Chapter 1

Yesterday, she had received the much anticipated letter. She had gotten the job as a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. Harleen couldn't be more thrilled. Although, when she told her father about it, he didn't exactly share her enthusiasm. "You know you could have easily gotten a job anywhere with your intellect," he had told her. If he could, she knew he would have sent her to become a doctor or a lawyer.

"I want to help people," she had replied.

"Yes, but criminals? Of all people, those are the ones you choose?"

"The way I see it… they're the ones that need the most help." Her childhood friend Cassidy hadn't been on her side either. Aren't friends supposed to support one another? Harleen, or Harley, as her friends and family called her, was upset about it to say the least. But she decided to get over it quickly. She was happy about the job and that was all that mattered.

Now she found herself standing outside the wooden door with the name "Dr. J. Arkham" on it and, taking a deep breath, she knocked three times. She heard a voice say "enter" and so she did. There he was, sitting behind his desk and he smiled at her when she walked in. "Harleen Quinzel, I presume?" he said. She returned the smile.

"Yes, Dr. Arkham. It's an honour to be here and to meet you finally." They shook hands and Arkham gestured for her to take a seat in the chair opposite to him. Once seated, he continued.

"I've heard some very promising things about you, Ms. Quinzel. I was very happy when I looked through your resume, yet surprised at the same time," he mused aloud and his face morphed into a somewhat confused, yet impressed expression. "Anyone with your high grades could have written her ticket anywhere," he explained. She gave a small smile and looked down. He made her think about what her father had said. "Why Arkham Asylum of all places?" he asked.

Harley looked up again and thought about it. Why did she want to work here? It was possibly the gloomiest and scariest place you could find in all of Gotham. Well, then that was the answer, wasn't it? While there were so many who wouldn't, she had actually dared to come here. She smiled again. "Well, I'm always up for a challenge," she answered. Are you sure you're challenging yourself, or is it your father? She hated herself for thinking that way. No, she wanted to be here. Not because she wanted to prove herself to her father, or anyone else for that matter. She really wanted to be here. This was what she was destined to do. She just knew it.

"I'm glad to hear that," Dr. Arkham said with a small smile of his own, but then he turned dead serious. "You see…" He clasped his hands together and leaned his chin on them, thinking about how he would deliver the message. Harley was all ears. "One of our patients, well… We have yet to see him change. I've been thinking about giving up on him, but I figured maybe it was worth a shot. You know, hand the case to you. All of our expert doctors have made no progress with him. He refuses to speak to anyone. So I was hoping…" He paused and held his eyes locked with hers. "Perhaps you would be up for the challenge?"

So he wanted her to try and get someone to open up. Harley had no idea why he would think she'd be any different, if this patient actually refused to speak to any of the others, who were far more experienced than her. Either, Dr. Arkham must have really cared about this patient, or just been very desperate.

"Who is this patient?" she asked. From the look on his face, Harley could tell that Dr. Arkham had figured she would ask. He leaned back in his chair and sighed.

"He goes by the Joker. I take it you've heard of him?" She couldn't help it that her heart skipped a beat at the mention of his name. Images of him from the newspapers flashed before her eyes. She had known before applying for the job that the Joker was here. But she had never dreamt of becoming his therapist. So Dr. Arkham was indeed desperate. Does he actually believe the Joker can be sane again? she thought. But then she remembered what she had told her father. She wanted to help. That was the reason of her being here, sitting in Dr. Arkham's office.

"Yes," she finally said. "Yes, I have." He must have mistaken her silence for cowardice.

"Look, I completely understand if you don't want the case." Harley snapped out of her train of thought. She wasn't one to back out.

"No!" she said, a little too loudly. "I mean…" she lowered her voice. "No, I want to give it a go. If I can help him, then I want to do it. You can never know if you never even try." She attempted another smile. He returned it, somewhat half-heartedly.

"That's true," he agreed. "Well, then it's settled." He slammed his hands on the desk and rose to his feet. Harley followed suit and they shook hands once more. "A pleasure to have you with us, Dr. Quinzel."


A/N: Hopefully I'm not plunging into any deep waters here, but just to make sure I get everything right, I made the first chapter very short. Since there was no Harley in the Nolan films, that means I have a lot of freedom, but freedom is scary. I don't have anything to go on really except for the tone of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, so hopefully I will be able to match this up with that. Harley is also, might I add, my favourite comic book character, so I really want to do her justice! And since Brittany Murphy is a fan-favourite casting of Harley, (let's face it, she would have been great) I'm going to imagine that it's her when I write this, but you can go with anyone you'd like! I just thought maybe it would be easier for you all as readers to go through this story with a face (and voice) for our main character. You can expect a LOT of chapters, so it would be fun if you wanted to follow this story! :)