes between Harley and me. You could almost hear his thought processes. I was sure he had already figured out who she was. Stupid smart people.

"Well, hello gorgeous. What's a dame like you doing hanging around with a crowd like Joker's?"

"I- um- I...?" Harley fumbled over her words, Eddie just laughed.

"It's alright Harleen,-" Eddie pointed his finger at me "- taking your therapist out on a little joyride, are you?"

"I would be, but some big-brained-buffoon has stalled my engine. What're you using now? Electric waves? Radioactive lazer beams?" I brought the backs of my hands up to my temples and wiggled my gloved fingers about "Mind voodoo?"

Before Eddie could get one of his smart ass answers in, Harley interrupted.

"How...?" She asked Ed.

"How what? How did I know your name? Know that you are Joker's therapist?" She nodded and swallowed hard.

"Both."

"Simple, really. You've still got your Arkham Asylum badge on. It's got your picture and name. Also, I watch the news and read the paper. You're famous, honey." Ed rolls his eyes and Harley looks at the badge clipped to her shirt. "And besides, a face like yours is one that I wouldn't soon forget."

I tipped my head to the side, looking at Eddie with a severe expression, letting him know that an attempt at trying to talk to Harley about the past would be the last words out of his mouth.

"Oh my... You're the weirdo with the question marks all over his suit from the bar, the one who is Selina's old friend!" Harley exclaimed.

"Yes, and you're the bossy friend who ripped me out of a delightful lip lock with the little vixen."

"Oh my god. No way! You actually took my advise? That never happens!" I burst out. Much earlier today, when I called Eddie for help with the security system, he was whining about how his latest attempt at wooing Pammy went horribly awry. Something about a dozen cut roses in a bouquet really bugged her. Crazy-ass plant lady.

"I went to the bar to drink away my sorrows, when Selina approached me. She was hammered, as she usually is when it's Friday night, and it just kinda happened. Then this little bombshell blonde comes over and breaks it up, telling me that Selina's got a boyfriend. Not messing with that." Eddie shook his head.

"Yeah, her boyfriend is Bruce Wayne." Harley added in matter-of-fact sort of tone.

"Fuck!" Ed exclaimed, making Harley jump. "No kidding?" He ran his hands through his short brown hair, a manic sort of cheek splitting grin appearing on his face.

"No kidding... Why does that matter?"

"I've been testing a little theory about that man, and this will be my perfect opportunity! Hell to the yes!" He yelled, pulling his head out of the car and pumping his fists in the air.

"That's fantastic, Ed. But why exactly are you here right now? What do you want?" I ask impatiently.

"Oh, that. Riddle me this my dearest pal- a certain freak who's name rhymes with fat-can has been tailing me for the past two hours I wanted a distraction from my impending capture." Eddie grinned as I subdued the urge to murder him in a slow and tortuous manner.

"Harley." I half growled.

"Yes." She said looking at me with what I categorized as therapeutic concern. Damn therapists.

"You better drive now, unless you honestly want Bats to catch you in the drivers seat of a mass murders car, talking to him casually while another notorious villain is leaning in the window plotting with first mentioned villain, while you sit calmly participating."

"Yeah... That probably won't look very good. Would it?" Harley asks meekly.

"Okay, okay. I know that face, you look like you're going to murder me. I think it's time for me to go! Goodbye BFF!" BFF. Psh.

Ed backed away from the door, picking up his his cane with a bowler hat hung on top of it.
The window suddenly rolled up, and the engine roared.

"Okay, Harley, you pull on that little stick-"

"I suddenly remember how to drive one of these." Harley says clutching the stick, jamming it into first gear and slamming her foot down on the gas.



+Bruce Wayne/Batman+

After dealing with the Jack Ryder and Joker on the roof of Wayne enterprises having a row with each other, I had more problems to deal with, how i had ever expected anything else escapes me. Alfred said that it was some completely random line of computer code that allowed access to the rooftop. I knew who it was instantly.

