Epilogue

"Dr. Harleen Quinzel, former psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum has reportedly engaged in an act of homicide, working as the Joker's accomplice. The Joker was Dr. Quinzel's patient at Arkham during the course of roughly two weeks before she was put off the case. Sometime after his escape, the Joker kidnapped Dr. Quinzel and the GCPD were unsuccessful in their search for her, until it was revealed last night during a party at Dr. Jeremiah Arkham's residence, that Dr. Quinzel had become the Joker's accomplice. She now goes by the alias of Harley Quinn. We spoke with Dr. Arkham earlier this morning. Here's what he had to say…"

"The last thing we needed was another Dr. Crane. This isn't good for our reputation. I mean, we're supposed to treat mentally ill people and then, once diagnosed sane, send them back into society, not the other way around! And now it seems that Dr. Quin… Wait, scratch that, she's not a doctor anymore. Now it seems that Ms. Quinzel has developed a severe case of Stockholm syndrome."

"Are you suggesting that she's in love with the Joker?"

"Oh yeah, she told me so herself. She even called him her 'soulmate.'"

"And do you believe this to be true?"

"Yes. If there's one thing I've learned about Ms. Quinzel, it's that you should never, under any circumstances, underestimate her."


Bruce felt heavy and dizzy. It was hard to open his eyes, but it became easier with time and eventually, he was able to get a full and clear vision of his surroundings. It was all a bit confusing at first, until he realized he was upside down. His hands were tied together over his head and his legs seemed to be chained to the ceiling. Actually, there was a chain around his torso as well, minimizing his mobility. It was hard to think, but he could at least remember what had happened before he got into this position. As soon as she struck his mind, she entered the room.

Speak of the devil.

Harley Quinn skipped over to the caped crusader with a big, silly grin on her painted face. As always, she was sporting blonde pigtails and wearing her signature colours; black and red. "Aw, what's the matter?" she asked and frowned as she came to a halt in front of him. She put her hands on her hips and tilted her head to the side. "Aren't ya comfortable? I thought this was how bats slept?" she said and gestured to his up-side-down form. Bruce didn't say a word, but kept the grim look on his face. Harley sighed and shook her head. "Okay, then let's think of something to lighten you up!" She grabbed a chair nearby, flipped it around and had a seat, resting her arms on the back. "How about a joke?" she suggested. "I know a good one, it'll kill ya!" She laughed out loud. Bruce felt the blood running down his body and into his head and it wasn't exactly helping, but he had to stay focused.

"How about I tell you a story instead?" he asked her and the question caught her off guard. She hadn't expected him to say anything. Her smile faded and there was a pause between them. Finally, she shrugged and made it comfortable for herself on the chair.

"All right, go ahead. But it better be a good one," she warned him.

Bruce inhaled, bracing himself. "Once, there was this young woman who was bright and intelligent and she had every opportunity to become something great." He paused shortly. "But then… she met a man. He manipulated her and made her believe she was in love with him. He turned her into his own little machine." It was hard to tell from his angle, but her face looked expressionless. She did not attempt to interrupt and so he went on.

"But what he doesn't know is that there is still a part of who she once was inside her and if she wanted to, she could fight to become that person again. That bright, beautiful woman with her whole life and the whole world in front of her. I believe that she can. The question is if she believes it."

Silence fell between them. Harley's expression remained the same. "That's a touching story," she finally said, breaking the silence. Then, her eyes darkened. "But I've heard it before." She got up from the chair and shoved it aside. "You can't decide who you fall in love with!" she yelled. "It just happens!"

"So you honestly believe he loves you back?" She fell silent once more and thought about her answer.

"Here's how I see it..." She regained control of her voice and she was no longer yelling at him. "He hasn't killed me. After all this time, he hasn't killed me and he hasn't killed you." That last word was filled with contempt and understandably so. Bruce knew perfectly well what she thought of him. "And there can only be one reason for that," she went on and she drew in a shaky breath, looking away from him. Her eyes were starting to water. "Even though I hate admitting it," she said and chuckled to herself, looking down at the floor. She was looking anywhere but at him. "And I hate the very thought of it, but…" Slowly she lifted her gaze and she looked straight into his eyes. "If being loved by him means that I have to share him with you…" She paused, but her gaze did not waver. "It's worth it." Her voice was small, nothing but a whisper.

