The Aftermath: Epilogue

Three Months Later

The Joker and Harley were once again on the run, having just escaped the asylum. The two maniacs sat together in the back of the getaway car, while some hired goon chauffeured them around town. Harley hung her head out of the car window much like a puppy on its first car ride.

"Hello Gotham!" she greeted the city happily.

She always enjoyed this part the best, Harley thought absently. When they had just made their getaway and were once again back on the streets. The sudden freedom was intoxicating and Mistah J was always in a good mood after escaping.

"If you keep announcing us to the world like that, we won't be out here very long," he chided her.

She could tell by his tone and his smile that he wasn't really angry. In fact, he felt much the same way she did. Still, it was best to not push your luck when it came to her Puddin's temperament, so she brought her head back inside the vehicle and rolled up the window.

Harley suddenly sat at attention. "What are your first orders, Puddin' Bossman Sir?" She gave him a salute.

"At ease soldier," he saluted her back.

The rest of the drive was filled with him elaborating on several ideas he had been developing, while Harley continuously told him how brilliant he was. It was one of his favorite pastimes. However, the subject matter eventually took a turn to something Harley had been struggling to avoid for months.

"He made some nice gurgling noises toward the end there, didn't he?" The Joker commented, referring to Roberts.

"Y-yeah Puddin', you sure showed him." She really wished he would just drop it already.

"Something is bothering you, Harl. Let Daddy make it better."

Harley wasn't playing anymore. "Why do you keep bringing him up?" She couldn't look at him because she didn't sound like his little Harley Quinn anymore. She was Harleen Qunizel and could never face him like that. She had to take a stance though, because she already knew the answer.

"Because the job's not done. You know that." There was a dark edge to his voice now. He could only think of a couple of occasions when Harley had spoken to him in such a manner since she had become his. He never liked it. "Those quacks act like they can psychoanalyze and manipulate me without my knowledge. It's insulting."

"You've already made your statement. They'll back off."

"No no no," he shook a finger at her. "It doesn't work if we play favorites. Leland still has to pay."

She took a deep breath, trying to prepare herself. No one knew how to approach the Joker better than she did. The trick in a situation like this was to tell him he's wrong without actually saying "You're wrong." That was a death sentence.

"You don't know Joan like I do," she began carefully. "She had no interest in that assignment and would like nothing better than for things to go back to how they were. In a way, she's the best protection you have. Get rid of her and you've lost your first line of defense."

"You know what I think, Harley? I think you like her and don't want me to give her what she's got coming."

"You know what I think?" she shot back. "I think you're scared to death that they're going to find some weakness in you through me!"

He slapped her. Hard. She knew that she had gone too far the moment she had said it. His eyes flashed as he put his long fingers around her slender neck and began to squeeze.

"P-puddin'," Harley managed to cough out. She had reverted back and wore her mask like a shield. He released her, but not without giving her another quick blow to the face.

The Joker sat in silent, deep thought and Harley knew not to make a sound. She sat perfectly still and tried to breathe as quietly as possible.

He knew Harley did indeed want to keep the doctor alive for personal reasons. That didn't change the other facts she presented though. For now, he decided that it was best to keep Leland alive. He absolutely hated it when she was right and would never let on that he actually thought such a thing.

After what felt like an eternity to her, he finally spoke.

"I feel like Chinese tonight."

Harley smiled happily in the knowledge that she had won a small battle.

"Whatever you say, Puddin'."

Author notes: This wasn't even a part of my original RisqueSno said the ending was a little flat. I proceeded to curse her and throw things at the computer screen (mostly because I agreed). Then this little jewel popped into my head. It was amazing how quickly it went from my thoughts and onto the computer screen. Thank you all for your support. I'm off to start my next piece!