This wouldn't have been the first time Edward Nygma and the Joker had worked together, but it was the first time I was successfully able to track down Riddler and let him lead me straight to Joker.

As I sat, perched atop- what I presumed was Joker'a latest hideaway- I strained to listen to the conversation going on below me. It sounded like it was between joker, riddler, and a female voice that I couldn't place.
While listening, I felt myself jump a little bit when the low murmurs stopped after Riddler suddenly exclaimed "Fuck!", then stuck his head further into the car and pulled completely out and pumped his fists in the air, and went back in murmuring back again to Joker.
Less than a minute later Riddler was backing away from the driver's seat just in time- as the long electric yellow BMW revved its engine and sped off, easily making it from zero to seventy in half of a second.

Swooping down to the ground I landed some feet away from where Riddler stood, twirling his hat on his cane.

"Riddler."

"Oh! Hello Batman! Just the man I wanted to see!" He said, skipping casually over to me.

"You knew..."

"Of course I did. You think that you're all sneaky sneaky but you're really not." He says wagging his finger at me.

"What-" I start.

"-do I want? Oh nothing. I just want to talk to you." I really hate when he does that.

"Talk. Right." More like spew out riddles and watch as I try to solve them.

"I'm not going to give you a whole set of riddles to solve, if that's what you're thinking. I just want to ask you two questions; followed by an apology."

"Proceed..." I say apprehensively.

"Are you Bruce Wayne?"

"Of course not." This answer was natural. Don't let the villains know who you are. Ever.

Riddler quirks an eyebrow. "Why are your eyes blue like his?"

"Blue is a very common eye color, you know." I say sardonically.

He shrugs. "Sorry Batman, but... I made out with Selina Kyle."

Without realizing it, I had pinned Edward Nygma against the side of the warehouse.

"You did what now?"  

"I just proved who you are, Batman. You're Bruce Wayne."

"N-no I'm not."

"Yes you are. Don't deny it. And don't worry, I won't teeeell."

"That's what you villain folk do, just tell."

"I'm not like any other villain, am I?" He says paying my cheek" "If I told... Then it would never be able to hold it over the others' heads. Understand?"

"I suppo-" Then I feel thousands of volts of electricity shoot through my body; starting from my right jaw and traveling all through my body.

"Goodnight Brucey! I simply cannot let you take me away. I have much more to do tonight."

And I was out like a light.

*Joker*

"Aw, c'mon Harley! That was a good song!"

"Joker, no. That was Starships by Nicki Minaj. Not- a- good- song."

"You have no taste in music!"

"I do. That's why I don't like this!" Harley whines at me.

"Fine. How about we plug in this-" I pull out an iPhone with a bedazzled zebra case on it. "- and listen to whatever comes on. Okay?"

Harley clenched the steering wheel and nodded her head. Jeez... Someone's pissy today.

And that's when the car died again.

"God damn you Eddie!"

"What's going on?"

That's when Eddie's voice came on through the radio station.

"Okay, guys, I need a ride. So just drive back to pier 48 and we'll be good." I rolled my eyes at Ed's tone of complete elation. People shouldn't be allowed to be that happy.

"How're we supposed to come back and get you if the car is stalled?" I say, getting exceedingly annoyed with Ed.

The car hummus to life, "Just turn around." And as soon as his voice is there; it's gone and replaced with some boy-band song that sounds like it was written by throwing a piano downstairs.

"Should I-" Harley starts.

"Yes. Just do as he says. We aren't going to get rid of him if we don't."



%Harley Quinn%

As I drive, I silently revel in how much I liked the how Joker said we. It was almost like I felt normal again.

Which was exceedingly strange because; I was cheuffering around a mass murderer who was carrying more than twenty-five knives, we were about to go and pick up another villain to cart around- regardless that we were in a car that only seated two people-, while listening to One Direction, and I'm pretty sure there were a few dead bodies in the trunk... And I was totally,
completely,
whole-heartedly,
fine,
With it all.
Question: Mature content? Maybe? I can't even remember how bad this one is. I'm pretty sure there's no gore- but basically read at your own risk. I will add/remove mature content in my February editing month.

