|Reviews for JxHQ: Manifestation|
| Red LeJester 11/29/12 . chapter 1
I honestly felt a chill go up my spine...Weird... Anyway I loved your story...
| sev-and-darth 11/22/12 . chapter 1
Oh, I did try reading through it again, and you're right, it was very funny. You had me convinced for a while though...
| JasiaVu 11/11/12 . chapter 1
...Ahem! *Clears her throat quickly and scrambles to straighten up in the seat she is now slumped into, panting slightly*
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed your interpretation of the seemingly unrequitted sexual tension between these two (even if Harley refuses to admit that she enjoyed it just as much as...well, I?)
| VikingBeauty 8/17/11 . chapter 1
Wow LOL I read through all of ur views. That story below was perfect i read it. ive been reading ur fics and love them. i love the detail on the joker's appearance here. harley is awesome i love how she got flustered at the end at having a rape fantasy. i have had those, *not* condoning rape! teehee Nice work!
| Beans 11/3/09 . chapter 1
"You may have noticed there’s a point at which the narrative goes from being merely dramatic to being quite melodramatic. This is very intentional."
Thank goodness. I admit that I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I read your notes at the end. I've slowly been reading through your JxH fics and I've enjoyed them so far, both your style of writing and your flawless characterization. But then J went all soap opera and tore open Harl's blouse and went at her with his "frighteningly large cock" and I was left going "...Seriously?" But again, it all makes sense now and, if anything, is all the more appropriate. Well done
Just wondering, in a few of your stories you remark on the color of the Joker's eyes as purple, when as far as I know most wikis and database stats list them as green. Just wondering if there was a particular reason behind that, though I realize that depending on the artist behind him some times his eye color does vary.
| ShesCurlyLove 10/23/09 . chapter 1
| incogneto 5/15/09 . chapter 1
love the story really great
| Harley-Cat 12/28/08 . chapter 1
I really like this one-especially Harley's soapy inner deires.
Overall, a dark yet eerily enjoyable story. Your works are truly amazing:)
| Karivah 11/22/08 . chapter 1
This was amazing, and to be quite frank while I was reading the sex scene I was thrown off, I was amused but confused because it didn't seem like The Joker (though who know him better than you?). But when i saw your closing words I re-read the story and found myself loving the tawdriness of it.
I just want to say...I L-O-V-E you! Here I am home alone depressed as hell and you know how to perk me right up! If you ever get the time or chance, could we correspond? I have so much I want to talk to you about... (I don't mean to come across as creepy.)
| pressurehinges 11/17/08 . chapter 1
("“There,” he purred in her ear.
“No,” she protested feebly and he laughed harder then released her arm. It throbbed as blood rushed back through it and then she was making a grab for his hand, repelled by the obscene sight of it working between her thighs, made nauseous by the intensely pleasurable sensation of his finger gently working her.")
Very creepy, very sick. I love that you go there, play with that desire and the shame of it, and how he notices both and revels in them.
("He licked his lips lewdly, then cupped one in either hand as she choked, felt her cheeks flame red when he lifted his eyes to her, his smile foul with lust.")
He looks at her. At her eyes. Because this isn’t about sex- the sex is nothing but an incidental, a tool, a weapon. What he wants is the reaction, and to get that he has to look. Brilliant. And 'foul with lust' is such a perfect phrase.
("She’d never been treated so roughly before, with so much disregard and this realisation had her suddenly and unexpectedly thrusting her groin towards his before she realised what she was doing and jerked back.")
Her own inability to resist- her not wanting to resist, really, making a token show for, just as he says, assauging her guilt later. Very IC. And then the thrill of being that helpless also so very IC, just beginning here, obviously, it grows stronger as their relationship progresses, but we see it begin. We wonder if it were always there, waiting.
("frighteningly large cock, rigid and blushing scarlet at the tip in its excitement.")
Okay, sick and graphic as this may sound, I’ve always been impressed, in my nerdtastic way, that you include this detail. I know ‘realism’ is not a word that ought to be used seriously when it comes to things Batman, but I can’t help it, and I’m always so delighted when an author does something like this. The glans would, on the Joker, be one of the last places left on his body where he could, effectively, blush. Blood is more or less trapped in the vessels and through white skin this would look actually rather shocking, almost like a wound in its brightness and intensity- like his lips. And Harley, as Harleen, paints her own lips bright red. Already begins the mirror, and now, travelling down the body we see red repeated- in him and in her by now, the mucuous membranes of the vulva swollen with distended vessels and higher internal pressure, pushing against the nerve endings to increase sensory capability. metaphorically, in these places, the body opens, is exposed and made unsafe by contact with the outside world and its dangers, and in a sense, all breaches in a body, evolutionarily designed and necessary for life or not, can be in a sense classed as wounds. Blood red, that call out to one another because their colors correspond and their capacity for pleasure and pain are matched. Goodness, what a lot of armchair psychanalysis for a little bit of smut. ;p But I felt compelled to share.
