Disclaimer: Harlequin, Barbara Gordon/Oracle, Joker, etc, don't belong to me. This fic is purely for entertainment.

Notes: Alternate universe, obviously. Or not so.. Anyway, it is. Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker and paralysed from the waist down. Erm, PG13 for graphic violence.

Dedication: To Frito. Happy birthday. Not *quite* what I'd wanted to write, but I ran out of time. :)

One Track Mind

by Ana Lyssie Cotton

Her name was Harley Quinn, and she worked for the Joker.

All day long, she would giggle at his jokes, laugh for him. Sometimes play with him. And sometimes for him.

He'd set her a task, "Find this girl for me. She's someone I need to deal with."

And so she did. But Mr. J wouldn't let her meet the girl. Left alone, Harley did what she did best. She played.

"I'm a little Harley, skinny with bells. I have no handle, 'cept what Mr. J tellllls..." She sang off-key as she cartwheeled around the empty room of the warehouse.

The bells in her jester's hat tinkled as she twirled, setting off a descant counterpoint to the bad rhyme.

Anyone listening would have thought her mad.

I certainly did.

Not that she noticed me. She couldn't have, especially since I wasn't there. A part of me itched to let her know that I was, the sane part of me pointed out how foolish that would be.

And so I watched her dance. She didn't dance for long.

There was a knock at the door, and I smiled. I knew who that would be.

She didn't, more's the pity. I think if she had, she still wouldn't have made it.

You see, there were four of them, armed heavily. The moment she opened the door, they started firing. A hundred bullets must have shattered that emaciated body. The costume became nothing but shreds of bone and blood, actual cloth non-existant.

As they stopped firing, she fell, eyes glazed, head still in one piece. Shock and horror mingled in those blue eyes. Along with a sudden question.


I could see this all, and you're asking why, too.

She had to go. I had to make him pay.

Not that she wasn't a criminal in her own right. But this was justice, it was fair. And it would give me peace.

The men left, after leaving a note for him. Mr. J she called him. Her special, happy Mister J.

He came home all full of vigor and cheer, whimsical in his expressions as he unlocked the door and sailed in.

"My Harley," he cried, "I bring the most splendiferous news!"

She couldn't answer, of course. No breath left in the shredded lungs. No cognizance left in the congealed brain.

That was when he saw her. And he froze, just stood there in complete shock. I watched his eyes, watched them change color as something inside seemed to snap.

When he moved again, it was with the step of an old man. I'd done this to him, I realised in exultation. I'd brought him to this. He touched her cheek, seeming to curl in on himself.

My message lay neatly printed on a page of pink paper (in purple ink, of course). He picked it up slowly, as if dreading what it would contain.

I watched as he read it. Watched as his eyes darkened to a sinister black, and laughed to myself.

A moment later he was crumpling it in his fist, then throwing it against the wall. Anger radiated from him, nearly vibrating the camera I watched through.

The simple action of throwing seemed to release something inside, and he threw back his head and roared with... laughter.

Mad, maniacal, insane laughter. It made my teeth go on edge, and shivers run up and down what was left of my spine. Touchable laughter, that reached out and pinched your ear, then skittered away before you could identify it.

In the Joker's hands, it was nearly a weapon.

It stopped abruptly and he turned away, striding from the room. A few hours later, a 'mysterious fire' started there, burning everything, even the note.

My connection to the room severed, I retreated back across the net, searching for other avenues. I found him again, following as he tried to find me. He won't, of course.

He never can.

For I lied about having a spine. It's as gone as the rest of my body was the day I stepped out of it. The memory transfer into an AI-modified mainframe was so simple.

Being a computer isn't bad. I have access to everything. I can do anything, be anyone. And I will have my revenge.

He has himself to thank for that.

After all, if he had just not tried to cripple me, I might never have become so bored and bitter. And she might still be alive.

Her name was Harley Quinn, and she worked for the Joker.