** READ FIRST **
Before- [link]

**READ AFTER**

I can't say much because I am actually multi tasking right now- I have EIGHT CHAPTERS to work on!

Love you guys!

Comment if you feel the need- I love reading your feedback, BUT if you're outwardly rude I will not hesitate to report your butt :)

Clair H
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3. I Wanna Be Free~
~I Wanna Be Free, I Wanna Be Loved

I Wanna Be More Than You're Thinking Of

Everything Seems To Be Estranged When You’re Alone...

One Day I'll Stop Keeping Track

And Give Myself Time To React

-Panic! at the Disco (I Wanna Be Free)



*Joker*



The doe-eyed child stared, slack-jawed, back at me.
I wondered idly what she would look like with white face paint over her porcelain face, a diamond pattern decorating her attire that, naturally, clung to her perfect skin.

Whoa, fuck.
Stop.

I sit back in my chair and tap my toe, feigning impatience.
"I'm a-waiting doll-face." I arch my eyebrow again, letting my eyes turn dark and cold. I was tired of this game already. I only put the effort into warmth because she was pleasing me with her wonderful naivety. But now, I shook my head internally. This may not be worth the effort after all.
"Mister Joker, my name is Doctor H. Quinzel. I am here to help you," she sauntered over to the table and slammed her hands down on the table.
Ooh, kitty got claws.
“And it would be a helluva lot easier without your incessant toe-tapping!" I looked down from her icy blue stare and to my lap, I internally shook myself, I had stopped tapping my toe.
Why?
Looking up at the doctor through my eyelashes, I grinned. Seems like this was going to be fun after all. I sighed and then looked her full on.
"Listen sweet-um-" I waved my hand at her.
"Doctor Quinzel." She insisted.
"Doll-face-" I cocked my head to the side.
"Doctor Harley Quinzel." I coughed suddenly on my own saliva. That name. Why did I know it? It wasn't until she had put it like that, that I had remembered the spark.
I smirked, trying to forget the little match that was burning in the back of my mind. Something told me that I didn't really want to remember.
"Harley Davidson." I leaned back in my chair tipping in onto two legs, kicked my feet up, and grinned.
The movement surprised her and she stood up and glared at me. This Harlequin, was very good. Bratty, but mostly hilarious. I just grinned and laughed.
"You find me funny, Mister Joker?" She growled- or at least tried to growl, at me.
"Actually, little Harlequin-"
"For fucks sake, Mister Joker!" My green eyes widened. Oh my God, did this little innocent child just swear at me?
I leaned my chair foreword, the feet slamming onto the tile.
"Well, little Hateful-Quin, if you would let me finish one Goddamn sentence, then maybe we would be getting somewhere past the introductions." I quipped at her, rising from my seat. I easily cleared her head by more than half of a foot.
I tasted the metallic pang of adrenaline in the back of my throat, and my heart began to race wildly against the confines of my ribcage.
What was this little Gotham City siren doing to me?

"Fine. Please, go on." She crossed her arms at me and started to tap her own toe.
What a little minx!
"First things first, then, Har-ley.” I sat back in my chair and pointed at myself. “Don't you think 'Mister Joker' is too serious of a name for me? I mean, look at me!" I gestured my hands from my face, which was slathered in face paint, then slowly down my slender form, clad in a purple with yellow pinstripe suit, orange vest and light gray dress shirt.
"And secondly, I do love your name! It makes me smile and leads me to think... Sidekick." My lips twitched involuntarily at the corners at her disapproving look.
She rolled her eyes at me. "Alright then, what would you like me to call you? Because I obviously can't make you call me Doctor Quinzel." She smirked at me with false exasperation, I could see it in her swimming-blue eyes that she liked this game as much as I did.
“Why don't you tag me with a name that you actually like? Hmm? I've chosen you as my Harlequin, so what am I to you, Doc?" She bristled at that.
I had to try very hard to stifle the giggle that threatened to bubble from my lips, “I'm sorry, did I hit a nerve?”