("She barely had time to register the fact that the Joker was now fucking her on her desk in her office at Arkham Asylum – quite forcibly and against her will – before he began a violent and cruel thrusting. He fucked her in a way she’d never been fucked before, holding her utterly still as he drove each blow home, treating her like nothing more than a receptacle for his pleasure.")
It’s a dream- does he does this because this is how he does things, or because this is what she wants him to do, what she wants to be for him? To be objectified can be immensely powerful- for that moment of objectification you are the most important and desired object in someone’s world, blotting out everything else. Intoxicating, for someone already so obsessed.
("He fucked her hard enough for it to hurt and she knew he did so purposely, every sensation of him sliding within her demanding all of her attention, her body struggling beneath the assault to adapt to it.")
And this sentence here could in theory describe their entire relationship.
("The orgasm was powerful; startling in its raw and filthy beauty, the waves of pleasure seeming to echo and intensify knowing she had not wanted this (she didn’t, she didn’t’!) but had been forced to it just the same. He bent down and licked her lips as she came, sobbing and writhing the whole time, his laughter beating soft against her face, ridiculing her.")
He gives her the freedom of pretending to refuse. The beginning of that freedom she always seeks in him. And then he mocks her for it, for needing it, for needing it to be given to her. Cruel, he is pleased with himself for his cruelty. Pleased with and vainly proud of what he can so easily make her do.
("And after all, she had been so fixated on this case. He was such a powerful figure, one she was straining herself to try and understand. It – it could only be normal he would take on some sort of controlling force in her mind and what more primal, more basic than a sexual aggressor, reflecting back her desire to get through to him?")
Denail & justification. Oh, Harls. ILU, never change. XD
("Her desire to get through to him – and perhaps her fear of being consumed by him, devoured by this case. After all, she hadn’t been doing much else. Maybe this was even her subconscious’ way of asserting its desire to be freed, of fighting back against her discipline and repression, manifesting as a rape fantasy so that she could be free of the guilt attached to longing to escape her world of commitment and study?")
And her lucidity returns briefly- she begins to get the joke, although still unceratin she seeks, as she will always do, the solace of another person’s reassurance...
("Yes. Yes, she would ask Joan about it. She was sure that’s what it was.")
Except not that one’s. Little too scary, and mightn’t Joan spoil the joke anyhow by not seeing it? Take away from her, in concern, this thing she’s come to need so much? No, no, better just to let it be. She can handle it. Of course she can. Of course...
You ask if I think you showed her bewitchment in the opening, and the answer is a resounding yes. Everything about: her obsessive study, her over-dedication to the detriment of all else in her life, the way she watches him constantly, notes her own and other people’s reactions to him, interprets it as awe, as reverence,even if of a repulsed and horrified variety, the focus on his physical appearance- all this very very clearly demonstrates her enthrallment. (More nerdism, forgive- ‘enthrallment’ comes ultimately from ‘thrall’, an Old English word that meant, literally, a bonded meaning shifted from the prosaic political system into something more physcoholgical, but it’s the perfect word to use here. ‘I am in thrall to’ once meant no more than ‘I am so-and-so’s slave, so here, its double meaning of both captivity and bewitchment is fascinating and very apt.)
Is it too explanatory or heavy-handed? Tough call. I would personally say no, it isn’t- in order to reinforce an obsession, you need constant repeition and over-attention to detail, so I wouldn’t call it heavy-handed because it sort of has to be this way. Go too vague with it and risk readers going, “Yeah, but why’s she all of a sudden acting like this, we didn’t see this coming, huh?” (Uh... all right, so not JHQ fans who already know the story, but you know what I mean.) And the flow, the ‘feel’ of it matches perfectly the rest of the fic, through the dream sequence to the entrance into the session room. It is all in Harley’s brain, and so, organically, it flits from thing to thing but always keeping on that same obsessive theme, going over and over again each little detail. We all do this- it makes us happy to pull out tiny facts and slaver over them at whiles when we are being obsessive. So I would call this IC and realistic, not heavy-handed.
This is a dream about control, about giving in. It's not really about the Joker or what he wants, although of course that's in there: it's about Harley's response to her own growing, twisting obsession. It's about what he does to her, so the focus is on her. It is, after all, *her* dream.
| pressurehinges 11/17/08 . chapter 1
("Outside the inky darkness beyond was brilliantly illuminated by a branching streak of lightning, making her jump and spatter ink across her notebook from the fountain pen still clutched in one hand. She glanced out the windows, the glass made opaque by the night and counted the seconds.")