It was worse than he thought. It seemed she truly was madly in love. And Bruce pitied her for it. But right now, he didn't have time for pity. "Is it really worth it, though?" he asked. "You're fighting for a lost cause, Harley. You can't win. Out of the two of us, who do you think wins his affection in the end? Me? Or you?" Her eyes began to water once more and she gritted her teeth, breathing heavily through them. He was getting through to her. Good.

"Why, I oughta –"

"What? Kill me?" Bruce finished for her. "You know he wouldn't like that. He thinks I'm too much fun. Admit it Harley… you're only ever gonna be second best."

That does it.

She let out a shriek that could deafen you and the tears finally broke through, streaming down her face along with the black makeup around her eyes. She launched herself at him to wrap her hands around his throat, but before she could do him any harm, a couple of the Joker's men busted through the door and hurried over to stop her. They grabbed her arms and pulled her away, although it was no easy task as she wouldn't stop struggling. "Let me at him!" she snapped at them. "Let go of me! I said let me go!" They didn't. They dragged her out of the room. "I hope he kills you!" she yelled after the Bat. "Ya hear?! I hope I see you in hell!" The door slammed shut after them and Bruce was alone again. Time to get to work.

Harley wriggled herself free with a frustrated groan. Another door opened and he walked in. He was finally here. Harley's expression softened at the sight of him and she regained her composure, but not before the Joker noticed that something was off. "What's wrong, kiddo?" he asked and stopped right in front of her. Harley glanced over to the room where the Batman was being kept.

"It was going to be a surprise," she said. "I caught the Bat." She nodded her head to the door. Joker's eyebrows shot up. Really? "But he always spoils the fun. He was so mean to me." She was acting like a petulant child. Joker tutted at her and wrapped his arms around her for comfort.

"Poor Harley. Was the big ol' Bat mean to you?" Harley nodded.

"Uh-huh."

"Sounds like he needs to be taught a lesson." Harley looked up into his face and found the thirst for blood in his eyes. That made her light up again.

The Joker opened the door and Harley followed close behind. When he looked around, the room was… empty. There was a heap of chains lying on the floor in front of him. When Harley saw what he saw, she froze on the spot and her gleeful aura vanished. Her eyes went over every inch of the room. No Batman. "Harley…" Joker said and slowly turned around to face her. He did not look happy. "Where is he?"

"I-I don't understand," she said. "He was just here. He was all chained up, there was no way he could've –" She felt the blow across her cheek and fell to the floor. Her hand found its way to where he had slapped her. It stung. His figure leaned over her and he reached down to pull her up again. He grabbed her by the arms and rattled her violently with every word.

"Don't. Ever. Leave. Him. Alone." When he stopped, she was sobbing quietly. His grip remained firm, but then all of a sudden she felt it soften and he brought her in close, enveloping her in a tight embrace. "Shh," he hushed and rocked her back and forth. "It's all good now. We'll catch the Bat another day."

Harley let her arms wrap around his torso and she closed her eyes, smiling to herself. This was how the cycle went. There were ups and there were downs. Nothing wrong with that. Sure, he wasn't the definition of a Prince Charming, but then again, Harley had never wanted that. She wanted him. Just the way he was. That meant putting up with his tantrums and it meant having to go through a little bit of heartache at times.

It wasn't perfect.

But she was okay with that.


A/N: That's it guys! It's the end of the story! I can hardly believe it myself. I've had so much fun writing this fic and I know that without all of you lovely and loyal readers, I probably never would have finished it. I am overwhelmed by the response to this story and I cannot thank you enough! Thank you for all your lovely reviews, they always put a smile on my face! It means so much to me when I hear people say that they actually enjoy my work! You guys are the best! I really hope you enjoyed this fic from the beginning to the end, THANK YOU!