"Mistah J. You are nothin' to me. You are, at the highest point, just a patient. Nothin' more." She turned away from me and deliciously swung her hips as she sauntered away towards the door.
"Awh, and I thought we were getting somewhere. Where ya goin' little Doc?" I got up from my chair and slid to sit Indian-style on top of the table. She turned back to me with fire in her eyes.

Something deep in those eyes I recognized. And her being mad at me, only made the little spark grow larger, into a fire. It then became deliciously uncontrollable as it made scorched pathways through my mind, intent on making a connection with the past.

That little voice in my head began to scream louder: Forget!

Harley stomped her way back to me and poked her finger to my chest.
"Let me clarify some things Mister J,” She jabbed her index finger into my chest,
“Number one: I'm not 'your' anything, you do not hold any part of me." She now added her middle finger alongside the index,
"Number two: we are not friends."
Ring finger,
"Number three: I am your therapist. You will treat me with the respect that I deserve."
Pinky.
"And number four: You think you got all the power, don't you? Well news flash buddy. You don't.” She flattened out her palm to my chest and shoved me. Although, before she stepped away, she allowed her palm to rest against my chest- directly over my heart, for a moment. And it was only for a second that her clear half-lidded gaze met my wide-eyed expression, but it threatened to paralyze me forever.
She took her palm off my chest and walked away from me again.

Please.

Then, my racing heart felt like it stopped altogether.
I saw the reflection of something in the two-sided mirror as the doctor, my little Harlequin, left. It was something that I haven't seen on a woman for more than ten years. It was a rose-pink blush, and it was her blush alone that I could have recognized, for it was the only one I ever remembered.
Harley Quinn.

That's when I vowed to myself to escape this Asylum and escape now.
These feelings that I am recalling are no longer apart of who I am.
There is no room for this girl in my life anymore.

But fuck it all I wanted there to be.
Gallery with all the chapters: naturefreak0.deviantart.com/ga…
Make sure to read the proceedings before this one, c'mon guys this isn't first grade.

This again is written in Joker's POV, so again, this is a madman we're talking about, he will use cuss words and not give a damn about it.


**EDIT
I changed it from 30 years to more than ten years. my mythology timeline was screwed up... sorry!

as always, I love you all and there will be more!

** EDITED
THIS IS COMPLETELY EDITED
:iconawwwyeahplz: YUSSS
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I didn't expect him to black out on me this rudely. "I thought we were in the middle of a conversation here, Twiggers." I turned my amused smirk upside-down and touched his face with my gloved hand, pulling open his closed eyelid with my thumb. His brown eyes didn't react. He didn't blink or wince or execute any reflex he was supposed to when something came close to his eyeball. He was out. Cold as a glacier. I rested my hand on the side of his neck as I pondered what to do with him next.

He was in bad shape. Signs of starvation were obvious as I looked closer at him. He had shadows under his eyes and his cheekbones weren't covered by as much flesh as they should be, not to mention the protruding bony elbows poking out of his malnutritioned arms. His skin was sickly pale when it was supposed to be a soft milk-chocolate shade. The poor thing was dying, if not already dead. But I could feel a faint pulse under my hand as his heart strived to pump blood up to his dehydrated brain. I frowned as I brushed his black bangs off of his dirty forehead. He had a bruise peeking out from his hairline. I didn't see it before. Camouflaging little bastard. My wrist retreated to rest on my bent knee, leaving him alone now. He must have been roughened up by one of the local vulture-ish gangs.

This man intrigued my curiosity. As pathetic and fragile as he was, there was a fighting spirit prominent in the way he didn't give up whilst making a bunch of racket against the door. I looked up and out to scan the alley nestled behind our restaurant. The darkness seemed like it could swallow him up and digest him for dinner. It was crazy (and rather stupid) that he coincidentally made it to our door. The door of the current hideout belonging to Gotham's number one terrorist, The Joker. I smirked again. "Just climbing down the ladder of Hell, are you? Pushing through one terror and moving on to conquer a bigger one?"