She counts between the flash and the boom to try and gauge the storm’s distance- a child’s game. And like a child she is frightened of the things beyond the safe circle of- well, a nightlight, although here it’s a desk lamp. We are afraid of the dark because of the all the lurking terrors in it we cannot see.
But we also, some say, fear the dark because we ourselves cannot be seen in it, cannot be recognized or known, and are thus lost to it. Foreshadowing, maybe?
("So instead she turned back to her notes, staring blankly at the spattered ink stains before shaking her head a little, swallowing a gulp of cold coffee from her nearby mug (Because I’m a Princess, that’s why! it proclaimed in pink")
I love these sorts of little character-y details. So IC for Harley.
("So tall and so slender and yet solid – she knew he was strong and leanly muscled, not painfully thin the way Jonathon (Jonathan) Crane was. The skin, so shockingly white that she felt it might take only a warm damp cloth to wipe it off. Perfect it was – not a single imbalance in the colour anywhere – that she could see. The whole of it one long stretch of ice-white, tinged blue in the crook of his elbows, across his neck and in the hollows of his eyes;
anywhere his blood pumped hardest.")
In a fit of science, this pleased me endlessly. Because it would be blue, unoxygenated in the veins closest to the skin, and in the absence of melanocytes (skin pigment) it would stand out like a road map in all the places the heart’s action forced it closest to the surface and the venous presure was highest. /end nerdliness ;p
("She shook her head a little, quickly. That was silly. She knew that he was.")
So very Harley. “I know these awful things, I see them, but he’s not like that. Not REALLY. Not with ME.”
("Most especially he noticed when she was tired, or when the strain of the Asylum was wearing her thin, or the bills and debts that were piling up made her hands shake. He never missed when the gnawing pressure she felt constantly to perform was especially sharp. He always saw the shadows beneath her eyes she thought she had powdered away, the tension around her mouth, the tremble in her hands. “Lighten up, Doc,” he’d say, “frowning gives you wrinkles you
Beautiful. He sees the exhaustion and the fear. Because it’s weakness- he’s keyed to it, waiting to exploit it. A master tactician analyzing his opponent’s weak points, knowing this gives him power, and that she knows he’s doing it too increases that power immeasurably. But he hides it behind a joke, letting her know he knows in charming little ways that seem funny and show concern. Sly as a demon.
("He’d left her a rose.")
Canon. V. overtly romantic thing to leave someone, and perhaps it’s to be left at that, but I will argue there is more to it. That’s deliberately overt, a sort of pantomime of romance, an exaggeration for the stage, playing at it in an obvious way. A test? To see if she will take it at face value or see anything hideen? Of course a manipulation. I love that you added this, and that you go on to have her think about what it means, spin it into what she wants – needs- it to be.
("It was there, pressed between the pages of her favourite book about him, a collection of first-hand accounts reported by hostages and victims, policemen, doctors and henchmen. Detailed, intriguing and yet always strangely impersonal. Hers would easily outrank it.")
It’s pressed between the pages of a book. Trapped there, made a specimen, the way the stories in the book are. A symbol of one more conquest, maybe? A last-minute addendum to his list of crimes? In this way, it’s a warning. Lovely.
("But the rose, yes, the rose. Her first glimpse that this man hid secret depths she yearned to plunge into. He’d wanted to thank her, he’d said. Thank her for caring about his wellbeing.
Just a gesture – a courtesy.")
Denial. Justification. Wanting always and only to believe the best. I like.
("And that awful thing he’d said, so many weeks ago now, in one of their earliest sessions: “You ever been raped, Doc? I bet you’ve put the thought in a few minds.”)
THIS is amazing. It shows that sudden reversal, that heartbeat flip from sweet and charming to immense threat. It’s also manipulative because it inspires fear and doubt, and it inspires them retroactively: “Was X really thinking that when he talked to me? But he seemed so nice! And if he was thinking it, then Y could have been thinking it. All this time I might have been exposed to unbelievable danger and never known. I am not safe. Now HE is saying it, and if he’s saying it then maybe he’s thinking it too. I am not safe, I have never been safe. But I cannot stay away.” So very very Harley, and classic Joker mindfuck. It’s also another kind of mindfuck in that he’s saying “The world is not what you think it is. People are not who you think they are.” Another
warning, another test. But maybe an attempt at conversion too, witnessing to her, in obscure fragments, his own worldview. Brilliant line, much food for thought.
("He was there. In her office. Back pressed against the door,smiling quietly at her from across the room, hands behind his back.")
Like a ghost. Just appearing, soundlessly, suddenly, in a dark room. And what do ghosts do? They use fear to convey a message. Or perhaps again, as the situation unfolds, he appears like a demon, in the same way as a ghost, magically but with more sinister intent. To delude, to lead astray, to tempt. To possess. And demons, historically, love to appear to very determined people up too late working too hard and looking too close at their dealings. Lovely.