I took his lack of response as an affirmative. "Well," I chuckled like a mother scoffing lovingly at her adventurous child. "Don't give up now, little Twig."

///

"I win again." A hairy hand slammed down a Royal Flush and moved to scoop up the chips in the center of the table. He was glad they chose to pick up Doritos from the supermarket. Dorito chips were his favorite snack. "Malcolm, seriously!? This is the fourth time in a row!" The man to the left of him sneered with escalating annoyance as his tongue yearned for the spicy deliciousness he was deprived of.

The winning man named Malcolm, the oldest and most experienced one of the four Poker players, only smiled, happily relishing in his repeated glory. "Sore loser, X?" A red Dorito chip flew into his mouth and was crushed instantly by his gnashing teeth.

X, having a short nickname for Xavier, averted his jealous gaze and absent-mindedly played with the steel ring in his ear. He had a habit of playing with his favorite piercing when he was unsettled and upset. "Ahh shut up. Enjoy your chips while they last."

The other two men across the table were just as annoyed with Malcolm as Xavier was, and they made no effort to muffle their grumbles or shift their glaring eyes. Malcolm munched on more of his newly acquired treasures. "Oh come on guys, it's just a few chips. You'd be firing a gun in my face if it were actual money."

"True, that." An Australian accent heavily commented on the previously stated fact as Samuel suppressed the urge to roll his eyes. "You can't get away with cheatin' if the stakes are higha."

"You accusing me of cheating, Sammy?" Malcolm leaned forward in his chair, exerting some aggression of his own as he defended his masculine pride. This Australian frequently got on his nerves. That damned accent was a constant buzz in his good ear.

"Not a'tall mate." Sam sarcastically raised his hands in submission and sighed, tired of this game. They'd been playing it for the better part of the day, using every piece of food they could find in the building to substitute playing chips. The kitchen was as barren as a desert. Not a crumb was left to be seen. Sam optimistically suspected that Boss and Miss Quinn would be grateful for the tidiness, at least. It was a common perception that the clown duo had their own stash of snacks in their personal living quarters. It was not like this innocent game was going to make them all starve.

Xavier threw his hand of cards in the air above his shoulder with a careless flick of his tattooed wrist. "This game is pointless anyway." He ran his tongue over his rear molars, tasting the lingering essence of the cigarette he practically consumed earlier. The only reason he lived was to smoke, and anyone who took his smokes away from him was asking to also receive an enormous can of Whoop-Ass.

"Hey O! What shou' we play now?" Xavier turned to his buddy, the fourth man, always hidden in his silence, but nonetheless a careful observer. The black-skinned boy didn't reply with a suggestion. Typical. Oliver was only nineteen, and as shy as a hermit crab. Well, maybe "shy" wasn't the right word. In fact, it definitely wasn't he right word. The first time anyone called Oliver "shy" was the day they were burned alive. Oliver had an obsessive passion for fire.

"I'm sick of games! Every one we play always get dominated by Malcolm!" Sam snapped, leaning back in his chair and folding his arms as he pushed with his toes and raised the two front legs of the wooden chair, balancing on the back two.

"Then maybe Malcolm shouldn't play." Xavier glared at the smirking burly man munching away on his precious Doritos. Because Malcolm was the oldest and most experienced criminal of the four, he always had an air of superiority and smugness. he frequently reminded them, his voice dripping with arrogance, that he'd been living under The Joker's dangerous hand for five months straight without getting killed or mutilated. Frankly, the rest of the clown's henchmen were sick of hearing it.

Malcolm scoffed. "Fine by me. It's not like there are any other prizes left to win anyway." There it was again. That little shrug of narcissism. Another chip shattered loudly in his mouth. Malcolm munched and glanced over at Sam, whose expression had changed at that comment.

"Unless you boys got some cash stored somewhere that I should tell Joker about..." He lowered his voice and deepened it in a poisonous threat. It was strictly forbidden to keep anything a secret from Boss. Sam shook his head slowly and stared at his fidgeting hands, thinking about something unrelated to their boredom-busting games. "No..." The Australian muttered carelessly, obviously not guilty of the henchman crime.