("He paused at those words, cocked his head and lifted an eyebrow at her. “You don’t?” he said playfully. “Well, all right then. We’ll play it your way.”)
‘Play’. Always a game.
("“Oh, you know,” he replied with sly amusement. “The whole innocence and corruption thing. That little shtick you’ve perfected to an artform.”)
A demon’s words. “I know you. You don’t fool me, I see all your dirty little secrets. Let them out. Let them out to play.”
("Then his hands were on her and she found herself spinning round, flying across the room to sprawl awkwardly against her desk, barely registering the rustling and thunk as her notebook slipped to the carpet.")
He moves like a ghost too. Going from A to B without seeming to cross the intervening space. You go into his appearance before, which is odd and unnatural, but even his movements are the same. She humanizes him by sheer force of will, but even she can’t unsee all those things that make him simultaneously less and more than just a man. And of course the sudden unpredictable violence, mild here thought it is- the quick-switch again, and the inability to see it coming.
("She struggled to get upright, desperate not to lose sight of him, terrified of what was to come and yet unable to allow herself ignorance.")
And this sentence is so incredibly the summation of Harley’s entire character in a way that I was blown away.
("“I’m – I’m attached to your case,” she stammered, hoping to God he would be flattered and spare her.")
Already she placates. But she’s sly too- manipulate that ego, distract it with shiny compliments and submissiveness, and buy yourself time to think.
("When he was finished he straightened and surveyed her new dishevelment with a pleased grin. “There, that’s better,” he said. “That’s the thing about you coiled tight little dollies. Temptation. You make guys like me want to unravel you, and that’s very distracting, you know.”)
So very IC here. The violence, the possessiveness, the making over. But there’s something being shown here, whether he’s conscious of it or not- that need of his, that compulsion, to destroy a thing simply because it is too perfect. Break it and by breaking it you own it- no one (else) can ever use it again, and
they will always look at the shards, at the ruins, and know who did this.
("His smile was dark and cruel and then his hands were on her knees, sending a rolling shiver up her body. “Oh, I think you do, Doc,” he whispered. “I think you very much do.”)
This here I was initially unsure about. It’s a classic rapist phrase amounting to She Was Asking For It,but after some thought I realized that 1) this is all Harley’s dream, so she’s using the stereotypes she knows, and she’s terrified and thrilled that she is, in fact, asking for it. And it’s also another of the Joker’s subtle mindgames, that use of stereotyped behavior to mock it or play a role. And it does have that power-reassurance aspect to it, which he is constantly doing, so. I like it, ultimately.
(“Thing is, Doc,” he whispered to her, his mouth trailing gently across her skin. “I’ve seen the way you look at me. You can hide your desire from Arkham and Leland and the guards and even from yourself but you can’t hide it from me. I’ve been the object of it long enough to know what it feels like. And you, good little girl that you are, will never, ever treat yourself. So I’m here to do you the favour of making you. Just a little thank you for how
sweet and attentive you’ve been to me.”)
Oh, so very Joker. Tempting old serpent, and ego to boot. “I will use you and you will love it and be greateful, because what higher honor, what better treat is there than being used by me?”
| Dadaismo 11/14/08 . chapter 1
Oh i loved this one. I knew it would be either a fantasy of Harley's or a roleplay between them since they never *ahem* did it until Harley "quit" her job.
oh gawd the "rape" fantasy. She would have one of those. And love it. I've read too much erotica to take the jokerxharley rape scene seriously. Well done! _
| Unruhe 11/13/08 . chapter 1
I really enjoy your reading. I love it.
I definitely noticed that *something* was off... but I didn't pick up that it was a dream, I actually thought for a minute that it would turn out to be some kind of sexual role playing game they were trying out (to shut Harley up, probably, lol).
Fantastic work :)
| deeryheart 11/13/08 . chapter 1
I laughed outloud when I realized it was a dream! Then I re-read it and I laughed again. You really nailed it with the language and dialogue in the dream... SOMETHING was off and I couldn't put my finger on it, not BAD off, just different from your usual sexy stuff... but coming from Harley's head it it is perfect! And how DRAMATIC she gets about it after, so cute.
Just SO great... I really enjoyed reading this, thanks!
| Hysteric1234 11/13/08 . chapter 1
You're right, on retrospect it makes a lot more sense. Poor darling, it really did remind me of some of those little novels. Nice work with that though, haha, it is a delicate balance (somehow they always involve wanted rapes though; my mum used to collect them and then write fake blurbs about the covers).
'Tis fun to be in Harley's head, she's an entertaining little thing. D