"You're thinking of Harley, aren't you?" Xavier's shoulders shook as he chuckled, grinning with sleaze at the man across the table from him. Sam's face exploded in surprise, embarrassment, and rage. "N-NO!" He denied, losing his balancing concentration and slamming the two front legs of his chair to the hard floor, holding the table edge to steady himself. Fear jumped even higher in his chest as he flinched and realized how loudly the THWACK of the chair echoed around the restaurant. Xavier laughed harder at his fumble. "Boss is gonna kill you!" He chanted deviously, leaning forward over the table and snickering with a toothy sneer.

Sam was frozen in fear, guilty of his twinging thoughts of the unattainable and incredibly dangerous woman. "I..." He attempted to defend himself one more time, desperate to keep his life. If Joker knew about his feelings...

Oliver, still as silent as ever, smirked as he eagerly predicted and envisioned Sam's gruesome future punishment. Malcolm's stare of disbelief wasn't helping the tense atmosphere which now engulfed the four men. "You're in love with Miss Qui--"

"BOYS!"

Each man froze at the feminine voice calling them with piercing sharpness. If Sam had a gun on him, he would have shot himself right then and there. She heard them.

"COME OUT HERE!"

Malcolm was the first to stand up from the table. "Nice knowing you Sammy." He chided, shaking his head with an amused smile and wiping his orange-powdered fingers on his pants. Oliver was the next one to get up, keeping his hands hidden in his pockets as he followed Malcolm toward the back door.

"Ahhh Sam." Xavier laughed under his breath, giggling at the stupidity of his colleage. Anyone who even looked at Miss Quinn the wrong way was shot if Joker glimpsed it. "You might as well fall in love with a lion's kill."

///

"Who is that?" Malcolm asked, surprised at seeing an unconscious body lying at my feet. Oliver observed from behind the tall brute, awaiting orders like a good unquestioning soldier. I always liked him the best. "It's your grandfather." I muttered sarcastically. "Why do you care? Just pick him up."

Malcolm slowly gave me a look of confusion. I held his gaze, expecting another bothersome question. With an outward jerk of my chin and a lift of my blonde eyebrows, I inquired as to why he was so being slow about my order. Oliver already had the hispanic under his arm, lifting him and adjusting him so he was slumped over one shoulder. Malcolm seemed to come to a conclusion about something inside his head, giving a tiny subtle shrug and a shake of his head as he took most of the stranger's weight off Oliver.

I lead them inside, not flinching as Oliver took care to close and lock the back door behind us, shutting out the world. I strode into the restaurant with rightful assertiveness, the heels of my boots clicking against the stained concrete floor. Most of the old termite-infested carpet in this joint was burned away in a fire a decade ago. No, it was not caused by us clowns, in case you were wondering. The crisp scent of Xavier's time-faded cigarette smoke lingered in the air and wafted up my nose. I breathed in the familiar smell without a grimace.

The counter curving in front of the wall of back hallway which I currently walked down was vacant of any intact wine bottles, but still suitable to be called a bar. The hanging lights above the bar stools were moderately bright but unable to shine to the front windows of the building. This prevented light from leaking out of those boarded windows, also preventing any passersby from birthing a curiosity about what went on inside here. The stairs leading up to the second and third floors were completely unstable and they tended to creak as if they were auditioning for a horror movie. The evidence of their instability? The giant hole my apparently "overweight" body made when I first tried to ascend them. Yep. One hundred and twenty pounds was too much for them to handle. I guess I should lay off the donuts and save them for the cops, huh? Anyway, we never go upstairs. The only room offered on ground level to sleep in in this dump was sort of a suite, built especially bigger and better air-conditioned than the rest. I suspected it was the room of the inn's beloved original owner.

This place was my home. Our home. I was comfortable here as long as J was. Once he wasn't, then none of us were, and we moved somewhere else.

I put up a hand to prevent Xavier from bumping into me as we turned around the back hallway corner simultaneously. He froze and allowed me to calmly push his chest back and clear my path. Malcolm wasn't as gentle as me, elbowing the punk aside as he hauled the stranger in, following my lead with Oliver trailing behind with the stranger's legs in his hold. "Who's that?" X piped, curiously peering to see if he was dead or not. Samuel was sitting rigidly at a table with cards strewn over the surface. They must have been playing again. I flipped my hair as I passed, not giving X an answer or the Aussie a second glance.

"Keep an eye on Twiggy for a second, will ya?" I didn't glance back, gesturing sloppily with my wrist for my boys to stop following me as I stepped down the ledge of the bar area floor into the pit of the dining room. To the left of me, a catwalk extended out from in front of the bar, ending with a curved edge. A slender silver pole rose up from the center of the edge of the catwalk. My stage. I smiled with pride.

I didn't expect an answer, but the three of them mumbled in response anyway. "Yes, Miss Quinn." Toward the front of the big room, through a small maze of overturned, broken tables and scattered, toppled chairs, the door to our room was securely closed, its dark brown wood looking ominously black in the shadows of the distant bar light. The handle was spherical and fitted perfectly in my enclosed palm. The bronze metal was cold, as always. I slipped inside and shut the door silently behind me, disappearing from my henchmen's view into an abyss of hell I could only describe as paradise.

///

Sam slowly and sheepishly turned his head around to see the door creepily close and click, echoing in the silence of the room. She was gone.

Almost two whole minutes passed before anyone moved or spoke. Boss didn't come out, and neither did Miss Quinn. Figuring he had some time to relax, Xavier fiddled with his piercing, raising his eyebrows at Sam and turning to the unconscious bloke in Malcolm's hold. "So...anyone know who he is?"

"A skeleton." Oliver huffed, letting go the stranger's skinny legs. "Just like the rest of the homeless people in this city." He put his hands in his baggy pockets and sighed in boredom. He really wanted to burn something right now. Fire always gave him a brilliant flicker of beauty to gaze at.

"You got that right..." Sam cleared his throat and found that his own legs had regained the strength to stand. He walked over to his pals and took his turn examining the "skeleton". Malcolm smirked as he stood like a statue holding a dead pigeon. "You're lucky, Sammy. Miss Q didn't hear your little secret."

"Shut up already." Sam hissed. A bullet through his fat head would shut him up. If only it was that easy. Killing another henchman was prohibited unless it was ordered.

Malcolm lifted the man's body up and laid him down on their poker table, giving them all a better view of his face as it was exposed under better lighting. The agony of his starvation was apparent in his unconscious expression. After cocking their heads back and forth and staring at him like puzzled scientists, Xavier finally broke the trance of curiosity and leaned over to nudge the stranger's face with his knuckles. "Hey... dude, you okay?"

"He's dead, you fool." Oliver rolled his eyes, uninterested. X made a face and put a hand over the man's neck. "Nah, he's got a pulse. I think." He wasn't sure if that faint warmth emitting from his throat counted as a sign of life.

They all jumped as a hauntingly familiar door squeaked open, the handle being rotated sharply in one direction and yanked to swing open the dark wood. Their gazes shifted slowly to look back at their Boss.
Prologue: [link]
Chapter 2: [link]
Chapter 3: [link]
Chapter 4: [link]
Chapter 5: [link]
Chapter 6: [link]
Chapter 7: COMING SOON

Playing poker with Dorito chips?!? For the win!!! :iconjokerlaplz::icondoritosplz:

A note on perspectives here: When it is in Harley's, Joker's or the mysterious main character's perspective, it is in first person. (Ex. I was sleepy. Keyword: I)

When it is in the henchmen's perspective, it is in third person perspective. Because they all kinda count as one unit of a character. "The Henchmen", you know?

I might put up some pics of these guys soon. I don't know why, but these characters have really captured my heart over the past few days. I've been sketching them in my notebook :aww:

Xavier: [link]
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